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Friday, May 14, 2010

Seed ‘em and Reap…

“…like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth.”

William Faulkner, As I Lay DyingThe Valley in May

My apologies for this post’s title. When my students were about to get up close and personal with Shakespeare, I would prep them for  the Bard’s famous word play. Each day I would begin the class with “Pun o’ the Day”and the kids would commence groaning even before the pun was outed. I believe the title pun came from a reader board at a farm supply store. Now feel free to groan after the fact. That’s the way, after all, a pun is supposed to work.

Puns aside, the Valley is going to seed. Fields are planted, being planted, or being prepared for planting. Yet again Werkhovens have their corn in ahead of me. Seeded to corn Turn your back for a couple of days and they have two hundred acres of corn planted. My old beekeeping friend Lester Broughton planted his corn without fail May twelfth, more regular than the Farmers’ Almanac. I tried to match his schedule but never seemed to measure up. Les is gone now, and I have been using the Werkhovens as my corn planting mentors. And again, I just can’t seem to measure up.

Planting is in full stride in the Valley. After all, as Tualco potato farmer Peter Alden stated, the Valley is prime berry and vegetable farmland, the best in the state. Kelly Bolles has planted strawberries in the field east of his high rise.  Raspberry starts sprout in the northeast corner of the field opposite Tony’s place, new production, I suppose, to replGrain drillsace the marionberries that froze out last winter. Werkhovens are finishing up seeding in the field north of Frohning Road. 

And I see Brett De Vries has had his garden rototilled. Brett had talked about moving the garden, but I see he has decided to plant the same old plot. Well, it worked for Jerald and Tina Streutker year after year, Brett. At SR. 203 Gladys and I pull up behind Kurt Biderbost’s vintage pickup truck. The entire bed is loaded with pumpkin and squash starts, plantings for the field by his vegetable stand. Everyone is planting, it seems, and Gladys and I are out gallivanting around in the midst of it.

Truth be known, I’m not all that complacent. Yesterday, May twelfth, I planted my first row of corn, dent corn for this fall’s first ever venture into hominy. And today I planted my first row of sweet corn. I may not be a Broughton or a Werkhoven, but come September we’ll not lack for fresh corn fritters .

Come into the garden, it’s the early month of  May.

Come into the garden; I know you’ll want to stay.

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