Saturday, April 19, 2008

herbal fairs and transplants

Today I attended the Sand Springs' Herbal Affair and it was huge! Much, much larger than I imagined. I heard 25,000 people attended last year! I went around 10 a.m. and people were packed in there like it was opening day of some pro sport. Only most of the people milling around were women hauling wagons and caddies. The really old women were all leaving - loaded down with their green treasures - and I overheard a girl telling her friend that they'd been staking it out since 7:30 a.m. even though it didn't open until 9 a.m.! Typical old-folk subversive treachery. How I envy their decreased need for sleep!

And of course there were plenty of men, too. In fact it was fairly diverse, despite what I wrote above. There were couples, young and old people, families... There were the state fair type vendors selling funnel cakes and corndogs (a prerequisite for any Oklahoma outdoor event involving more than 12 people). There were also upscale vendors, natural soaps and herbal products, craft booths, and tons and tons of gorgeous plants! I highly recommend this event to anyone in the area wanting to find unusual plants. It was incredible!

And of course, I couldn't resist! I added to my collection by picking up a Green Zebra, Amish paste, Mexican Midget, and Sioux tomatoes, common sage, two blood-veined sorrels (rumex sanguineus, so pretty! Beautiful for edible landscaping!), and a Suyo Long (Chinese) cucumber. Woohoo! If I had more space I probably would have picked up some medicinal herbs, but I'm feeling pretty full right now, in terms of maintaining the projects I already have going. That can wait until next year (or this fall. Or next month.).

When I got home I transplanted twelve tomato plants and a bunch of sweet basil (they heart each other) into the front bed (the study avoidance bed, incidentally!). I used Rodale's method combining 1 tsp Epsom salt and 1 tsp bonemeal and two handfuls of sifted compost. We'll see how that goes. It was really sunny out so I covered up most of the transplants with some dried leaves laying around. I'll make sure to take them off by tomorrow - if they haven't blown off. I just didn't want to add to their enviro distress by letting them get sunburned. I also planted a bean teepee with Romano beans. I've wanted a bean teepee for years! Once things recover from transplant shock and the beans poke up I plan to cover the whole thing in hay.

I got two bales of hay - $7 a bale, which seemed high? - at a feed store in Turley. They were so friendly and for a moment it felt like I lived rurally again, even though I was on the far north side of Tulsa! Two big burly farm boys loaded it up for me. They seemed dumbfounded that I actually wanted them to put the bales into my little Sentra. But they complied - one in the back and one in the trunk. I've heard hay makes a good amendment for clay, so I'm giving that a try this year, too. I'll keep you posted. This is my first foray into clay gardening. Too bad I don't have a wheel and a kiln...

Then I studied for several hours and whined about studying. I've got to get back to it, now, too. Ergh. I'll be so relieved when I can just putter around to my heart's content and not have to study for anything!



HausFrau said...


Q: What are you going to do with tomatoes from 12 tomato plants?

Q2: How did you build your bean pole? I have some sturdy limbs left over from the last ice storm, but not sure what to do with them.

Lewru said...

Can, baby!