Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Uncle Bob - *Farm* report


This is the yearly birthday envelope to my last living relative in Montana (of my parent's generation). He spent his entire life (until he retired) in the same house, farming and ranching. A high point of visits in the summer  - when I was a kid - was the acre of fresh produce they grew every year. 

My attempts at gardening in DSM were *fruitless* because of the wildlife (mostly raccoons) who ate everything. There is a huge park behind my house that is comparable to an interstate highway for providing hungry critters access to whatever they care to eat.

Last year I asked readers for tips on growing tomatoes - to pass along to my son who had planted tomatoes for the first time and had great success. I shared the advice, but neglected to explain that the old plants need to be removed in the fall. The big tangle of dried stuff (from last year) turned into a tangle of green stuff. He assumed they were weeds and he invited his friend who has a Roto-tiller to come over and till the spot so he could plant tomatoes. The friend pointed out that most of those knee-high *weeds* were actually tomato plants. 

Hunter cleared out the weeds and has a nice crop of volunteer tomatoes. Sadly, he thinks he can just leave these plants alone and they will reseed themselves next year. A new concept in gardening. <sigh>

I did appreciate his creative use of tree branches instead of going out and buying stakes or tomato cages. He has a couple large piles of branches left over from the storms that have been providing *volunteer* tree trimming services. 

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