Friday, May 27, 2016

What the %!@# is a "Food Plot"?

One of our three GARDENS just off our front door
Planted April 2016



Back in the prehistoric 1960's my parents moved us out of Chicago and into the wilds of Warrenville Illinois. For the first time in their married lives and after having five children, they were done with apartment living.

I suspect their landlords may have been done with them as well.

They bought a two story, four bedroom bungalow with a basement and detached garage for a whopping $16,000. The yard, now get this, was covered in grass!!! We thought we had died and been reborn on the TV show Green Acres. Our neighbor even had a garden, the kind where things grew in the dirt. We were enthralled.

I was so enthralled that when my best girlfriend decided we should "borrow" some of those veggies, load them in my red wagon and peddle them about town, I hesitated not. We sold tomatoes and cukes, green beans and well, that was it, because about two hours into our scam of the century my father caught us. He made us give all the cash we had collected, to the neighbor who owned the garden after we admitted our wrongdoing and begged his forgiveness, of course. We also had to weed this mans garden every Saturday for the rest of our lives. At least it seemed that long; I think we did it for two weekends until dad forgot or the neighbor died or something. I can't recall.

What did I learn? To steal from someone across town, and peddle your hocked goods in the next state where your father is not a member in good standing of the very small, very volunteer police department, that's what I learned. And yes, I also learned that gardening is hard work and it stinks for one person to put in the sweat equity while another gleans the profits.

Which brings me to the latest New Age Nonsense, the renaming of gardens as "food plots", as if carrots had the brains to scheme. Vegetables have no time to devise plans, to seek revenge, to develop pyramid scams, they are too busy just putting down roots. The space in a yard where you dig up the sod, loosen the dirt and plant seeds is called a GARDEN.

We have three garden spots (just because that rhymes with food plot, does not negate my argument) and we are working like dirty, sweaty dogs to convince plants to grow in them. All winter Keith piled up our cow manure so that it would be ready for garden spreading this spring. Our soil here on The Poor Farm is heavy with clay, drains poorly and needs as much organic material as we can dump on it.

And dump we did. Manure mixed with straw and old hay went on top of our designated GARDENS, Seeds and seedlings were planted and then we mulched with newspaper, cardboard, grass clippings, and more straw or rotted hay. It is slowly making a difference. As our GARDENS grow I'll post more pictures but in the meantime...neighbor children be warned. If I catch any of you steeling veggies from me for your own high falutin' get-rich-quick schemes you'll be weeding my GARDEN for at least three Saturdays, maybe four.

I will also give you a high-five for your entrepreneur spirit and send you home with enough zucchini to choke an elephant.

13 comments:

  1. You look so beautiful in your picture; Love the post!
    ~ Maggie

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    1. Thanks sister. That pic was taken in Galway last summer. Ireland does make me giddy happy.

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  2. I see you've got some good defenses for your spots (have you tried aloe? *heh*). No really, looks like cattle/goat panels to keep out the poachers and a couple hefty looking canines on guard. And do I see a handy water tank? (Hmmm, no guard chickens though.) Spiffy setup. I know how hard it is to start new gardens, so hats off to you for all the prep. Hope it will produce produce. Stay cool. It's been sooooo hot and dry here this past week/10 days. I'm ready for Fall... ;-D

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    1. Oh but we do have chickens and many many and ducks and guineas. After plants get a good start we'll let a few in for bug patrol. And the "water tank" is a half plastic barrel thingy Keith put around some young pepper plants. A miniature green house so to speak.

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  3. Love your post, I always saw "food plot" and thought "do they mean GARDEN?", ha.

    LOVE the pic, great view of the house, that's just so awesome I just can't put it into words.

    Can't wait to see the wonderful veggies!!

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    1. Hey 1st man, how are you? Yes, "food plot" has become a big selling point in real estate around here. It's mainly for those who want the homesteading title without the homesteading work because you know, we homesteaders are so prestigious.

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  4. Ha ha, around here food plot means a spot in the back of beyond planted with clover and other forage goodies to lure the wily whitetail in so it can be shot, processed into delicious venison (wunnerful summer sausage!) and eaten! (east central Wi.).

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  5. Ha ha, around here food plot means a spot in the back of beyond planted with clover and other forage goodies to lure the wily whitetail in so it can be shot, processed into delicious venison (wunnerful summer sausage!) and eaten! (east central Wi.).

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  6. It's called a 'Veggie Garden' over here, or in my case Haddock's.

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  7. A Veggie garden, how mundane, and perfectly logical. Always the gimmick over here in the US with our food plots, etc...But I thought Haddock was a fish. I best get back on your blog again right now. I'm so out of touch.

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  8. I call my 'food plot' my Veggie Patch, as it's a patch of land off the hillside that we fenced off for food production. Our only 'garden' is the weed infested beds that are supposed to contain flowering plants to make the place look pretty.

    Love your chicken photo in the sidebar, chickens do that menacing look straight into the camera so well don't they :-)

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