Back home. The trip to Lake Waccamaw has become much shorter since two parts of the I-74 corridor has opened around the two-lane 220 through Ellerbe and the two-lane old 74 near Lumberton. I feel sorry for the produce stands and antique stores in Ellerbe, but I won’t miss the old 74 route at all. I’ve nearly gotten in a serious wreck three times there, one of which would have likely involved a horse.

Took a nap, dressed in long-sleeved white shirt and white capris to pick butterbeans and field peas. I still took out four mosquitoes with one hand slap on my calf, so I guess I’ll either have to wear long pants and socks or resort to bug spray.

We are getting some of the volunteer cherry tomatoes and they’re great. One is a grape type tomato that I suspect originated with some Juliets that I planted a few years ago. The other is obviously an ancestor of Sungold. It looks the same but doesn’t have quite the same smoky taste.

Part of my permaculture philosophy is to encourage volunteers whenever possible. If I ever have part of an old packet of seeds I scatter them to the winds rather than throw them out. I learn interesting things about plants from volunteers. One early spring before frost I had a watermelon come up beside a cement block. That’s when I started using bricks and cement blocks to retain heat around some plants in the winter.

Of course if you till, you don’t get the joy of volunteers unless you’re very lucky and/or very careful.

There was a great article about urban gardening and local food on the front page of the News and Record Sunday that featured Bobbe Wright, Gratia’s husband!

I made three books at the lake. I’m being lazy tonight, but I’ll try to get a few more done for the Art Oasis.