Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Waiting Game and Quirky Mass Marketing

As I wait the allotted 10-14 days for the most adventurous of my eggplant seeds to sprout, I reflect on the fact that gardening is often an exercise in watering dirt.  Each day I go to my flat of dirt filled pots, inspect them carefully, and add water.  Tim asks if everything is alright with my plants?  What plants?  Everything is just fine with my dirt...  In the larger scheme of things, gardening is a lot more about dirt than it is about plants.  And dirt is a lot more about compost...

The pride of any successful garden is a good compost pile

The one thing that always consoles me when I have a gardening failure is that if I am not growing food, then at least I am growing future compost.

Our green waste is composted in a large black drain pipe prior to being integrated into the larger pile.

 Another thing that consoles me as a horse owner... if I am not riding, at least I'm maintaining a source of horse manure.  A well tended manure pile is an excellent source of mass quantities of compost.  No matter what farm animal it comes from, chicken, goat, horse, or cow, and no matter what sort of bedding is mixed in, the important part is that the farmer turns and tends the manure pile.  This breaks everything down evenly so that when it is ready to be loaded up for the garden, it is barely distinguishable from potting soil.

One aspect of gardening that Tim is always involved in is the fetching of compost.  We load it into a tarped trailer, haul it home and shovel it into a pile where we continue to turn and "fluff" it into "black gold".  This is the time when it is necessary to have some large equipment both at the loading end and the unloading end.

Once I get it home, I deal with it in smaller quantities, sifting the larger uncomposted parts out and adding them back into the pile.  If you truly think that you have nothing left to do in the garden on any given day, go out and get some well sifted compost to side dress your plants.

There are few things prettier than a bed of healthy plants wearing a fresh layer of compost.

But even being a no nonsense dirt farmer who buys her beans in bulk and takes great pride in her very large manure pile, I am always intrigued by the 21st Century mass marketing which makes gardening look so easy and colorful.  The goal of a good marketing plan is not merely to sell to a large portion of the existing market, you must also sucker in new buyers who have never gardened before.

Click here for the YouTube demonstration of Gro-ables Gardening.
This is like Lunchables or Pudding Snack Packs for gardening.  Who needs tractors or trowels?  Or cow poop? Just buy a kit at the store, stick it in your cart, and cart it home to your patio.

It almost appears as if no hard work or dirt are involved!

Everything comes with a bar code and instructions!
I have to admit it's a clever idea and rather appealing.  And actually, that might not be a bad way to start a single zucchini plant which will take over the garden and produce dozens of pounds of food.  But at the same time, that is the long way to go about planting a row of beans or peas.  Can you even imagine?

In another two weeks it will be Good Friday and I will be chomping at the bit to get my garden peas in the ground.  With any luck the snow will have melted by then.


  1. Hilarious - I suppose people whose main goal is to say that they grew "X" will welcome those types of kits - only question is...where is the self-water feature?

    BTW - that's a great idea with the drain pipe!

  2. Your blog keeps reminding me that I have about a hundred tons of well rotted horse manure from last year that needs spreading asap. Adding it to the "to do" list....