Injured again.....

Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)June 10, 2005

I did it again. This is the worst timing I've come up with yet, on my various injuries. Two weeks ago, I fell onto concrete on my knees just before going to market. Eventually that settled down, with one knee just fine and the other with some minor, but workable, damage. I had to curtail my activies and postpone any work on my knees, but it was getting better. This is prime planting time, when freezes are unlikely, finally! (notice I didn't say impossible, just unlikely), time to get almost everything in the ground. I was behind already, waiting for my knee to be well enough. Then I did it again two days ago. Same location, landed on only the bad knee this time. Now a tendon is torn, and there are a few other things the MRI couldn't clearly define that may be problems. There will be no working on my knees until it is way too late to plant anything. Most of the sunflowers were due to go in this week. The last two plantings of glads aren't in yet. I am so angry at myself I could just spit. How can ANYBODY be such a klutz? I'm either too old or too young for this.

All is not lost. My sister (who grows veggies) has taken pity on me and will loan me her intern to get all possible sunflowers in, next week. I only have limited bed space already prepared, not enough for all the sunflowers, and no way to prepare more, even with help, so I'll just prioritize the very best sunflower seedlings to plant and kiss off the rest. That also means I'm kissing off all the annual asters. They were supposed to go in part of that prepared bed, along with other miscellaneous annuals that will be kissed off - the sunflowers are more lucrative. I will still go to market, perhaps starting next week, certainly not tomorrow (and me with a bucket full of bearded iris and lupines in the fridge, with more ready to be cut, and my Oriental Blue delphinium and greenhouse sunflowers ready to cut) but eventually. There won't be as much to sell, though, and my planned late-season will be a bust.

The best-laid plans .........


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Noni Morrison

JEANNE, I Am so sorry to hear of the injury. Probably the previous injury weakened something enough to "let you down" this time...I used to fall a lot too b¨t by regular chriopractic visits and regular cortisone shots I seem to have better balance and be able to recover from stumbles without going down. I think part of it too is that the more I garden the more my tight heel cords get stretched out and that is good. Good thing you LIKE selling flowers LOL. Guess you wil ljust have to go withthe flow. Folks will see why you can't get stuff in the ground. (I Am guessing you don't have anyone around to hire to get the planting done that you would have?)

SO get a good book, put up the feet, and read, guilt free! ENjoy your healing time as much as possible.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 3:07PM
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jansblooms(z4 IA)

So sorry to hear of your latest injuries, Jeanne. Will this be a chance for you to try something new as you put flowers together? I know you've said that you've taught yourself. Do take care, relax with a book, and enjoy those blue delphs!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 4:50PM
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Just when I'm getting down to some serious mid-June moaning and groaning regarding various and sundry regular aches, pains, and ouchies you go and upstage me Jeanne!!!
I am so sorry to hear about this recent re-KaBlammy..As I mentioned to you I did the same dang thing this winter past bringing in firewood and it took a good month to heal so I figured you were well on your way to getting back to snuff when you give us this latest bulletin..It's so frustrating, isn't it?
Glad you've got use of the intern and, if possible, (though I imagine it'll be unlikely), take Jan's advise and prop yourself up with a book for a bit..
One thing I am reminded of frequently is the scrappy nature of true the nursery where I also work I see lots of folk in varying stages of hobbling, limping and general decrepitude refusing to give up their hobby/passion for anything..I like them.
I'm rooting for you..

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 5:40PM
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susiq(NW AR 6B)


I'm SO sorry that you got hurt AGAIN! WHAT a Bummer! And other words to that effect!

Couldn't you, this once, HIRE someone to til/prep the rest of that one bed, or the others, so that you COULD plant the rest of your things?

Am envisioning you on a low-to-the-ground wheeled cart, (like ? used in the old Porgy & Bess from the early sixties! ) pushing yourself down the rows----- a planting we will go, a planting we will go, hi ho the derry oh, a planting we will go! Tra la la!

( It's times like this I wish we had SOUND on these threads! LOL!)

I somehow suspect a book won't fill that void that the planting would, but you could give it a try.


