Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Farmer Daphne

This year I joined the Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA). So I'm a farmer. Right? Well OK maybe not. But I did join. They have a bulk buy every year and this year I wanted to stock up on things. Especially those that are hard to find around my area. Like the Vermont Compost Company's Fort Vee Potting Mix. I used it one year and it grew the best transplants. My mix does well, but not quite as well as theirs.

Now I don't have a car. My husband does, but it is a tiny little Prius and he took it to work. So I borrowed a friend's minivan for the trip. I told him I'd have it back to him by about 11:30 as he had an appointment in the afternoon. When I got there I was informed that the Vermont Compost delivery that was supposed to have come yesterday like all the other shipments did, had been delayed. One person said it wouldn't come until the next day; one said it would come by noon. Dang. Was I going to have to go out to Natick again? I waited for an hour, chatting with the helper. In general just praying it would show up before I had to leave. And then the truck finally showed up. I was so happy to see it. I had my potting mix.

I've been told not to lift heavy things by my doctor. I have a bad shoulder. But there I was lifting about 10 bags which were 50# each. Then on the other side I had to unload them all and get them into the basement. Ouch. I had originally thought the pick up was on March 12th at this location. That would have been a weekend which means manly help. But no, March 9th meant I had to do it all alone. Next time I'll read those dates more carefully.

That was not to be my only excitement for the day though. The UPS man came with not one, but two deliveries. I opened the door and he told me he had my garden in his truck. I had two packages of tomato cage extensions. And I had three packages of bamboo.

In between the two orders, I was busy trying to figure out what other orders to place. I placed an order for Agribon from Johnny's. And I've been looking through the SSE Yearbook. I want to get some pinto type beans from there. Maybe a few others while I'm at it. I think I'll need a couple days more to make a decision though. They have so many dried beans to choose from. I am awash in gardening wealth.


  1. Do you know how many huge bags of compost/potting soil/etc. I've dropped on the floor of Lowe's, trying to wrestle them onto the cart by myself? Each one came with a muscle strain in one place or another! Sounds like you got a pretty good haul.

    BTW, did you ever get those cranberry beans I sent?

  2. Great to see you got a good deal and now have more local "farmer" friends.

    Does that potting mix keep? I am always worried about that. I just make up what I need when I need it which is a pain.

    Oh, and lifting heavy thing is what friends and kids are for! Hope you feel better.

  3. What kind of tomato cages do you use? Last year mine did not hold up well and I am trying to find better ones that don't cost a fortune.

  4. OMG Daphne! Be careful lifting things you shouldn't. You should have borrowed the friend along with the minivan. I too have issues with my neck and shoulders and can accidentally put myself out of commission if I overdue it. No fun.

    What IS fun is the UPS man bringing gardening stuff.

  5. I'm glad you mentioned the Vermont Compost company, I was planning on ordering some potting oil from that company that is sold by a local farm around here!

  6. Sounds like you will be stocked with potting soil for a while! Sounds like things are getting underway in your garden again. Can't wait to start planting myself. I think a lot of things need starting here by the middle of this month.

  7. Hey Farmer! Wow, that is awesome that you got potting mix and a UPS delivery all in the same day! Fun!

  8. Granny, the helper I was talking to was wishing they had a system like they do in the pickup area at Lincoln (where if you ordered whole pallets you can pick up there). There you pull your car or truck up and they have helpers to load it all in for you. You don't even have to get out of your car. Of course I'd still have to unload it at my end. I guess you can't have everything.

    GoneferalinID, thanks

    Sinfonian, I hope it keeps. I bought three bags of it and will be using it for a few years. I've used two year old potting mix (both the kind I'm buying and the kid I've made) and it grows good plants. Hopefully the three and four year old soil will be just as good.

    Vanessa, I use Texas Tomato Cages for the tall ones.
    They are NOT cheap especially with the extensions. But with their construction they ought to last forever. The "wire" they use is about 1/4" thick and they fold up for storage. They can hold a Cherokee Purple tomato plant 6' tall fully loaded with tomatoes and not collapse. No staking not cobbling things together. So I like them.

    GrafixMuse, yeah I know I was bad and I might have had to pay for it. My shoulder hurt a bit, but luckily I didn't injure it really badly. My shoulder used to be worse, but seems to be getting better now that I'm not driving (which aggravates it a lot) and not really working (it is aggravated by the repetitive strain of my crafting work too).

    Kay, I do love their Fort Vee mix. I tried it once on a whim and now I've fallen in love with it.

    Dan, I will and fertilizer. I got a lot of different kinds of amendments.

    meemsnyc, it was. I think it was someone telling me it is time to start the gardening season. The garden only has patches of snow. Much of it is melted out. Now I even have the IRT mulch to put on top of it and thaw it out. I can't wait until the ground is unfrozen.

  9. The membership sounds like it will be quite useful over the course of the year. I am excited for you to be getting your new garden area underway this spring. All the "pieces" seem to be coming together and you should be set when the soil is finally ready to be worked.

  10. Thanks for sharing the bamboo link...I'll be ordering from them soon....take care lifting all those bags! Don't hurt yourself....

  11. It's so exciting to start the garden season. Looks like you got a lot of stuff done before the actual garden season. It's still snow here, in MN. Nurseries don't open until April 1 for manure and soil. So I still got a lot of time on planning.

  12. Granny, I'm another one who wrestles things out from Lowe's. I wish they offered some help to get stuff in the car.

    I have square tomato cages from Somewhat pricey, but they will last forever and collapse almost flat for storage. I have tall ones, but even so I can stuff one into another to get them even higher.

  13. kitsapFG, soon I ought to have everything, but I have this feeling that I'm forgetting something. I'm sure I'll figure out what it is soon enough.

    Deb Fitz, hopefully I'm strong enough now to lift everything again. I hope so.

    Randomgardener, I did. Yeah the nurseries often don't have stuff until later, but I still need peat moss so hope they have that for me at last.

    Karen Anne, BTW you can get the square cages cheaper from
    I don't know if they are exactly the same but they are close. I have some of those cages myself and I'm using them for my determinate tomatoes. I really do need to order one more pack though. I might just fudge them this year and use the bamboo I have.

  14. Very exciting stuff! Bad girl for stressing your shoulder though.

  15. I am so happy to have scored 10 bags of various potting soils and composts for $2.00 each, reg $5 to $9 ! I went poking around a seasonal greenhouse which wont be set up for sales for another month and found a pile of punctured and broken bags. I asked the manager if he'd like to sell them off cheap to get them out of his way and SCORE! Might have helped that I sweetened the deal with a couple jars of homemade jam.

  16. I am so sick of fighting with tomato cages. They are fine when plants are small but by the time they hit their peak, the cages are always listing one direction or another. I think this year I will opt for either building a trellis support or manufacturing my own sturdier cages. Need to chew on that for a bit.