VA Overrun by critters

old dom

A few of these abandoned wards ….. the old ‘domiciliary’ are being rebuilt to rent out as apartments.   Naturally because they’ve been abandoned for decades virtually without any maintenance or upkeep they’re the home to countless varmints, predatory birds, bats, feral cats, coons, possum, skunk and the occasional groundhog.

Needless to say, this is the year someone in the lofty realms of management decided to allow the residents here a ‘community garden’, also.

Turns out, I’m the only resident with a passion for a garden.   So, while they cut a 30×30 foot piece out of the yard outside my window in a fit of delusional optimism, I’m only farming about 300 square feet of it.  Feeling every moment of my74-and-some-change years.

A guy came out with a tiller on a tractor and did his patriotic best.   Cut slices of this red clay that was actually quarried and used to make the bricks you see on those buildings in the photo.    Tiller guy got off his tractor and observed for those of us standing around watching in horror and awe, “Not really the best soil for a garden.”

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing with my time instead of blogging or going on FaceBook.    Testing the ability of my heart to continue function when I’d have to feel better to die.   But I planted okra, several varieties of peppers, garlic, onions, chives, cilantro, …… 90 linear feet of rows.

Bought lots of cow manure in bags, bought lots of earthworms down at the bait shop.   Bought an anti-bird net to try to keep the robins off the earthworms.   And so on.

It’s good, been good, and I figure although there’s a middling chance one thing or another will result in me not getting anything worth mentioning out of the garden this year, I’ll have all summer to build up the soil and maybe next year, when I’m 75 and wiser, I’ll be able to eat something I planted out there.

Meanwhile, I’ve got garlic, peppers, cilantro, and mustard greens in planters on the back porch.  And I’ve got a Best Boy and a Roma tomato plant with plenty of blossoms.  So I don’t need no stinking garden.

Have a happy Cinco de Mayo.     That means FIFTH of Mayo in English.

Old Jules

20 responses to “VA Overrun by critters

  1. Attempting a garden again must be a real joy for someone who enjoys the feel of soil through their fingers and the tasty treats that are grown. Good luck on your venture this year and I’m almost certain next year will be even better.

  2. Sweet onions might be good stuff to grow in that clay!

  3. I’ve had to cut back on the gardening since I can’t be out in the sun very long because of medication. It’s hell getting older and definitely not for sissies. Hope you get enough out of the garden to share (if you so wish).

    • Hi Momlady. Several years without a garden gave me the hungries enough to neutralize being older than the dirt out there. Hope you manage to get some under your fingernails too. Gracias, Old JUles

  4. garden vegetables are the best! ~ good for you

  5. Do you have kids in the area? Maybe get together with a school to make it a school project 🙂

  6. Good to see your sense of humor is still alive and kicking

  7. That was an inspiring tale. My mother had a little plaque in her garden reading “the kiss of the sun for pardon/the song of the birds for mirth/one is closer to God in a garden/than anywhere else in earth.” Mind you she worked the beautiful black earth under old, I mean old, apple trees, as an Irish poet said, “windfall sweetened earth”. The sense of planting and nourishing is dear to my old triple bypassed heart. When I was a young man I planted some oak saplings, knowing I would never see them in their full glory, but that’s not the point is it?

  8. Jules, you haven’t posted for a while. Not that you’re obligated to, but I hope you’re okay.

  9. So – how did your garden grow? Somehow I don’t see Kansas as a place to grow okra,

    • Hi Judy. I found I was the only one interested in in pursuing it, and it turned out I’d accepted more than I could stay atop. I think I might could have managed a 10×10. but it all went down the tubes. Harvested a few roma tomatoes and some peppers. It’s all been mowed down and has the appearance of a 30×30 depression in the lawn. Next year I think I’ll just do a few containerized tomatoes and maybe some peppers of various sorts. Hope you are doing will. Thanks for the visit. J

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