Yesterday I went to Freeport, ME to attend another Disaster Response seminar. This one was held during Camp Meeting, which is an annual gathering of Adventists from all over the conference, and usually lasts about a week. Our conference (Northern New England) covers Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Peter Robinson is our conference ACS-DR (Adventist Community Services – Disaster Relief) coordinator, and he asked me if I would be willing to serve as the conference’s NH state coordinator. We talked about it yesterday, and I agreed to take it on.

This means I will be attending some “VOAD” meetings. VOAD is for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster… response. It consists of several organizations including the Red Cross and Salvation Army, as well as several other churches. Our church is not currently represented.

I will also be responsible to recruit more NH volunteers for disaster response, and I will need to finish my certification, which means taking the seminar I had to miss on Friday on account of Jonathan’s graduation.

Today at work, one of the guys had brought in a bunch of tomato plants that he doesn’t have room for. I took most of them – 16 in all – so I could plant them in my pathetic garden.

David had an orthodontist appointment late in the afternoon, so Va proposed that we all meet and have dinner somewhere to mark Father’s Day. OK! I choose a Mexican place within easy walking distance of my office. After David’s appointment, Va parked at my office and we walked over from there. It was pretty OK! Then I took the kids and Va ran some errands.

When I got home I dug up my garden and planted the 16 tomatoes in a 4×4 grid. Then I got my pruning shears and bow saw and started clearing some trees so my garden could get a little western sunshine. We’ll see if that improves things or not.

I usually only plant stuff I really like, and it never does well. I have failed at squash, corn, and beans (the Three Sisters), as well as several types of greens. I really like all those veggies. I like tomatoes, but I don’t love tomatoes. This is a sure indicator that I will have more tomatoes than I can shake a stick at. It happened in Virginia when we lived there. I tried planting all kinds of stuff I really love, and it never amounted to more than half a serving. And then I planted tomatoes and had more of them than I could eat. We’ll see if I have a repeat.

Today I planted my tiny garden. It’s only a 4’x4′ raised bed, and this year I have decided to plant what the Native Americans called “The Three Sisters” – corn, beans, and squash. The corn provides a pole for the beans to climb. The beans fix nitrogen, and the squash provides a layer of shade to slow evaporation. The squash is also said to provide those little stickers to keep out the bad guys (wascawy wabbits?) , but I don’t know how effective that is.

Of course I did it all wrong. I planted all three today, and that was my first mistake. I should have held off on the beans and squash, so I will wait until they come up, pluck them out, and replant when the time is right (i.e., when the corn is 4″ tall). I have plenty of seeds, since the seed vendors never expect that some dolt is going to try to put out a 16 square foot garden.

The second mistake I may have made was that it’s probably still too early. It got down to freezing last night, and I expect it will again sometime. Oh well. I have lots of corn seed too.

The third mistake is that my garden is too small to effectively pollinate corn. I have read that you need a 10×10 foot area. My plan is to make three more raised beds and arrange them in a square, but I will need three more yards of soil for that. Dunno where I’m going to get it either. The raised bed I do have I made by dry laying a stone wall, and then filling that in with the yard of topsoil the contractor left here when the house was built. I guess I could order a truck load, but I don’t know if they would even consider delivering three yards.

My fourth mistake… has yet to be pointed out, but I’m sure there is one.

In other news, the Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis‎) finally opened today, so I logged that. This is the first time I’ve noted when it opened. Before, I stumbled upon it sometime in June, well after the bloom opened.