Wicked Garden

This is the weather that ended 2019’s growing season, October 19:

It wasn’t a great season to begin with, except for peppers, which is a first for me.

 

The seeds saved from Ancho and Fish Peppers are sprouting now. I started planting seeds January 12. This will cause a problem later if the plants grow successfully because I won’t have room for them inside under lights until late May. I’ll cross that bridge if and when I have to.

Number of what is planted, with amount germinated and growing in parentheses:

-Tomatoes 74 (19):

  • Pantano Romanesco: 12
  • Striped Roman: 12
  • Orange Jubilee: 13
  • Orange Jazz (this is a new one for me): 4 (2)
  • Pink Jazz (also new): 6 (5)
  • Brimmer (new): 6 (3)
  • Paul Robeson: 7 (3)
  • Kellogg’s Breakfast: 5
  • Cherokee Purple: 9 (6)

-Peppers 49 (22):

  • Jimmy Nardello: 8 (2)
  • Aji Pineapple: 4
  • Leysa (package said low germ, rare, not much hope for these): 5
  • Aji Charapita : 4
  • Ancho (Poblano): 8 (8)
  • Fish: 8 (8)
  • Striped bell pepper I got at the store and saved the seeds from: 4 (4)
  • Corni di Toro: 8

-Other 82(8):

  • Sesame: 18 (8) – these are tiny seeds and that is the count of little puck-like things they are growing in. There are several seeds sprouting per puck. If they mature, and that’s a reasonably-sized if, they will cover at least 20 feet of ground. I planned for this.
  • Basil and Cilantro: 17
  • Celery, Chinese Pink: 12
  • Celery, Utah Tall: 6
  • Celeriac: 12
  • Moss Rose (it’s a flower, I don’t even think you can eat it): 8
  • Artichoke: 5
  • Cardoon: 4

I’ve spent $84 on materials and seeds this year (spreadsheet needs updating), so if those listed above were all I grew, and all thrived, that would be a cost of $0.41 per plant. I don’t know why I bothered calculating that because there will be more plants and more materials such as growing medium. I will end up paying for mushroom compost from Hazel Dell Mushroom Farm because I avoid growing in animal parts such as feathers and fish corpses. It’s hard, really hard. I’m trying not to pay a lot for dirt or anything else, but our soil is hard-packed and devoid of nutrients and the weather is often extreme. I’m trying to build up soil with somewhat intensive gardening methods rather than raised beds with ideal soil that are effectively huge container gardens. There’s nothing wrong with that and gardeners get beautiful and delicious results that way. But I’m too cheap and I guess I like a challenge.

This summer we were on Long Island, New York, visiting family. To prepare for an afternoon boating we shopped at this absurdly bountiful, colorful farm stand in Amagansett. My cousin dared me to get out of there without spending at least $100 on picnic foods. I spent $90, just because I was challenged. And, frankly, that’s an extremely cheap lunch for the Hamptons. I think we spent that much just going out for ice cream.

Little EG relaxing after swimming and picnicking:

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Still to plant: Beans, squash, cucumber, greens, maybe carrots, maybe a new apple tree. This should increase the return, but also the work, quite a bit.

smol

Sunday: Olivier Giroud’s hair won the World Cup and it rained in Colorado

Those unrelated situations were the biggest news of the weekend. It was a great match. I almost didn’t care who won, but was leaning slightly to the underdogs of Croatia. They were so cohesive and tough.

I know kids are all gonna want Mbappe jerseys now, but Giroud’s hair did its part too.

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Look at the French, with all their vowels and hair

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In other news, there was a 30-degree F temperature drop to 70-something. Some rain finally soaked my area, although based on the smoke that remained visible after it cleared up I guess it didn’t fall on the parts of the Southwest that are on fire.

I had to pull up a tomato plant that looked like it was going to succumb to a blight. A strong plant could have overcome that I guess but this one was small and already compromised by her hail injuries. I feel bad for the plant and, while I’m at it, the fungus or whatever was killing it. I had to remove it to save the others. Pulling it up seemed like a violent act. I didn’t even let my 9-year-old son see me do it, because he’s sensitive like me.

There’s no way for me to know if or how plants feel. It’s not a stretch to relate to another mammal of a different species or a bird, but it’s a little more of a challenge to try to get inside the head of a fish or reptile. Understanding beings from the plant kingdom – the other kingdom – requires some real outside-the-box thinking. I know they don’t have a nervous system like mammals do, but they are living. I love them, raise them and eat them, which is a relationship many people have with some mammals and birds. I only eat plants, because I have to eat something. I feel like I owe them respect and stewardship, and I’m not sure how benevolent it really is for me to raise them up to die in the winter. Well, some don’t die, and virtually all of them live on via their seeds.

 

Having written all that, I still find this article about plant abuse hilarious.