Friday, October 3, 2014

Looking Over the Fence.

Don't you just love the internet? I mean, in a few minutes, I can do as much research as would have taken me days in the library. (Yes, I still use libraries. I'm old like that.) And it's usually better research, too. There are photos, references to dozens of other sites and documents, videos, how-to directions, just anything you want.

You can also find conversion factors easily, tables, charts, help to solve problems like "What kind of bug is that?!" or "Why are all my leaves turning that color and falling off?" We have at our fingertips the entire world of knowledge. And some cat videos, too.

Recently, I was looking at ways to improve my onion growing skills so I turned to the internet. I read a number of blogs and some Extension Service publications, watched some country farmers who do this for a living and browsed through some commercial offerings from companies who want me to buy things from them. (It's amazing to me how many great ideas you can 'procure' by looking at catalogs. If you're not afraid to get your hands busy and build something, you can save a lot of money, too.)

I still love to get catalogs in the mail. I love the enthusiastic descriptions that the authors put next to amazing photographs of incredibly productive plants that will never quite look like what I can produce in my garden. But I still love to get them and literally read them cover to cover. Lots of good information there.

I love to get out my gardening reference books and read and research and re-read them. I can't remember all the information that's in those books that I've already read and re-read, so I go back to them time and time again. They're like old friends on whom I can rely to give me what I need to know.

I like all of these sources of information and I use them, too. But they aren't my favorite single source of information. I like to hear from people who are actually doing it. I want to rub shoulders with folks who are productive in their backyards, front yards and in buckets in their driveways.

I like to listen to them tell stories about how they outsmarted the weather and beat that early frost by getting the row covers on ahead of schedule. (I know what frost is, but we really don't have a problem with it here in the Southern Nevada desert.) I like to share their emotion when they tell stories about how the weather beat them, too.

I love to see their tricks and schemes and ways to coax more production out of a favorite tomato plant or how to extend the season a couple of weeks.

I love to hear how they were eating fresh tomatoes from their gardens on Thanksgiving Day. (I've done that!)

I love to share in their joy as they want to give me some seeds from a treasured variety that I don't have. And then let them 'help' me plant them in my garden.

I want to hear them brag and moan and whine and complain and celebrate and laugh as they talk about what they've grown, how they did it and how good it all tasted. That's my favorite part of Stealth Farming.

It's about the people.

I've just made some plans to attend the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, California next September 8 through 10. I love the fact that it's on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. That gives me a day to drive there (little over 600 miles, I can do that) and a couple of days to drive home. Since there are a couple of options for routes, I might take one way up and one way down.

I want to meet the people who are doing these kind of projects and the people who are supporting them. I'm going to take some seeds to swap and see what I can learn. The whole expo is only $25 plus gas to get there and back and the cost of food. Since I can live in my truck for a week, I won't have to rent a room. I should be able to do the whole thing for under $500. I'm excited.

Now, all I have to do is convince my wife that this is a good thing....

I'm open for suggestions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts