The Lazy Gardener, 2020 edition

Prairie Rose

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This is a really awesome old property...was a dairy farm, built somewhere around 1910. At the time, it would have been right between a pair of the biggest coal mines in the area, a few miles from several of the local towns. A doctor bought the place when the family that lived here quit farming, intending to raise horses here after he retired. That plan never played out, and the whole property was folded into a trust fund when he died. My father has lived here for more than 40 years. He tried for years and years to get the family to sell it to him, but nobody will break the trust, and we remain renters.

Once the doctor died the land went into the care of a farm management company that doesn't see the value of the old buildings left on the property. At this point all that is left is the cellar and the old barn, whose roof collapsed just over a year ago. We are still waiting for some kind of official permission to finish pulling it down, or if we can take the roof off and put a new one on, or what. If something needed work before the old doctor would go halves on everything, but this management company would rather see us gone and it all tilled under into cropland, I think.

...that was a really long-winded way to say I don't think the cellar can be fixed. Inside it is a room about ten by ten, with an arched brick ceiling. I remember it having two sets of doors, one at each end of the stairs when I was a child, as well as a covered metal chimney for ventilation. The doors were lost to weather and time, and scrappers stole the chimney, so water and time has done their job on the mortar between the bricks. I don't think there s anyone left locally with the knowledge to fix it without digging it all out and just starting over. Maybe twenty years ago there would have been someone with the knowledge, but not now.

I have lots of childhood memories of playing down there in the hot summer days...it was always cool and damp. It wasn't unusual for there to be three or four local families crammed in there every time the tornado sirens went off either. This end of town has lots of mobile homes, and very few basements. I will miss it, but I still have the memories!
 

Prairie Rose

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Your cellar right beside the road reminds me of one on a little country road I used to drive by. It looked like someone put it there for access for a load of potatoes or something to take to the market.

When I moved to the country many years ago, it was to a clearing in the forest, beside a farm field. There was a home about 500 yards away, also in the trees. Another house was about 3/4 of a mile in the other direction. That was it - for miles in any other direction.

There was nothing there for me except the clearing and my first task as I saw it was to dig a root cellar and put a wood shed over it so that I would have a place to sleep. The planned barn and cabin came later.

So, I'm out there with with the pickup parked, me with a shovel, digging a hole. ... two girls show up, looking for a horse ..!

I thought later that it really took some nerve for those teenagers to approach a guy out digging a hole in the middle of nowhere. They were neighbors and told me a year or so later that they had to hang back in the trees awhile before they built up the nerve to walk over and ask me :).

I met one of their fathers soon after. A nice guy, worked from home as an artist. He did illustrations for books. "Where's Waldo?" books.

Steve


Sounds like fun Steve... I don't think I would have ever worked up the nerve to walk up to some guy I didn't know digging a hole as a teenager, at least not by myself!
 

digitS'

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My cellar was tiny. With the woodshed roof protecting it, there was just a horizontal door for access. Seems like I put a bag of pine needles over it for insulation.

This gave the garden root crops adequate protection. I remember that I had a few turnips in previous gardens and had a great many that first season. Too many. I was not willing to grow and eat turnips again for years!

The little cellar served until I had the cabin built over a half basement.

Steve
 

Prairie Rose

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Not garden related, but I did not want to start another thread for it...my off season project, as requested by ducks4you in another thread...I still have to add borders and quilt it, but the top is almost done:
 

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Ridgerunner

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Nice. Mom used to quilt a lot, that's a pattern Mom made. Some of the colors even look similar. It is a traditional pattern. Dad worked at a shirt factory and brought home boxes of material scraps. Mom had a lot of colors and patterns to work with.

It's your thread so you can't be accused of hijacking it, but you can chastise me if you wish. My wife's last weaving project was to weave a Swedish Blind. That's the official name. This is now hanging in the window over our kitchen sink.
Swedish Blind.jpg
 

Prairie Rose

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Ridgerunner that's beautiful! I have never tried to weave, but I can appreciate the work involved. You have every right to show it off, even here :) I don't think I would have the patience to actually make fabric from threads!

I quilt because I have always been a crafter, even as a kid. My mom and several of the great aunts quilted, so my first few craft projects involved scrap fabric and needles under mom's watchful eye. Now I do it to keep myself busy on long winter nights because I am not much of a TV fan anymore.
 

ducks4you

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GREAT title for your gardening thread, @Prairie Rose ! :clap:clap:clap
Also, lovely quilt, too!! :love Do you have any quilter's square rulers? I don't have time to quilt right now, but I watch a LOT of quilting programs. I Understand that squaring off with a rotary cutter makes everything fit well. I also have heard that many quilters will save their small/tiny scraps and make dog beds for shelters by making big pillows and stuffing them with the scraps. Regardless, your quilt represents a great deal of time and love. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Prairie Rose

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After dealing with all of the panicked shoppers, (please please PLEASE be nice to your local supermarket employees right now, they need it) today was my first day off in a week and a half. I could have worked again today and gone a full two weeks between days off, but I desperately needed a day to find my equilibrium and catch up on projects at home. My pile of dirty laundry is as tall as I am.

Between the cleaning, the baking, and the laundry, I managed to pot up my tomato and herb seedlings, and the day was perfect to begin introducing them to the outdoors. They went from a four inch paper pot to quart sized pots from the dollar store. Tomatoes were buried up to their first set of leaves. After that they all went out on the porch to soak up some of the gentle rain we have had today and get used to the breeze. I have at least another month to go before the soil warms enough to plant them out...they will be in gallon sized containers by then. Amazing how a packet of seeds, a few dollars of potting soil, and some time saves so much $$ when it comes to buying seedlings.

I started pepper seeds this morning, along with some kale, swiss chard, and random flowers. I also planted some dwarf peas in containers for the back porch. There's a rhubarb crown waiting to be planted as well...I just need some time when I'm not at work in the daytime to plant it!
 

Prairie Rose

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Instead of taking it easy today like I planned, it was too pretty to stay inside and walking the dog turned into spending half the morning outdoors. I planted my rhubarb crown, pulled a few weeds, picked some purple deadnettle/ground ivy to turn into hand cream, and turned my compost pile for the first time since last fall. I used my claw-type manual cultivator to break down into it and stir in air before finishing with the shovel, and it went much faster than anticipated.
 

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