    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 8:26PM
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Noni Morrison

I have dreamed of this wheeled cart frequently when working around injuries and arthritis. Now where can we all get one that we can steer easily so it doesn't wipe out half a row on each side..and I think it needs a small motor that works at a creeping pace. Someone should be abl to come up with one for us baby boomers! I Have tried the little tractor seat on wheels and found it too stiff and heavy to manuever. I have tried stools and benches and have trouble getting down and up from them when the knees are bad. I think something where I can sit upright no more then 6" off the ground and with my knees bent slighly and supported from underneath...then it needds to have an elevator position to help us get off it when we are done...sort of like the moterized recliner I inherited from my dad. A Go-cart with a lawnmower motor and a recliner mechanism? Betcha there is a market out there!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2005 at 10:39PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Jeanne, so sorry to hear of your injury. I'd be spittin' mad too but you can't sustain anger, it just turns into depression. So I hope that you will find a way to make your rehab/down time as fruitful as possible. Plan a strategy for working on your Fall crop, ways to engage help from local groups: Girl Scouts, Eagle Scouts, Old Scouts, Ladies' Aid, Church groups, High School groups, Bikers passing through town? Is there anyone around who would lend you an able body ( besides your sister's intern) in exchange for flowers or lessons on flower growing or arranging? Don't underestimate yourself: you are cutflower gold around here! Take care, rest up, make the best of it, which we know you will, once you get done spitting. : )

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 1:11AM
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I too have been doing an awful lot of moaning and groaning about aches, pains, BLACK FLIES, too much rain, not enough, and not enough hours in the day. But now it's all put into perspective, and I am so very sorry about your injury. I agree with all said about getting some help, and you do the supervising. I know you'll come up with something because you are a very determined lady!! I wish you a speedy recovery Jeanne, and I do hope that you end up getting more things planted with some much needed help.
Take care, and at least enjoy all those gorgeous blooms you have. Please keep us posted on how the help is going.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 7:03AM
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Just want to add my words of concern and emotional support---I lurked here for a couple of years before posting, and your love for your garden (and support of other gardeners) has been ever apparent. My sympathies for the pain--like everyone else, I'm hoping you can change your game plan to include more HELP, so you don't suffer the demoralization from missing your late season. I'm thinking, if no volunteers pop up, even part-time hired help--can you justify the financial cost with the rationale that, on balance, you'll come out ahead by maintaining your late season presence in a market that knows you so well?

Many very ginger, so I don't twist your knee, cyberhugs,


    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 11:23AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

You guys are GREAT! I feel so much better just reading your posts, thank you!!! And by the way, I LOVE to read, and my husband just brought back a bunch of new books for me from Germany. No, I didn't fall on purpose so I could read them all, but you could almost think that. I'll be happy as a clam sitting around reading. As soon as I get lost in a book, I forget about all the stuff I should be doing, if I just could.

I don't have anybody to hire and couldn't afford it if I did! My "profit" margin (actually more like a break-even margin) is very small. Today would have only been my third day at market this year, with both of the others not having made much. Plus which, I've lost my income from my nursing job, until the knee is somewhat better. So I have to prioritize what is important and what to kiss off. The truth is that the late part of the season isn't terribly lucrative anyhow. A lot of customers stop coming to market after Labor Day. The summer people are gone then, and the year-round locals seem to have other things on their minds then. Also, it starts raining again right around Labor Day. Our market isn't covered, so few customers come when it's raining. Plus, believe it or not, NOW is when to plant late-season plants. Our nights are cold. Things just don't grow fast here, outdoors. I'll have a few late-season things anyhow, from my raised beds, inside and outside of the greenhouse, where I will soon (I hope) be able to work by sitting on the edges of the raised beds. I knew I wanted my husband to make those edgings out of 2x4's for a reason! 4 inches doesn't seem like much for my big rear but it still works just fine. I figure I can do that in a few more days when keeping the knee up and rested isn't quite so crucial. I was proud of my late-season plans. Oh, well, pride goeth before a fall, literally in this case! The whole mess isn't as bad as it sounds, anyway. Almost everything except the sunflowers and asters was in before the second fall.

Unfortunately, to hire somebody to prepare more beds, I'd have to teach them to drive the tractor, something I don't feel like I can do unless I can show them how myself. Also, it's rapidly getting too late to plant. I've had to wait through almost all of prime planting time. Another week (which is how long it would take to obtain the manure, teach Hanna to drive the tractor, and prepare another bed - my sister still needs her most of the time) and too many sunflowers won't bloom before hard frost. So there is a condition of diminishing returns here. I will be discarding the slower varieties of sunflower seedlings as it's already probably too late for them anyhow. Also, I'm revising what goes in the last raised bed that isn't already chock-full. Experimentals like Camelot digitalis and Limelight spray millet are out, I don't care how much the seed cost, at this point I need to get maximum benefit from the space I have. In fact, I'll be pulling out some previously-planted seedlings to make room for more important, sure-thing ones. I'm posting a question separately about Champion campanula and whether I should pull them out (talk about expensive seed!!). I completely forgot about them, so they got rather rootbound before I got them planted. I don't know whether they are still capable of performing. If not, out they go!

