Remember when you were in third grade? You’d be hanging out with your friends in the school yard at recess. And someone would say, “Gluteus maximus,” and you’d all laugh hysterically.
That’s the way I feel when I say “hairy vetch.” Conversely, its Latin name, Vicia villosa, isn’t quite as good for yucks as the Latin phrase for big butt.
But I’m not bringing this up simply for comedy value, or lack thereof. Hairy vetch is what we’ve planted in our home garden for the summer. This legume is a forage crop and restores nitrogen to the soil.
While our home garden is taking a vacation, our plot in the Morris County Community Garden remains a work in progress. The previous tenant had planted all manner of flowers there. While she took most of her plants with her when she left, interesting things are still popping up. At first, I had a laissez-faire attitude towards the mystery plants. But now I’ve decided that I didn’t rent this plot to curate someone else’s horticultural choices. The peony stays; the morning glories and lilies stay. Most of the rest is history. So far, so good. Just wish I could harvest something besides weeds.
It’s a work in progress. The tomatoes seem OK; the beets and carrots are coming along just fine.