Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lessons from Squanto: Gardening with fish

From This is America, Charlie Brown, The Mayflower Voyagers
This past Thanksgiving, my family watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show, This is America, Charlie Brown, The Mayflower Voyagers.  I was very familiar with the other Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show where Snoopy serves up toast and jelly beans after fighting with the lounge chair.  It's still funny!  However, this Mayflower episode was new to me.  I had never seen it and was surprised to learn so much about the hardships of the Pilgrims and the amazing life of Squanto.  Of course, the gardener in me had another "take-away" from this episode.  Fish!

At the point where Squanto was teaching the pilgrims to garden (the Peanuts gang), he taught them to put a fish in the ground with the corn seeds, and then dirt.  Say what?!  How have I never heard of this and don't the cats want to dig up the fields to find the fish heads?  Then a few nights later, I'm skimming through old magazines and find an article in Whole Living magazine about how to reduce food waste.  And there it is in black and white to use our leftover fish heads by putting them in the garden!  Now in our house, I'm ashamed to say, that the only fish we eat comes out of a tuna can.  Therefore, I might have to send the kids out for some recreational fishing this coming Spring to try this theory.  From what I've read, it looks like tomatoes are especially fond of fish under their roots.  You can also put them in the garden through the winter so you have soil ready for planting come Spring.  Just make sure to bury it deep enough so the critters don't come looking for fish-head dinner!