A busy day for Squirrels

This week at the Squirrel’s Nest is off to a good start. Today, Tom and Dennis from Bennett Gardening came out to check out our backyard for an organic garden plot. In order to prepare a garden, Tom and Dennis spade the earth a bit to determine how much work will be required. Next they till up the size of area you want. They will also deliver plant sets and organic compost to amend your soil if needed.

When they began to spade our soil, the spade slipped in easily. After they turned over a few spadefuls, Dennis said, “this is good soil.” After a few more spadefuls, he said, “this may be better than our soil.”

We are very fortunate. Our backyard has essentially lain fallow for years. The soil has been naturally mulched and composted by falling leaves from the surrounding trees. Aside from tilling, the soil needed nothing else.

After Tom and Dennis marked out our plot and began working, we hurried away to our second engagement of the evening, the first official meeting of Slow Food Memphis.

Slow Food Memphis has a large number of activities coming up. You can see a list of them on our calendar or on the website of Edible Memphis magazine. The official site for Slow Food Memphis will be up soon. In the meantime, email slowfoodmemphis@yahoo.com for information on membership and activities.

After the meeting, we rushed home to see if Tom and Dennis were still working. They were already gone, but they had left us with a beautiful patch of dark, rich earth. They also left the 14 plants that we had picked out. They watered the plants and left them in the shade. Although the plants were well taken care of, we couldn’t wait to plant them, so while Squirrelly, Jr., held the flashlight in the fast-dying dusk, Mama and I planted three tomato plants two squash, two cucumber, three pepper, two okra, an eggplant, and a cantaloupe.

We have plenty more room in our ten by ten plot. Dennis will call us later this week so that we can give him our list of plants. They will bring them to the farmers market for us. We also plan to pick up carrot seeds. By this Sunday, our little patch will be in full swing.

I can’t recommend Tom and Dennis highly enough. They were prompt and professional, of course. Even better is the tremendous amount of knowledge and advice that they bring with them. They have already given us tips on having crops growing year round. They have also talked to us about rotating our crops. Even a small patch like ours can benefit from crop rotation. Stop by and see them at the farmers market. Even if you only pick up one tomato plant for a container garden, you will benefit from a chat with Tom and Dennis.

I also hope everyone will consider joining Slow Food Memphis or, at the very least, attending Slow Food events. Much like tilling our soil, Slow Food prepares our world, our minds. I can’t wait to watch my garden and my group grow.

Bennett Gardening
(662) 781-0139

Slow Food Memphis

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4 thoughts on “A busy day for Squirrels

  • May 22, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Where are they located at the farmer’s market? Are they the guys with the excellent leafy greens?

    Thanks for the update. I planted some organic zucchini seeds for the blossoms last week. That plus a few herbs is the extent of my gardening.

  • May 22, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Midtown Terrior is some of the best in the world, if you ask me (you didn’t πŸ˜‰ ).

    We would love to check it out sometime.

    Regretfully our garden is in limbo as our landlord is giving us das boot so he can renovate our house. He is flexible with our move out date but something tells me he doesnt want to wait until our garden has been harvested.

  • May 22, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Don’t be alarmed if you find me creeping into your back yard at night. i swear I won’t be stealing your goodies.

  • May 22, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    Gregg: They’re the guys with the plant sets for sale. The only issue I have with them is that they sell their plants in styrofoam cups. This Saturday, I’m going to ask them about that. Look for the grins. I rarely meet people who love what they do as much as Tom and Dennis.

    Collin: Just let us know. We’ll kick the boy out from upstairs and you guys can take over the fortress. Mama wants to find a place for grapes or muscadines. We got terroir for sure. Soon we may even have vintages. πŸ™‚

    La: You can take a few goodies with you as long as you take a few weeds too. πŸ™‚

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