Our Community Garden in the Land of Queen M
This year, I am lucky enough to be participating in a community garden. We rented an acre or so of old farm land, no longer managable by the owner so much anymore. She was gracious enough to say yes, so we all split the rent for the season, and got to work. Our Landlord, wheels herself down to the field and is a wealth of information, just there for the taking.
My property is wooded, so I have mastered MOSS, hostas, bog plants, and my shade loving medicinal herbs. When I moved here 16 years ago, I tromped these old woods and transplanted things into an identical setting, more managed, and have a wonderful growth of indian pipe, bloodroot and more. The wild plants in this area offer so much, it is a literal buffet table of old Cherokee remedy.
Our property owner, I’ll call her Queen M, is a total trip. She is about 77 years old, has grey hair and a big old smile on her face. She has an electric wheelchair but wields a cane that she looks like she could stick where the sun don’t shine if someone’s not careful. She has lived in this rural Appalchian community her whole life. She is married over 50 years to the same man. She grasps hold of a Farmer’s Almanac on our first night of discussing our garden plan. She’s got her diet coke, her cane and her big smile. She is listening to all of us talking Heirloom, non Franken seed, Organic, etc, and what we are willing and not willing to do to the Earth while we plant. This of course may seem strange to her, I’m guessing she sprinkles sevin dust on her stuff. I don’t know. But she starts giggling and starts to tell this story. She says, Years Ago honey, down at the Grants Store, I used to help down there you know. Well, we saw on ‘the Oprah’ about the bar code being stuck on products by the devil himself saying he was going to get god’s children, so we set out to take down every last one in our storeand do you know, everything in that store had one those there bar codes! we had to take everything off the shelf. And you know that ‘the Obama’ is doing the same thing! My friend and I made eye contact and gulped. That’s when my silly friend said, I lay HANDS on your Head Queen M, and directed the conversation away from the dreaded we are all being programed, chipped, tattooed and taken over by the Obama robots. She was so funny. The next thing I hear is, oh honey, you can’t plant that when we’re in a water sign, you have to wait until the moon phase is in Fire or Earth and the planets are in this…. So we jump from one Appalachian extreme to the other. I loved her immediately. I run over and get a lesson on how to read that book, it always confuses me. She will teach us a lot. I’ll hide all the bar codes.
So we are going with the three sisters Native American growing design for our corn, beans and squashes. We are having to build 100 mounds. We started our garden the other night.
Here we all are (except me, since I am the photographer -