The seed catalogs for vegetables and fruits started landing in the mail box about a month ago.
Amazing new varieties, strains of super produce to plant in your backyard, raised garden or on the back forty of Maine land. The thoughts of fresh home grown food is a tradition in Maine.
The size of the Maine vegetable, fruit, herb or flower garden is not end all important.
The quality and care the plot of dirt is given is a source of pride though. Tilling, working the soil and removing new rocks the frost elevated to the land surface. Mixing in rich natural nutrients like cow, sheep, horse manure from the farmer down the road or your own fresh supply part of the spring ritual. Not just a case of twenty minutes pawing around in the farm soil of Maine. To ker-plop and bury one handful of seed after another. No no, careful attention to spacing and transplanting the tomatoes. Love and attention to the bell peppers happens along with straight as an arrow rows of onion bulb sets placement.
Scare crows erected. Tin plates on string with a little line slack so the wind, a Maine summer breeze causes enough movement to make predators wary. Plastic owls in the middle of the do it yourself Maine food production also stand guard of the growing operation.
Marigolds planted as side line defense security to from pesky bugs and insects. That don’t particularly get all that warm and fuzzy. Over their odor that helps assure something planted in spring makes it to the fall harvest for winter canning and preserving. For food storage to slowly be dealt out like face down cards on a daily basis. With trips up and down the cellar stairs to access the “shop a little, save a lot” home grown root cellar.
This is a time in Maine where yesterday and the day before newspapers are spread out as a canvas around the household.
So peat pot with Miracle Grow top soil can do their thing in the all important starting line jump start in the food production cycle. Watering, fertilized and provided with care and attention for an infancy. The kitchen and other areas of a Maine home becomes a make shift indoor greenhouse.
Raspberry patches clipped and trimmed to promote faster growth. To spur on, increase the abundance of what the Maine clean air, bright warm sunshine and periodic watering from Mother nature can do working together with rich, fertile soil. To lower the cost of food lovingly prepared, placed on the Maine supper table to enjoy, to survive. To cure household hunger. Ease, whittle away at the store bought food bill size.
Maine strawberries plants that have a four year high production.
That then go astray and become like confederate hit or miss soldiers spotting a Maine field. Small plants parked in evenly spaced holes, grid work that has highways, interstates of straw between them. To keep grass from edging out, passing the plants in height and hurting yield. The “spiders” from the mother plant carefully aligned with the skill of an orthodontist challenged by a mouthful of crooked teeth.
To find them a more secure home between the adult plants. To be “trained” in the delicate relocation process. To assure the thin green IV tube of nutrients flow from headquarters, the parent until the roots of the little fellas tap into the same dirt. And they can sink or swim, do or die feed themselves.
Maine, everything we do is pretty much outdoors, all four seasons. Which increases awareness. More dependency on ourselves to stand on our own two feet. Than the other option of being lazy, un-resourceful and dependent on others for our care and happiness.