Gardening 2019 – Preparation

After two summers of minimal success with my raised garden boxes, I moved them to the back of the yard to an area that seems to have better soil conditions. This involved a fair amount of work, but hopefully I will reap a better harvest. I got a truck load of garden soil, manure, and various potting mixes to add to the boxes. This is my last attempt at growing vegetables, so I am giving the garden the best chance possible to succeed. I will use three boxes for vegetables and the fourth box will be used for raspberries.

I started tomatoes and peppers from seed inside and the seedlings progressed rapidly which required transplanting to larger pots before moving them outside to the gardening building where there is more sunlight. I plan to transfer them to the garden in mid-June.

I attended a composting workshop in April and learned that the organic material in my stationary compost bin is most likely too dry to produce any usable compost for the garden. The workshop leader suggested adding some water and mixing it on a more regular basis.   Now, when I add vegetable and fruit peelings, twigs, or garden waste I add enough water to ensure that the compost pile is moist and then I mix the new material in with the old.  So far, this extra effort appears to be improving the decomposition of the organic material in the bin, but I am not sure if it will decay enough to be used in this summer’s garden.

At the workshop, I purchased a Green Cone Digester that takes care of food scraps such as meat, bones, cooking oil and dairy products that cannot be added to a regular composter. The green cone consists of an underground chamber that heats up and cycles oxygen by using solar energy to provide an effective microsystem for the natural processes of digestion, decomposition and dehydration. It produces a compost tea that nourishes the soil around it. I placed it in the small garden where I grew potatoes last summer, and I plan on putting some tomato and pepper plants here.

I still have three or four  weeks to decide which vegetables to plant and  I am fairly optimistic that the extra work and preparation for the garden will pay off in a bountiful harvest in a few months.

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Meditation Update

Although meditation is difficult in the beginning it becomes easier over time. After almost four months, I am able to concentrate and stay focused long enough to complete my daily meditation activity without drifting off into space. I meditate in the morning before breakfast to avoid interruptions from visitors, the cat or other distractions in the house.

I am no longer preoccupied with whether I am doing it right or wrong. I simply sit, clear my mind, inhale and exhale on a yoga mat. I try to appreciate stillness; to be more mindful; to experience inner peace. In fact, other than breathing, I am just sitting quietly on my own for 5 to 10 minutes.

Spring is slowing making an appearance after a long, snowy winter, and I am thinking about gardening.  This year I have ditched the mini greenhouse and decided to start seedlings by simply placing seeds in germination soil and covering them with some plastic wrap and placing them on a table near the window. My previous attempts at starting seedlings indoors were not very successful, so I do not have high expectations.