Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I Wonder As I Wander

I Wonder As I Wander...It's the title to a song that John Jacob Niles used to sing with his dulcimer. He collected the song from a young girl in Asheville, NC. He heard her singing it with a Christian group on a street corner, and asked her if she would sing it for him again. "For a quarter," she said. He gave her the quarter and got part of the song and she refused to ever sing it to him again...even for a dollar.

So, the story perpetuates the song, creating more drama. I wonder what the rest of the song was like. Did she write it, and only have one, or two verses? Did she , as a young girl "collect" it? Did Nile write it? My do not no, Sam I Am. Nobody sings it anymore, except my Mama. I bet you can find it on YouTube...along with everything else above and below ground...but I ain't looking.

 I found my scant version of the story on the back of a John Jacob Niles album. I give it to you from memory, having read it some 10 years it's probably skewed...ain't it nice we're allowed to make up our own folklore...or at least embellish it from memory. sorta' like politics and the news media  today?

I was in the garlic patch transplanting garlic slips today. Not my favorite job. Those 250 ft rows take about 1500 plants, and you're bent over for 6 hours putting plants in little holes, and thinking about stuff, like John Jacob Niles. Interesting stuff. Upside down stuff you don't think about but once every ten years.

Then I got to fretting about mulch. Experience has taught that if you mulch with straw, no matter what kind you're gonna'  have to weed your mulch. Ground up leave, seem to be the best, but rob nitrogen as they decay, and it is an arduous, dusty task that take forever to complete.

Two years ago I bailed some hay off the lower field in small round bales...just put the roll between the rows, and unrolled it, munching two rows at a time. worked just fine. This year, Bob Brown gave me a roll of two or three year old hay, which I put down. We knew it did not have the dreaded Graze On spray. I need two more rolls, so  I began to watch as I wandered around for old round bales at the edges of fields. No shortage, there. BUT, the thought did creep into my mind about the dreaded Graze On.

Graze On is just one of many trade names for chemicals that takes care of the broadleaf weeds in hay fields. It's generally know that using it as mulch will damage plants. Sho nuff, it's actual. The plants will come up, and look fine for a while and then get the cup leaf and puny look, and keel over. So, if this stuff will do that to plants what's it doing to the cows. The chemical companies that make this stuff say it's safe for cows to eat the hay, but they also make claim that it can stay in the ground for years...and can get into water supply.

So, I started wondering as I wandered around looking for reject round bales how many farmers use this stuff. I asked a couple if  they sprayed with Graze On, and most said yes, but they couldn't remember which fields, or when. Ain't that a hell of a mess. All this hay and not a drop to use. Oh, I'll find some, eventually. I really didn't think the spraying practice was that wide wonder the bee are on strike, or dead. I wonder what else is out there nobody know much about. Start grinding leaves soon, I guess. Gettin to old or too lazy for this.

OK, I've wondered and wandered enough for today. Guess I stay bent over for at least one more day, and think about some other upside down stuff.

Time for cobble, )pear, apple, grape and cranberry) with butter pecan ice cream...and a mandolin tune before bed.

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