The Year of Missing Martins


| 5/15/2017 12:00:00 AM


Tags: organic gardening, martins, North Carolina, Cindy Barlowe,

Canadian poet, novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood said, “Gardening is not a rational act.”    Few tasks are as humbling as gardening.  After that leap-of-faith act, when a Human drops seed in soil, then cultivates growing plants and anticipates a successful harvest, many factors may disrupt expected outcomes.  Fortunately, when gardeners plan to celebrate plant diversity, even in the face of disaster, rarely is effort totally unrewarded.

Farm Harvest Aug 14

Abundant, diverse harvest, 2014

Our first major crop loss was in 2009, when cool, rainy days encouraged early blight that wiped out tomato gardens along the entire east coast.  Fifty plants, held upright in wire cages, towered overhead and strained with the effort of supporting heavy green fruit.  One day, they were beautiful and the following evening, it looked as if scalding water were poured on them.  Leaves withered and browned, sporting dark spots.  Lesions appeared on stems and fruit and hopes to fill pantry shelves with homegrown canned tomatoes were dashed.

Tomato Blight

Tomato Blight




elderberry, echinacea, bee hive

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