2019 growing season is a memory. I finish the season without Twuck, my 1998 Chevy Tahoe. Thankful for public transportation and good friends. The work is an extensive restoration.
I love cars so to see Tahoe under restoration is kinda awesome! Love the restoration car shows on television and we love to go to Beacon’s Annual Car Show. I grew up with three older brothers so we used to collect cars on road trips. My oldest brother owns a 1932 Oldsmobile with suicide doors and a 1949 Ford Pickup. He used to own a sea green 1967 Volkswagen Bug, my favorite car. I was born in 1967. I drove it when I stayed with him in California many Moons ago. My first car was a 1978 VW Bug.
I look back fondly on a full crop season and a fridge full of Winter Stores.
My horticulture training started at Brooklyn Botanic Garden in 1998 and I finished up at New York Botanical Garden. At the same time I studied herbs with Susun Weed at the Wise Woman Center. I wanted an alternative education alongside the formal one. I worked in a flower shop and rooftop gardens and then Riverside Park. Shout out to all the sexual predators in the Parks Department. My sensitive soul could only last five years. Not to mention drug testing, which is, in my opinion, an invasion of privacy. On to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and the lovely Jack Algiere and the beautiful Shannon Husereau Algiere, great loves of my life!
I didn’t start farming until I was forty so thank you to everyone who gave me a chance. I was an actor initially moving to New York in 1986 studying at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and HB Studio. Another realm not suited for a sensitive soul like me and rampant with sexual predators as the Me Too Movement can attest! No, send me out into the wilderness where I can be still and peaceful and free.
What a ride is all I can say. I wanted to be a Park Ranger when I graduated from high school, but I was in Florida, black, female and not bilingual. It wasn’t until I left acting and had no desire to work in an office that I decided to endeavor into what has become my life’s work - plants. The natural world. Where I belong. Perfect for my short attention span. Thirty minutes at best. I hear the latest generation is seconds! Even if I learned every plant in the world, by the time I learned them all, they will have mutated into something else! Forever learning.
I had bricks and bamboo stakes left at Flora Jones. When I get Twuck back, I can pick up the cookout table. I also forgot to transport Hellebore. It is cold and I hope she is hardy enough to survive. I placed her in a pot and the soil had frozen by the next day. I was also gifted Echinacea plants. I decided to pop them all into the ground rather than leave them in pots over Winter. Bricks went up to Hiddenbrooke, plants to Sargent-Downing. It feels good to move on. I can use another day in the office developing my business. Flora Jones was my wild edible garden. Too wild of course for neighbors, family and friends. I look out over Hiddenbrooke where we have let Mugwort dance and I realize I have become a big land gardener and wild is okay out here. We have quite an Animal Family - Deer, Turkey, Groundhog, Fox, Coyote, Bear and now - Bobcat! We have had Guinea Hens starting out with eleven, now down to two! They keep the ticks away. I cleared Tomato Bed at Sargent-Downing and laid down straw. Good night sweet beds. I did not get to haul straw, but - next season. It will be upon us soon enough. Time to rest, rest, rest.
Down to three gardens - Sargent-Downing, Hiddenbrooke in Beacon and Sally Garden of Eden in Rosendale. I will be working with a friend to install her English Cottage Garden next season, thrill of thrills. Age dictates slowing down, presents limits. I have to be thankful for organic growth all these years. Out of pace with the rat race. Human pace. We will never understand the departure from humanity, but we can reach out and touch it when we choose. I study copywriting now. Susun says I can do plant work until I’m eighty-five, but as I slow down I will need something to keep me financially stable as I age. I am a copywriter! I did not think I would have the opportunity in this lifetime to explore my writing self, but here I am. Not to mention Art. They are the other half of me and I look forward to the adventure.
Who knows what this Arctic Blast in November means for our Winter. We batten down the hatches and venture indoors to hibernate emerging with the Winter Solstice. Off to Myami. I will blog down there and then take a break in December. It has been amazing of course. Thank you for reading. Happy Holidays! Laissez les bon temps rouler!