Appalachia Gardening

Planting By The Signs May 2013

May 2013 planting signs

I’ve been dreaming about fresh tomatoes, bright yellow squash, and eating a cucumber still warm from the sunshine sprinkled with salt. Hopefully by the end of May my dreams will be closer to coming true-you know when I’ve actually got all those things planted!

Black seeded simpson lettuce sow true seed


Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

Our Spring garden is going strong-we have lettuce, onions, cabbage, sugar snap peas, radishes, and asparagus. Most of which we grew from Sow True Seed – they signed on to sponsor the Blind Pig garden again this year.


Our tomato seedlings are coming right along too. I was worried we got a late start with them-but I think they’ll be ready just in time. Having to change the plastic on the greenhouse may have been a blessing in disguise-as the new plastic allows a whole lot more light to get through.

I’ve been working with Sow True Seed on a very interesting project-hopefully I’ll be sharing more of the details with you in the weeks to come.

How’s your garden coming along?


p.s. Today is The Deer Hunter’s birthday. Back when we were first married one of his friends would tease me-asking me if I didn’t think I should trade up in husbands. Every time I would tell him-no I’ve seen whats out there I think I’ll keep what I’ve got. All these years later I still feel the same way-I’ve seen whats out there and I’m pretty sure I got the best husband out of the bunch.

Brian Blake sent me his original poem, the Green Man. I’d like to share it with you-and dedicate it to Deer Hunter as well for his birthday.


The green man


The  Green  Man

For Gretchen


quickens! Earth warms to the beam of Father Sun.

thrusting shoots toss winter’s cloak aside:

The Green
Man comes!

Leaves and
vines entwining embrace the year begun.

Soul of the
world, birthed sure as the flood tide,

“To Life!”
he cries.

bloom, pastures ripen, fast sweet waters run.

Nymphs of
creation forth to the summons stride.

“To Love!”
he calls.

A lingering
kiss, enfolding, passionate, done!

Apples on
the bough, we two, I lie beside

One. She’s you.

Brian P.T. Blake


December 29,



Title.  The Green Man: Pagan god of fertility, ripe
fields and plentiful herds.

Line 1.  Father Sun:
The male creative principle, antecedent of Christian God the Father, God
the Son. Cognate with Egyptian god
Amun-Ra, the Great Sun, giver of life.
Pan pipes nature’s lingua verte,
the Green Tongue of birds and dragons. Aries, first sign of the zodiac, is the Radiant Sun.

Line 6. “To Life!”: Jewish wedding toast, invoking joy in the new
generation now beginning.

Line 8. Nymphs: The female creative
principle, celebrated in Greek and Roman art.

Line 12. “Apples on the bough, we
two”: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; W.B. Yeats, “The Song of Wandering
Angus,” of a fairy goddess “with apple blossoms in her hair.” American folksong, “Don’t sit under the apple
tree/ With anyone else but me.”

Line 13. “My One”: Two in love make
one, equal in the sight of God.


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  • Reply
    B. ruth
    May 2, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I sure hate that I missed yesterday’s post….
    I want to say great post and “Happy Birthday” to Deer Hunter, however, belated!
    I was off celebratin’ our anniversay that was on the 30th of April, 48 years! Whoa, that’s a bunch! We went to see if all the trees between East Tennessee and South Carolina were leafed out. They shore were and the mountains were so green it would put yore eyes out. It’s so fun to start out seeing the dogwoods beginning to reach fullness, to not yet there and back to almost gone to full sepal petal…Kinda like driving thru three seasons…I looked for me a bar as fer back in the woods as I could see amongst the thick leaves in the Smokies…No luck, but did see a huge field in a valley, that I was shore full of frash planted corn…that crows and on the edges of the field was wild turkeys…Would you believe that there were no scare crows a’wavin’ their arms in that acre or so…Maybe the farmer planted some for the turkeys and crows to feast on but the way they were goin’ down the rows..I’d say they may have made a dent in it!
    I love the Green Man poem…I love the Green Man…I think Tipper has one on her house?
    I did a small painting of the Green Man a while back…
    I think I got a little poison ivy around his face…LOL but he’s mine and I like it…
    Thanks Tipper,
    Bring on the Green Men…mine is out weedeatin’ down the drive-way right now…Guess we are over another anniversary til next year!

