Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Spring Planting Planning

Spring has sprung, maybe, here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere.  The signs are everywhere, to include the roller-coaster ride of temperature changes.   The Colonel hasn't put away his jacket just yet, even though most days he finds himself working in short sleeves by mid-day.

And, there is plenty to keep the Colonel busy this time of year.  The next five months are critical to the well-being of all--flora, fauna, and folks alike--here aboard Eegeebeegee.  There are trees to plant; fields to mow, spray, and disc; and the garden plot to prepare for 'maters, 'taters, squash, peppers, peas, and okra.  

A quarter acre plot back in the bottom below the Big House has been limed and disced and will be planted in sweet corn and pole beans in another week or so.  The Colonel is going to try to go a bit native this year and plant non-hybrid sweet corn.  He's ordered Golden Bantam corn seed and hopes to save enough seed to remain self-sufficient in future years.  When the corn is up half a foot or so, the Colonel plans to plant Kentucky Blue pole beans next to each stalk.  The theory is that the corn and beans will enjoy a symbiotic relationship.  The corn will give the pole beans support and the beans will fix nitrogen for the corn.

The Colonel realizes that the Mississippi State and LSU products among the dozen (readership is increasing near-exponentially) of you who regularly waste rod and cone time perusing posts hereon may have difficulty understanding some of the words in the last two sentences of the preceding paragraph.  The Colonel will break it down Barney-style for you:

Symbiotic:  supporting and being supported by (Example:  The University of Alabama football team and the SEC officials at every Ole Miss--Alabama football game.)

Nitrogen:  chemical element common on the planet essential for growth (LSU grads should not confuse with the term "not your gin").

Pole:  stick    

Perhaps the greatest excitement here at the capital of the Tallahatchee Free State this spring is the potential for the significant increase in the size of the Colonel's Hen Herd.  One of the hens has gone broody.  She's been setting on a clutch of a dozen eggs for over a week.  Despite the fact that at the ROI cost of $5 per egg leaving a dozen uncollected is a great sacrifice; and without counting the Colonel's hens' chicks before they hatch (Hey, that would make for a sage saying, wouldn't it?), the sacrifice might actually be worth it--if it means growing the herd.  

With the Colonel's luck, the hatch will be all roosters.   
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