Thursday, May 27, 2010

come grow with me

wednesday i planted three more small rows of corn and snow peas. i think that might be just about the last of what i’m direct-seeding this season. recently rising to the superterranean sphere are the wax beans, gonzo beans, dill and container basil.

nasturtiums have formed flower buds.

one strawberry is just about ripe, but it’s kind of a freaky deform-o fruitmutant (frutant?). i’m sure it still tastes fine.

andy does NOT like it when i’m flutzing about behind the fence and he can’t get to me.

anyone know what this herb might be? it smells nice, light and maybe sorta minty...the leaves are covered with a very fine, soft fuzz and speckled with tiny light-gold dots. i wish i could describe the scent better. it’s familiar, i just can’t think of what it is.

all i have left to plant are cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, watermelons, squash, zucchini, parsley, borage, and eleventy hundred tomatoes. everything other than the peppers and tomatoes have a quantity of less than four, so it’s not much. my windowsills are emptying of all the little soygurt cups that’ve been crowding them for months...they look so plain now.

i’ve started giving away some tomato plants, but i’d like to place as many as i can possibly fit in the yard. i’m charged with growing enough to feed myself, my mom, my grandma, one of my mom’s coworkers and her husband, and a handful of my friends who don’t have gardens. i’ll personally be eating a ton, juicing a ton, drying a ton, freezing a ton, and canning as many as i can stand--this is the first summer i’ve liked tomatoes so i plan to go crazy. it’s basically crucial that i end up with around two dozen plants.

i’m already making a list of all the seeds i’d like to try next year. i found out too late that “seeds of change” is owned by a giant-ass corporation, m&m mars. i had no idea. i’m not buying from them again. here’s a chart that shows a bunch of friendly-seeming organic brands with their big scary parent food processing corporations revealed.

a couple seed catalogues arrived after i’d already finished ordering this year, so i’ve been marking them up, getting prematurely excited. i think i’ll buy everything from seed savers exchange, baker creek heirloom seeds and a few small local seed companies next time. here’s another good resource that shows which seed companies are affiliated with monsanto, the mother of all fuckers. and, here’s a cool, slightly old article by michael pollan about why hybrid varieties are not so nice. note: back in 1994 when it was written, GMO seeds weren’t yet a consideration (i think...otherwise he’d surely mention them, right?), seeds of change was not yet owned by m&m mars, and idaho city’s “seeds blüm” was still blooming with us.

next year i want to try all kinds of crazy weird stuff: jelly melons, winged peas, moon & stars watermelons, dragon’s tongue beans, taiwan black seeded yard-long beans, hardy kiwi, and reisetomate or “traveler tomato”. reisetomate has the most outlandish appearance of any tomato i’ve seen.

this weekend i finished reading barbara kingsolver’s “animal, vegetable, miracle.” someone gave it to me for xmas a couple years ago, i guess i sort of put off reading it, and i’m glad i waited because this was just exactly the right time to read it. so many of the things she describes doing on her farm are things i’ve done, on a much smaller scale of course, in the last few months. reading some parts of it i felt like...aahh, she’s plagiarizing my thoughts, but expressing them way more eloquently than i ever could!

this one passage stuck out to me especially--it’s in a chapter about the beginning of spring, when “We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can’t keep, all passion is really a setup, and we’re doomed to get our hearts broken yet again. I agree, and would further add: Who cares? Every spring I go there anyway, around the bend, unconditionally. I’m a soul on ice flung out on a rock in the sun, where the needles that pierced me begin to melt all as one” (43).

that’s a fabulous quote too, but the thing that made me laugh out loud and nod in recognition came on the next page, where she writes about setting seedlings out in her greenhouse, then escorting them indoors when the weather falls into the teens: “...we run to carry everything back inside, dashing in the back door, setting flats all over the table and counters until our kitchen looks like the gullet and tonsils of a Chia Pet whale” (44).

i’ve been inside that whale! i have a favorite quote on practically every page, so i’ll leave it at that rather than transcribing the whole book. it is a must-read.


JJ Beazley said...

Andy got me again.

My first strawberry has been eaten. It was wonderful. Numbers 2 and 3 are nearly ripe, and one of them looks like your mutant.

Emily said...

yeah i saw your post about that...yumm. i ate the frutant this morning and the taste was just like you described, a much more intense strawberry-y flavor than store-bought berries. i wonder what makes them grow deformed though.

JJ Beazley said...

Maybe they're prey to the influence of nearby humans...

Emily said...

haha, good theory.