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    May 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Happy Birthday Deer Hunter.
    Tipper: Thank you for sharing bits of your family plus lots of wonderful information, reminiscences, and ideas and so much more.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter!
    I am also dreaming of vegetables fresh from the garden! I couldn’t believe the state of the so-called tomatoes at the grocery last week. Pathetic.
    The photo of your lovely lettuce reminds me to go scratch in a few seeds – should have been done a couple of weeks ago. This far north it would be foolhardy to plant much else till the end of the month, but it is time to start seeds indoors – so I guess summer really is coming!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Happy birthday, Deer Hunter. Hope it’s one of your best ones yet! Thanks for sharing Brian’s poem, what a talented writer he is. Like you, I can’t wait for some good tomatoes and cucumbers!

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    May 1, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Happy birthday, Deer hunter.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    May 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Happy Birthday Deer Hunter! One more trip around the sun. I have a plaque that reads “There are many great love stories but ours is my favorite”.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter!
    Enduring Love Comes Softly.
    Those blasted Rabbits are having
    a field day feast on my bean sprouts
    again this year. Hope they get full
    soon! Ain’t this world just full of
    pests? And the bugs ain’t bad yet.
    Those pesky crows will be watching
    me plant corn today from high on
    the mountain tops…Ken

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Happy Birthday, Deer Hunter! Maybe you did get the pick of the litter, but he didn’t do too bad either.
    I can’t seem to get anything planted in my garden. It has either been too cold or wet. Mom always said to wait until May 1st to avoid a frost. Today is that magic day and the forecast calls for a chance of rain for a week. My tomato plants are about to outgrow those cups they are in.

  • Reply
    Susan C
    May 1, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter! May it be a special day for the entire family.

  • Reply
    clayton hall
    May 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Happy birthday, hope you have a great day!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter!
    A good man is sometimes hard to find. God bless your life together; may it be long and happy.
    I have only planted my coveted peppers – one green, one blue -black, like the color of heirloom tomato. I love these peppers. I might try a tomato or two.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    May 1, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Happy Birthday Deer Hunter! My impression is that you DID get one of the good ones! I’ve sewed lettuce three times and still no lettuce! I planted peas and got ONE pea vine. The only things growing are the onions and the broccoli. But the birds seem to be getting fat.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 1, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter. I agree 100% you got the best one out of the bunch. He is a fine man, husband,friend, and father. He was rewarded with a fine woman, wife, friend, and mother.
    Thanks, Brian for the poem. It is perfect for the two and the day. I especially like your explanation of the characters represented.
    Tipper, it is your good tomatoes that I look forward to the most. You just can’t buy tomatoes like the ones out of your garden. They make the very best tomato sandwich!

  • Reply
    Ward Smith
    May 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

    May may be the best but maybe not.
    ♪♫ Happy Birthday Dear Deer Hunter, Happy Birthday too you!!♪♪♫

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    May 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Happy birthday, Deer Hunter!
    And happy gardening 2013, Pressley Family! We’ll be awaiting pictures, news, recipes of all the things grown in that well-tended, planted-by-the-signs NC garden! Best wishes!

  • Reply
    Charles Fletcher
    May 1, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Happy Birthday to the’DEER HUNTER’.
    I think the same way you two think.
    Read the story I wrote;

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    May 1, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Happy Birthday, Deer Hunter! Best wishes for many more.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 1, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Love the poem, since we are in FL, just now finishing up the harvest and putting our gardens to sleep, not much to plant now as it is too hot.
    Happy Birthday Deer Hunter!!

  • Reply
    Don Casada
    May 1, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Miz Tipper, I’d say you got the pick of the litter. Happy Birthday to the Deer Hunter.

  • Reply
    May 1, 2013 at 5:11 am

    Happy birthday Deer Hunter! Glad you and Tipper found each other! Also, I really enjoyed Brian’s poem. May is a great month, aint’ it?

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