|Sassy and I did perimeter security at a Moline reunion dinner,|
a few years ago.
Sassy always has something to say.
We took altar flowers to a neighbor for his birthday this week -
she sang Happy Birthday with me.
Sassy and I went out for our morning walk, joined by our neighbor's dog. She is some kind of Dachshund, probably a mix, the one that does canine wheelies all the time. When she starts off, she raises her front legs in the air for a second, probably the torque from her rear legs.
Everywhere we went, our little companion followed, dashing around with glee, pretending to be independent but always catching up. We almost had a new dog, but I took her over to her owners when we were done.
Later our helper had a total of 16 bags of leaves to bring into the garden Ten stout bags came from a distant neighbor and six from his tree-less yard. We have a good layer overall, but could easily compost another 20 or so. When the spring rains come, there will be plenty of food for the soil in the backyard.
I shocked Facebook friend Jeff Lowenfels, telling him I had his newest book already. Amazon shipped it before it got into bookstores. I am just starting it now.
Two of us are gathering leaves in our area. The other is the owner of Almost Eden Gardens and Nursery, the other toxin-free grower. He takes his truck out to get leaves. I use our Town Car. Recently we went shopping in Fayetteville, and I brought back a car packed with leaf-bags, so happy.
The topic makes me smile, because I was doing this when Little Ichabod was young enough to hide in the backseat when I stopped for the neighbor's leaves. No matter how many I put on the yard, they were all gone by late spring.
The gardening books at the time were dismissive of leaves, because dead leaves are not full of compost-energizing nitrogen. That is true, but they are full of fungus-feeding carbon. The soil, when left alone and free of toxins, is laced with miles of fungal tubes that take nutrition and water to plant roots. The fungi obtain the carbon they cannot manufacture - but must have - in exchange for the plants' demands.
I do not need to test the soil - and worry about the mix of this or that organic addition to the soil. I simply add as much free stuff as I can. I began a stick and twig pile near one tree. Instead of tossing them away during yard cleanup, I throw them in the same pile. The pile does not grow, because the birds nab them for nesting material.
Early in the spring I will hang twine on the bushes and place dryer lint in baskets, for additional nesting material.
Early in his business, Sam Walton reasoned that he could sell below others if he kept his costs low. That policy was enforced down to making pencils last and reporting funds down to a fraction of a penny.
Last year I spent nothing on chemical fertilizer, nothing on toxins. My birdbaths were children's pools, bought at the end of the season - from Kmart.