Here's a silly story: I still have the annual aster (Callistephus) seedlings in the greenhouse, under cover. I haven't had the heart to toss them yet, even though I know I won't get most of them planted, perhaps none. Over half of them are definitely too big to transplant any more anyhow. The silly thing is that the ones that have gotten too big to transplant are trying to get ready to bloom! The silly things are in 2" blocks that can't possibly provide enough oomph to bloom. Maybe I'll foliar-feed them with kelp and fish emulsion and see what happens. They are tall enough for useful stems already.

My nephew put a sign together yesterday evening on the computer that they will tack to my stand today (it's already done by now, market has been open for hours now), telling my customers I'm injured and can't harvest, but will be back next week. I promised two faithful customers I'd be there today, so I don't want them thinking I didn't show up just because I didn't feel like it! I knew I'd have flowers and had told them both so. One of them is my best customer. I've told my sister to tell her to call me if she'd like to come up and get a bucket of flowers, free. Letting them all go to waste just seems stupid. She and I have done this once before, when I had to travel to California for my father-in-law's funeral and had a full July harvest that would go to waste. That time, we walked around with a couple of buckets and cut anything and everything she liked. She supplied her church, the school she teaches at, her house, and a neighbor or two. Seemed like a better idea than throwing them away.

This sure gives me plenty of time to goof off on Gardenweb! I can put my leg up on a chair and do this all day. Or read. Tough choices, huh?

Thanks a million, everybody -

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 2:48PM
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Funny thing how a pain in the knee (back, arm - you pick a body part) sharpens the mind. What once was a priority could become a non-essential. You may make some decisions that will be to your profit later on this year or the next. All the best for a speedy recovery.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 4:36PM
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kristenmarie(Z4-5/New Mexico)

Jeanne, darn, I'm SO sorry to hear your knee is double-whammy injured... UGH... Maybe I don't quite get it but last year I was six months pregnant during this season and couldn't work on my knees OR squatting, and I'd always transplant scootching along on my butt (I would leave these gigantic wallow marks all over the place, but if I was careful, I'd avoid crushing to death the other row of plants...). So you could always try this :)

I sure hope you get better soon. Comfrey maybe? Isn't comfrey supposed to be good for muscle and tendon healing?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 12:29AM
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I specifically remember telling you to be careful after your last wipe out!!! I sure hope you mend quickly and are back out there getting dirt under your fingernails as soon as you are able. Wish I could be there to help you plant. You helped me so much a couple years ago when I first started this venture, answering all of my newbie questions, that it would be nice to reciprocate for all the knowledge you shared with me. Just to let you know how out of control I have gotten, I will be putting up a 8 X 10 walk-in cooler tomorrow.

Take care Jeanne, we are all pulling for ya!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 1:08AM
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Makes you re-think raised beds, doesn't it? How about 4 ft. high to accomodate knee injuries? Just kidding.
Hope you're better soon. Enjoy those books.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 7:53AM
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Noni Morrison

I have thought about 4' high beds too! IF anyone comes up with a way to make tall raised beds that don't cost a mint! IF I had more room I Might do strawbale sides. OR if straw were cheaper here! I did plant my asparagus into strawbales when I Needed to move them and it seems to have worked fine.

REMember the strawbale garden at the Garden Show, JEanne? GEt someone to line your stawbales up in the row and plant into the tops. By the end of the year you can just plow them under. THAt is if You can get them cheaper then the $10 each we have to pay!

How is the knee feeling? Hope the pain is subsiding. Have any sunshine there yet?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 10:29AM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Jeanne - I'm so sorry to hear about your injury. I wonder if you could trade flowers for someone to help you? I barter flowers with a few businesses. Most importantly, take care of yourself so you can heal properly for the long term! But, I suspect you know that. I wish we were closer, my husband is an awesome equipment operator and could help! He won't let me run the tractor and rototiller on our steep hillside!
Take care!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 12:11PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

You guys are making me cry! Thank you all so much!!!!

Steve, I AM careful! It doesn't help. I'm just very uncoordinated and clumsy. The nurse who evaluated my knee after the second fall made me laugh when she asked whether I should have a neuro workup because I fell twice a few weeks apart. I told her to ask my husband, my family, close friends, and co-workers, and they'd all tell her it's perfectly normal, I'm simply a hopeless klutz. My fiftieth birthday came in between the two falls, thereby emphasizing the fact that age isn't going to improve matters. And Steve, regarding that cooler, yes, you definitely ARE out of control - and I'm jealous! Now, when you tell us you have given up your native-prairie-plant business in favor of cut flowers, we'll know it's time to call the nice men in the white coats. That, or you're the next Arnosky. Has it really been a couple of years already since you started growing cuts? Time flies!

