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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Slow Food Memphis