Friday, June 4, 2010
GARDEN DADDY ADDS WORKSHOP LEADER TO RESUME
HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm. Last evening, this Garden Daddy was the leader and coordinator of a small workshop over at my place of employment on some of my favorite topics: Sustainable-edible gardens, composting, raised bed gardening, rain water collection as well as some added information I brought about how to read a fertilizer bag information & how to build a Lasagna garden (layered raised bed). I also planted what I call an Italian kitchen garden in a resin 1/2-whiskey barrel planter. I showed the group, small as it was due to a tornado watch in the area, how I recommend one should plant a container garden of any kind really. I showed how I use bark mulch in the bottom for the drainage instead of stones or broken pots, etc. Then for expediency sake, instead of mixing my own potting soil mixture, I used a bag of "Miracle Gro Potting Soil" to fill the container. Then I planted the items I had chosen earlier for the workshop. I put 1-Goliath tomato plant in the back, then I added 1-eggplant, 1-bell pepper, 1-sweet banana pepper, 1-pot of basil (I split this in to 2-plantings due to multiple plants in the seedling pot), 1-pot of rosemary, 1-pot of parsley and 1-yellow summer squash plant opposite the tomato so it would hang over the side of the planter like a vine with the weight of the plant and fruit on it. This went over well and the group stood up to watch how I planted it all in a certain order, according to height, etc., in the container and added the plant tags back to the planter so one would know what was what. The best part of this project was that I knew in advance that we were going to give this away to a participant by random drawing and it was the best thing to watch how excited everyone got when I told them we were giving it away.
I told them by no means was I a public speaker and I just basically talked WITH them - not TO them - and answered questions like it was a one-on-one situation. I went through the program for the most part but with the "Garden Daddy Twist" and basically just talked about what I knew and what worked best for me and my tried and true methods that have either worked or failed over the years. I had hoped for more people but the small group was fun and we used all but the last 10-minutes of the class period. This would normally have been taken up by questions and discussions about the participant's individual problems and with trying to solve them and to talk about their issues. But all in all I would say I was pretty pleased with the outcome and glad to have it out of the way and off my schedule now. I knew one of the class members and asked them to use my camera to make some shots that I could share with you here.
I know this is a little bit of "blowing my own horn" but being that this is really my first of possibly many events in the future and in my area of knowledge I just had to share with you where I hope this evolved, well not really vocation but AVOCATION, has taken me and I hope will take me in the future. My current plan has been & is to sell my current garden home and buy something more like a mini farm in the southern middle Tennessee area between Nashville & the Alabama line somewhere and have the REAL FARM feed me full time in the way of enough land to have a garden that could sustain milk goats, a feeder piglet, a feeder calf and produce and enough different fowl to raise and grow about 90% of what I eat in a natural, non-medicated and non-steroidal way. And in this way become as self sufficient as possible and then this Garden Daddy will really be able to discuss with you life on "The Farm" and not the "urban farm" in center-city Jackson, TN. The idea that I could maybe have a teaching "farmette" instead of a teaching "backyard" would be my ideal situation. Or maybe where folks can come out and see, learn, experience and first hand milk a goat, gather eggs, harvest produce and learn the "how to" of it all would be my long term goal. Dreaming...absolutely! Realistic...most probably! Time frame...18-months-2-years!
So this Garden Daddy will leave you today with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind for you this Friday morning: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"