Friday, April 23, 2010

Gardening by the Signs

Moon Waxing, Moon in Taurus

I planted much of our small terrace garden in the past week or so. With the moon in Taurus, a very fertile sign "number one for all root crops; second best for plants bearing above the ground" according to T.E. Black's Planting by the Signs chart (found in Foxfire, volume 2, I think). Well, the plants I put in were of the "bearing above the ground" variety, but I didn't want to wait until moon in Cancer rolled around. I transplanted cabbage and lettuce that I bought from an Amish lady, then planted a bunch of rows of spinach and finally a long row of Swiss Chard. I do love my greens! I also planted some herb seeds: dill, cilantro and rosemary.

The plan is to pay close attention this year to what I plant when, whether the moon is in the first and second quarter, full, third and fourth quarter, new moon, and what astrological signs are prominant on those days. I'm curious to see if this works. I expect it will and hope it will as well. I started a garden journal to help me keep track of it all.

What I'm wondering is what to plant underneath the black walnut tree, if anything. Right now, I've left the weeds in that section of the terrace garden, but I want to plant something there. I did a quick google search and found a webpage that discuss this, plants that will tolerate the jugalone of the black walnut tree: lima beans, snap beans, beets, carrots, corn, onions, melons, parsnips and squash. Hmmmmm. I might put a couple of melons there and see what happens, melons or beets, I think. The next really fertile days will be the 28th (which is also the full moon) with the moon in Scorpio. We'll shoot for then.
I've also been foraging, this being a wonderful spring for it. Since poor Fred is still recovering from his broken leg, I've been making him dandelion broth regularly. That is, I gather lots of dandy leaves and roots, yellow dock leaves, chickweed, plantain, clover leaves and wild onions and brew them up in a pot of water, simmering for 30 minutes or so and then straining out the greens, which go into the compost heap. Good dandelion broth and also some bone broth, is bound to help by providing lots of minerals and vitamins for his body to heal with. We see the doctor on Monday and hopefully he'll start having Fred put weight on the leg and getting his muscles back into shape. Lord knows, the poor guy is really TIRED of sitting around and reading. People need to move around--it is how our bodies know we are still alive :)

I've also been harvesting that marvelous garlic mustard and making pesto with it. That's what most foragers tend to recommend doing with garlic mustard as the plant is quite pungent, a little more than most folks will appreciate in a plate of greens. But it makes a superb pesto--here's the recipe I use, from Prodigal Gardens, one of my favorite foraging sites. I just noticed some horsetail growing on the other side of our little lake here, so I'll be gathering that as well for tea.

Spring has been absolutely lovely so far. Nice warm days, cool nights, lots of sunshine and now some rain to water those little plants in the ground. It's a blessing to be alive!