Kristen, I learned right after the first time I fell on my knees how to weed out the glads by scooching on my butt. It absolutely had to be done - it was getting hard to spot the glads foliage among the penny cress and bindweed - so I tried it and it worked. I left a heck of a trail of flattened cover crop in the aisles, but it recovered quickly. I tried planting more glads the same way, but just can't twist my body well enough (keeping my leg somewhat straight) for long enough to make holes, insert corms, and pat them in, with a row 3 feet wide. Planting the seedlings is even worse. But I now have another row of glads that needs weeding, so there's something I can do. I know I need to get some comfrey. I can't really drive myself right now and I keep forgetting to ask Mark to get me some. Arnica, too. It's supposed to be good for pain.

Amazing, how fast the weeds grow in the cool, rainy weather. We had some sun, some clouds yesterday but now we're back to overcasts and rain for awhile. On the good side, the perennials are growing like nuts and blooming or preparing to bloom. The annuals are mostly sulking, even the snapdragons - I'd hoped they'd like the coolness, being a spring flower, but no way. I think it's a little TOO cool. Maybe the nighttime low forties aren't to their liking.

Liza, yes, I remember the straw-bale growing display at the garden show. Looked interesting, but I've had several bad experiences with straw. Around here, bales go for about $5, but they tend to be chock-full of Kentucky bluegrass seed. That stuff is incredibly invasive by underground stolons and seed - and perfectly suited to this climate. The bluegrass seed farmers seem to produce most of the hay in the area. I will NOT risk bringing that stuff onto my property again - I'm still fighting the incursion from six or seven years ago! Nobody grows grain near here. The soil and climate don't favor it. So the best straw, from oats or wheat or barley, isn't here. Oh, and my knee now mostly hurts only when I'm on it too long, and at the end of the day, but it's not bad, and nothing compared to the pain you live with.

Cheryl, I have framed raised beds, up in the sheltered, non-cold-sink part of the farm near my house, seven of them, each 4 feet by 30 feet by 18 inches tall. And I can still work there, by sitting on the edges, but there is only one-half of one bed left to plant for the season. That's an hour's work, once I finally decide who goes in and who gets tossed - I'm revising to fit my new plans. The raised beds don't have anywhere near enough room for the big space hogs, the peonies, delphiniums, yarrow, phlox, etc., and the sunflowers and glads. Those can tolerate the cold field and have to live down there. There are a few sunflowers and glads up in the raised beds for an early crop, but I'd need 20 more beds, minimum, to fit everything. And there is only room for two more, max. One will be built this fall, the last one next spring. I absolutely love them and highly recommend growing that way, but there is a high initial set-up cost, even if you use the cheapest lumber and metal roofing (cheap and effective, but you have to be able to cut it) to make the sides. If you have soil (or rather a lack thereof) like ours, you also have to have topsoil trucked in and find a way to get it into the beds.

Wendy, my husband is good with the tractor and could help me get another bed prepared, but he's already way busy with other farm maintenance tasks, which I agree are at least as important. Besides which, I don't trust him with the tractor in the garden unsupervised! He means well, but there is a lot he doesn't understand. He is the one with a regular, full-time job that pays most of the bills, so his time is limited. I live out in the middle of nowhere, which limits my resources for people who could help. Nobody wants to drive way out here for much of any reason, and it's not something I would ask anybody I'm not close to, to do. My best friend in Spokane, who is a gardener and I know would help (in spite of a full-time job) if I asked her, is in New England and New York until late June, which is definitely too late. My sister is already overloaded with the veggie farm she runs for her living and an 8-month-old constantly-teething baby. She is doing what she can by loaning me her intern for a day or two, which is how ANY of my sunflowers will get into the ground. That's the best I can do. It's okay. I'm revising a few things and streamlining.

Thanks again, everybody! You are so kind!!!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 4:29PM
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Oh Jeanne,


We all remeber me with the PATELLA TENDON RUPTURE aka out 1 year. Anyways what I learned best is to use ur down time as best u can. Reading learning, on the computer what ever.

As for the plants I had to scale back and watch alot of things die. Prasie God the orchard was ok.

On another note you will find out who ur friends are by who helps and who doesn't.

I will pray for quick healing, Tim

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 11:38PM
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