Friday's Weekend Column
Enough With The Rain

by James Glaser
June 27, 2003

We had one half inch of rain in the whole month of May and we had four inches in the last two days. I would rather water the garden myself, that way I don't get any on the grass and I don't have to mow as much. This rain makes the lawn a jungle.

Last year the Department of Natural Resources did a test netting on our lake and reported that we had almost six times the amount of walleye in our lake, compared to the state average for a lake this size. This week they were back testing again, because nobody can catch one. Our local Game Warden told me to go down to the lake and watch for schools of minnows. He said there was such and abundance of perch minnows that the walleyes had all they needed of their favorite food right in the lake and they didn't need people's shiner or fat head minnows to eat. Sure enough there were large schools of perch minnows all over our shore line, going in and out of the reeds.

Last week was real hot and I put a tarp over part of the green house just to keep the temperature down below a hundred. I had a vented fan pulling outside air from the shaded side and pushing hot air out the south side. Now that is off and today it was in the 70s inside the green house and 50 outside. That is the advantage with growing inside. You can keep it warm all the time and if you keep watering the growth is triple that of outside plants.

Last year I had over twenty tomato plants in the green house with beets under them. I got well over 1500 tomatoes and gave lots away and canned, made sauce, and ate many BLTs. This year I have ten plants and one whole side of the green house is in flowers. You walk in and it smells so great, plus the colors really add to the atmosphere. I put a nice comfortable chair in there and a radio, I think that tomato plants grow better with classical music. Yeah, I do talk to my plants, I think all gardeners do. Sometimes they are nicer to talk to than many people I know.

I have been working on getting Northome a covered Farmers Market. It will be twenty four by forty eight feet. Right now everyone sets up out in the elements, which is fine on nice days, but not so nice on rainy or hot ones. Nothwoods Craft, a co-op nonprofit craft store supplies the area for the market and if we can get it built they will be able to have craft fairs and flea markets.

The ladies from the American Legion Auxiliary said they would pitch in and I will hit up the Legion, the VFW and its Auxiliary, and the farmers co-op in the town of Blackduck, which is 17 miles down the road. We have a Veteran's Memorial Ball Field for the kids out at the high school and I see nothing wrong with a Veterans Memorial Farmers Market.

I have hopes of making this a real community project, with local people doing a lot of the labor. This is only a six thousand dollar project, so it is something a community this small can take on and finish. At six thousand we could raise all the money and hire it done, but there is that element of pride a community gets by working together and getting something done.

There is a real move on here to build a new local library. Many have donated already and I believe that if local people put their time and effort into building, we could do it now, if we wait till we have all the money, many of those wanting it will be dead before we start. If we get the shell up we can attack the rest in stages and once the ball gets rolling, we will have a new library in a couple of years. If we wait and try to get government grants or foundation money, it will never happen. If they are cutting police and firemen in the cities, there can't be much government money around to hand out.

Most of the community buildings and parks, volunteer fire departments, and playgrounds in Northern Minnesota were built by the last generation working together as a community. Then government stepped in and started handing out money for projects and people forgot how to work together. Well it looks like if we want anything new, we better learn how to do it for ourselves again.

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