Monday, April 14, 2008

Surprised by Spring

Sunday, April 13, 2008 was a permaculture design course workday at our friends Shabazz and Josephine's home in Newburgh, NY. I was looking forward to it in part because we learned so much the first time (March 23, see some photos :
I was also looking forward to transplanting a peppermint plant I bought at the Farmer's Market in Union Square. I intended to transplant it into an improvised planter I got when Phil and I took an organic gardening workshop with Deb Tyler at Local Farm in Cornwall Bridge, CT. I used that planter last year to grow one basil plant and one mint plant. The mint didn't last too long, but the basil made it through the summer. I neglected that planter last fall and as the basil withered someone else took interest in it. A squirrel. Eventually that squirrel took up residence in the planter, somehow carving a home into the soil an adding much of its own accoutrements, like leaves, and bits of trash. I guess it lived there off and on for 3 months, but with the first warm days, the planter was empty and lifeless again. So I intended to reclaim it and on Sunday morning I retrieved it from our fire escape and brought it to Newburgh.

There was a lot of matted squirrel hair in it but also a lot of soil and leaves. I tossed the hair and turned the remaining soil, adding some root mulch to the bottom as instructed by Sharon Kimmelmann, our PDC co-organizer. But as I was emptying the soil out, Sharon spied something at the bottom of the planter. It was a large sprout. She inspected it for a while and proudly announced it to be a sprouted black walnut! It seems our furry friend had left a gift for the use of the planter. I now have that sprout in a small planter on our fire escape along with the transplanted mint plant and am looking forward to enjoying both as they grow this spring.

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