Friday, April 23, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe


Someone asked me a couple days ago if I was contemplating putting in a garden this spring. Thinking about it, I must admit, yet I’m in no rush, and if and when I do sow and plant, it’s not going to be much.

In fact, there are ‘plantings’ in the ground already, and I may not do any tilling at all. I might just rely on my existing mature compost piles and do some very intensive growing mounds. I cannot imagine better soil.

I already have buried a bunch of those potatoes that I photographed a couple weeks ago. Some onions and squash are in the same pile. And just so we have a point of reference, this is the pile under which one would find the remains of a female nutria, nine ducks and a guinea fowl.

I make this distinction for an adjacent pile contains the dead coyote. Regular readers will no doubt remember this pile that is in fact a piece of art. Yet, even this earthwork has squash sprouts emerging. Seeds from cross-bred hybrids of Delicata and Spaghetti winter squashes grown last year on this same mound were planted a month or so ago, and a number of sprouts are bursting forth, the eventual fruit from which we will call the “Beuys” winter squash.

In that I planted one decomposed Spaghetti squash and one over-ripe Delicata, I am not certain of how the hybridization will manifest itself in each of the fruit’s seeds. Presently, seeds from both types of squash have sprouted. I look forward to the seeing how the fruits mature, what their shape, color and markings will be, and if the seeds from the Delicata produce a different hybrid than the Spaghetti (one would think so). Once the plants grow into flowering, fruit-bearing plants, I will not attempt to halt any further hybridization to occur between the plants growing on the mound. Beuys is, after all, only a concept at this point, and as the fruit is as much a piece of art as it is a vegetable, it should be allowed to morph, influences being what they are in the history of art. Provenance over patent.

There will be much documentation in the coming months.

Note: For the initial building of the Beuys compost pile, see


lightning36 said...

My wife decided to make a straw garden (veggie garden) in out backyard. I thought that this meant that she would lay down a little straw. 36 bales of straw later ...

bastinptc said...

She used them as mulch, or made temporary raised beds from them?

We have to be careful with the amount of mulching material we use because of the number of slugs out here.

bastinptc said...

36 - BTW, safe journey back home.