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Incoming BYTES
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jeepers Heapers

When you think of a "heap"  the mind does a curious thing,  it can create a heap that contains almost anything.   A heap of grass seed. A heap of dirt.  A heap of toys or a heap of trouble.  Let's not forget that even politics can be a heap while we're at it.  A heap of bovine bull manure at times; for short,  B.B.M.  -- but does that lead to our usual difficult question, " how did that ever transmogrify and evolve into a heap of  B.S."? That's a freebie, no answer required.  
     Let us  attempt to avoid  digression  any more than usual;  the  awakened reader can figure that one out at their leisure.   Here at Incoming Bytes  we make  it a practice not to place four-letter designer invectibles in literary saucy  where avoidable.   --Since  there are always finer ways to express  one's inner and outer progressive and transgressive thoughts, that is.  After all, the English language is perhaps also one of the finest gardening tools in the world.

     Back to heaps,  out in the garden we've just had a heap of cold weather following the unbelievable scourge of dry heat this summer.  In NW Ontario, killing frost two nights in a row usually does it.  Out comes the garden, since the tomato plants want to turn black, and the cucumber,  squash and pumpkin vines all sag in protest after being insulted by Jack Frost himself.  What about the heapOh, right, back to heaps.

     We grew stuff on a "heap" this year, the second annual experiment in advanced heap technology.  It's not complicated, a heap of organic matter and dirt flattened out on top,  voila', an  instant raised planting bed a.k.a.  "a high-tech  heap".  Raised gardening beds heat up earlier, grow faster, and  "provide topographic variety for amusement  where none existed previously".  (That description was carefully pre-planned ). 
     It (THE heap)  can contain old hay,  sawdust,  old composted manure (not the political stuff) and all kinds of alternative organic stuff like green grass clippings, wood chips, kitchen compost, some sand, last years garden refuse,  collectible  horse puckies from the riding stable,  you name it, add it, and there it is, --your own personal heap.  Personalized and custom-made.

     Great system, you'll see,   here's  # 2,  the "Heap 2011 " in full growth a couple of weeks ago, that was before Jack decided to visit.   Notice it has sunflowers on top  for dreamy  sunflower lovers and for Glory Lennon, our official green-thumbed garden zeitgeist,  --and even for south-migrating birds who get to eat the seeds.
'The Heap'   2011  a.k.a.  "Heap 2"

     Not bad-looking for an ordinary heap eh? The vines covered a circular area approximately 35 feet across.  
      "What vines"? you ask. Those vines.  Vines  a la  Hubbard squash, cantaloupe, pumpkins,  acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and a couple of  oddball heirlooms.   They all produce quaint offerings on vines.  Fine vines they were, too!  There were 10 spaghetti squash on one  healthy vine from one plant alone,  --but why describe them when we can just show a picture of those treasures salvaged en masse  instead?  A whole quad-buggy-full.  That was what was left over after we picked a few.  A prolific heap it was.

A Heap of Produce from 'The Heap'  2011

The bottom line?  A heap can be a wonderfully productive thing.

     Sadly, all growing seasons come to an end.  Jack said so.  Jack Frost, that is.  Here's all that's left of Heap 2011, -- but  with hope eternal, notice the huge heap of vines getting ready to contribute to Heap 2012.

     We will "turn over" heap 2011 and compost the vine collection complete with old weeds, extra-rotten old hay, and any fine BBM we can glean from politicos and other sources --to turn it into something  organic and  useful.   Let's grow some organic squash  and such with that kind of stuff  instead of just shoveling it about, flinging it here, tossing it there. 

     I have a good idea. Plan ahead.  Build a heap yourself. You, too, can be a Successful Heaper.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


  1. my kind of post-complete with visuals...i like autumn, for the comfort food...squash and fruits, the last greens...i shelter dandelions and peppers in corners, and reap chicory greens for greens and potatoes..add entire branches of pepper plants for savoring stews and soups..the flavor steams health into the pepper-pot.

    salads of nasturtiums and green soya beans.delicious in the last throes of gardenhood..now converting unused driveway into raised beds (heaps) strewn with leaves and dead plants by now..i may not build a box, maybe it will work as yours did? a warm fall to you.

  2. hi Nadine, welcome back! I've never heard of using a pepper plant in soup or stews, but it sounds good, we shall try that. Also, if you bring mature pepper plants inside and protect them from frost and drying out, you can plant them in the garden again next year too!
    You can build raised beds or "heap" anywhere,using any and all organic materials available, fall leaves, old hay, cuttings, you name it. Add some peat moss and a bit of soil, lawn clippings, etc, and water it enough so it will tend to compost over the winter. A basic rough log outline or box would be neater, but really not necessary unless you have heavy rainfalls which can reduce your "heap" to a " much flatter heap". Have fun!

  3. Oh, I love it! What a beautiful heap with all those lovely vines growing on it. So much came from it too. Just wonderful! We had a rather poor pumpkin harvest this year. So, glad it didn't hit you further north.

    1. Glory, somehow I missed this comment, but thank you for visiting! It was a lovely heap--and at this time (JAN 29TH) we still have some of those beautiful squash, etc. in storage--and still in great shape!
      I would send you some if I could! Thanks again for commenting! ~R

  4. Thanks Mac! It was a very successful heap wasn't it! The year prior, on that same heap, I had ONE vine of Hubbard squash that was approximately 40' across--and gave us 17 squash--that were mostly the 24-26" size. That performance got me hooked on 'heap' technology! Thanks for commenting!


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