Archive for the ‘Seeds for Seniors’ Category

Summer is almost here.  Tulips and daffodils are blooming and tomato starts, in the bay window, are two inches tall.

This means that I will soon be reminded that I have, yet again, overestimated my youth and energy.  I am still weight lifting and doing aerobics, and still stuck at 11 pounds lost, but I do hope I have the energy for the garden this year. 

I have a hard time throwing out the weaker plant starts.  I just cannot imagine me ever being able to chop up the Mandrake roots.   Since I do like to have extra plants, and thus extra produce, to take to the Seniors in mom’s apartment building, I planned on planting more this year anyway. 

No one is fond of mowing our 3.8 acre yard. A couple of areas of the yard are wooded, so we just leave those alone.  I think one winter day, when the ticks are hibernating (Do ticks hibernate?) I will put the teens to cleaning the woods.  That is, if they are ever home long enough. 

No longer a Teen, #1 is living in Santa Fe, temporarily and is 22 now.  Teen #2 will be 20 this June, and is always gone to the fire department or nursing schooling, or working.  Teen #3 is now best buddies with his girlfriend’s dad; whose house he goes to for extra tutoring and also to help around their property.  The latest project is a “man cave” in the barn; complete with comfy chairs and a television.

It is always a spur to tell them that they can use the wood they pick up for their fire pit, plus, them being volunteer firemen (and cadet) they realize the fire danger of an overgrown/deadwood woods.

Our drive is 400 feet long and I would love to build a Japanese style walking garden on the strip of land to the east of it. The area between house and pond, to the west, could be deck and terraced gardens; thus, eliminating most of the mowing. We would then be left with the area around my studio to mow. I would love to have that in square foot gardening plots.  Thus again, dreaming of a time when energy and aching bones was never a problem.

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It’s getting cold in Indiana and time to clean up the garden.  We now have a bag of little hard green tomatoes.  Mom tells me to wrap them in newspaper and put them in a cool spot for home grown Thanksgiving tomatoes. 


You know those baby watermelons I showed you way back last spring?  They were much smaller than the one above, which found itself a nice spot nestled in with the tomatoes.


We also have about six of those watermelons left.  A few weeks ago I did the thump test and thought these softball size guys just might be ripe.  Today, I ate one and it was just a bit overripe.  They did not get real red inside either.  I have the packet and it was Crimson Sweet Watermelon, by WalMart gardens.  It is supposed to be a twelve inch melon that can weight 25 lbs, with deep red, firm, fine-texture inside.  They were light red with kind of mushy texture.   


I purchased the plum tomato plants at WalMart, also, and it is a shape I will forgo.  I do not know if the label is out there still or not, but they were near empty inside; even when ripe.



I plan on purchasing name-brand seeds early next year and starting them inside.  I have a huge bay window next to the kitchen sink, that will be perfect.  And, on my list will be a small watermelon that the folks at the senior housing will love.  I just have to have pumpkins too.


We have four gorgeous acres of land and I think we can plant a bit more next year.  JRock wanted to plant corn last year and we never did, as the tiller needed work.  I would love some beefstake tomatoes.  The hot peppers did not work too well either and we have always had luck with them before.  So, I guess I shall move the garden back where it was in the past. 

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I want to suggest an idea to everyone, and since I like to dream big, to everyone in the world.  Okay, if it spread in the US, I would be happy.


I like to garden but have always just planted enough to keep us in tomatoes, hot peppers and green onions.  This year I added my watermelons to the mix and I do have about five but I do not know if they will ever get big enough to eat before the weather gets too cold.  When mom moved in with us, I threw in an extra tomato plant or two for her.


Now that she lives in an income based senior’s apartment building, I have been taking a box of tomatoes to her and she picks what she wants out of it.  I planned on putting the remainder on the table in the entertainment room.  Some stores will bring over breads and such and leave them there, so I figure whoever wanted tomatoes could have some fresh garden ones.


But, I only get as far as the elevator, from mom’s apartment.  The ladies on the second floor are all over me for my tomatoes.  You never saw them move so fast. It’s almost like Christmas to them.  A lot of these seniors are totally alone in the world and they do not eat that balanced of a diet.


So, next year, besides starting seeds indoors, I am going to plant as much as I can take care of and take the extra to their building.  Without having a lot of money to give, it’s a way I can feel like I am contributing to society and enriching their lives.  Not only does it help them to eat a better diet (and believe me, they need help with that) but it lets them know someone cares. 


So, how about it? Do you have income based senior housing in your town?  Do you have a garden plot? You will bring joy and nutrition to an elderly person by just planting a couple extra tomato plants and donating the leftovers.  And, when you see the delight in their faces and how fast those tomatoes disappear, I bet the next year you add more to your garden too. 


So, what can we call this? We need a catchy name, like Seeds for Seniors or Tomatoes – no, never mind, that’s not a good one.  Hey, and maybe someone is doing this already.  It’s along the lines of planting a garden in your front yard for the neighborhood to enjoy, like CrazyAuntPurl: The edible lawn…? talked about. 



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