Monday, July 27, 2009

Taking Cues in the Garden

For generations my family has been growing a stand of bamboo so that we always have something to cut and use for trellising peas, beans, pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers, and more. Below is Tia Magdelena with her hens and the little girl is Abuelita. You can see her bamboo trellis behind her. Tia Magdelena was the medicine woman of her neighborhood. She also grew flowers to sell at the market and baked bread in enormous clay ovens.

Many years later...Here is my Abuelito with his bamboo. It looks like he is gardening in the countryside but he owned two long city lots...that's urban farming. A few minutes away is the heart of downtown ParanĂ¡, population 265,000.
And more years later...here's two of my bamboo trellises. The sugar snap peas have died back and the lemon cucumbers and some pumpkins are taking over. In the left of the picture you can see some of my growing clump of bamboo. Peering through the pea vines you can spy pretty yellow lemon cuke flowers and a lemon cuke that will soon be ripe.
I'm about to go outside and cut the pea vines at the base and harvest whatever peas I can for eating and seeds. You don't want to pull the vines out because the roots fix nitrogen in the soil. Now is the time to replant peas for a fall crop. Well, it's a tad late but I've been busy...

Do you need some bamboo starts? Let me know so we'll have you in mind. We'll have some starts available in the spring. It's the clumping bamboo instead of the runner bamboo. I promise that the clumping kind is much easier to tend, plus your bamboo would be the grandchild of Mamma Mia's bamboo, and that is good luck.

xo!

9 comments:

lara said...

Yes, please save some for me. Btw, I'm very discouraged about gardening and need a pep talk. Can it be learned or do you have to be born with it? I def don't have the instinct.

GrittyPretty said...

Lara, How about you give me a pep talk for cooking things and I'll give you a pep talk for growing things...=)
Bamboo for you,
gp

Cheli said...

Quel,
My Dad, Tia Pety, and my Mom must be smiling about your blog. You are a trully amazing writer. I have been wondering if you would dedicate a couple of hours 3 times a week to continue our family history book. I could come to your house and then you e-mail me the writings and I add them to the book.
Please, please, I hope you say yes.
LLC, MM

GrittyPretty said...

Momma Mia! What a great idea. I would love to! I have so many questions. Love YOU like crazy.

redheadsmommy said...

I have been wanting some bamboo. For trellises and also for making some quick-growing shade by our porch for late afternoons, since we don't have big trees yet.

redheadsmommy said...

This is Emily B., by the way.

GrittyPretty said...

hi emily b,
we will have plenty to share with you too. and when can i see your garden? xo!

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