Monday, June 28, 2010

Experiment: Weeks 10, 11 and 12.....It's Gonna Be a Long One!

Hello folks. It's been a very long and terribly introspective few weeks for our heroine! Therefore, I think y'all should buckle in. It's BOUND to be a few. :P
But let's start off with what you're used to. The garden report and news of the GIANT party and yard give here at casa Lavery.

So far so good with the garden!
I've had to move a few things into an area with some shade....what we have of it. There was some serious scorching happening on even some of the tough guys and it had me worried there for a bit, but between a little common sense (very little) and the NPR "You Bet Your Garden" guy, I had an ah ha moment. The shower setting on the hose is GREAT for early spring when the sun is NOT trying to kill everything, or cloudy days, but on bright, hot scorcher days the water droplets on the plant leaves is simply magnifying the sun! Like when you go swimming and then try to tan you're way more likely to burn. (Um....not that tanning is something my pale booty is really all that familiar with LOL!) I try to water ONLY at the base of my guys during the day and use the shower setting only on cloudy days or early evening. It seems to be doing the trick too. We've got actual produce coming in! WOOHOO! So far it looks to be a BUMPER crop of hot peppers, tomatoes and cukes, with the sweet peppers zooming in close behind. The herbs took a bit of a beating from the sun, but are bouncing back nicely and my pink Hydrangea experiment has worked, the blossoms are purple this year! (More acidic soil!)
As for the local buying, as predicted once the growing season really kicked off it became SO much easier! The New Hope Farmer's Market is really booming now, and if you're local here you REALLY should check it out. (I even bought little Gracie a teddy made from the very first shearings of local baby alpaca. ♥ ♥ ♥ ) This has been a great year for everything but lettuces. It got too hot, too fast for them sadly. But I think local corn is going to be amazing! I know I shouldn't be eating it....but all things in moderation right?

The party and yard give were a smash hit, I think. It looked to be around 85 to 100 people and everyone seemed to have a blast! No huge dramas, no breakage and people brought so much food for the pot luck that we STILL have food in the fridge! Thanks to all who came and had fun, and DOUBLE thanks to those who shared their culinary skills with us all!!! The kiddie pool came in handy as it was yet another HOT day, the fire bowl was drummed around, there were impromptu swordfights, singing and a cute puppy and cute baby being passed around. Folks even brought homemade alchohol! Nom nom! As for the yard give, we set up a HUGE table absolutely covered with things that needed new homes and when we broke down (at about 3:30 am) the only things left were some random stuffed animals in need of a home...hint hint.

Now....the weird random things that I've been pondering....
Firstly, all of this has been making me think a lot about what we NEED versus what we want, versus what we're being told we need. (Watch a documentary called Broke and see what it does to YOUR head!)
The yard give was a big thing for me. As many of you know, I have some problems letting go of things. Especially things I think I may need some day down the road. I like to be prepared for anything. (thus the back pack instead of a purse for most of my life.) It's sort of who I am. But by the same's sort of begun to overdefine me. I don't know if that makes sense, but I hate to think I'm being described somewhere as "Gypsy, you know, the one with the big bag full of crap." LOL!
Hmmm....tangent....anyhow, taking a look around our teeeeeeeny apartment and taking stock has really made me do a lot of thinking....and purging...and cleaning...
However, as I am loathe to add to landfill situations, I am forced to think of alternative purging methods.
The yard give was such a success that we're planning another, this is true. But I want to be more proactive. (As we're NOT planning another big gathering for a while....for sanity's sake.)I have the barter page on FB, and it seems to be doing very well, so I started a second site OFF FB to try to reach a wider audience. Meh. It's slow to grow, as they say. With both sites active and running though, I'm planning on taking some pics of all the cool stuff I need to further purge and perhaps try to trade for things I NEED. Yarn, a drying rack for clothes....things like that.
I'm also trying to save up for the gutted Winnie. I think that would end up being the perfect project for me. It would excersise all the crafty skills I have AND make me learn a bunch of new ones. The end result would be a freedom of sorts as well.I've been in one place for far too long. ;)
So the crux of my rather disjointed entry is this. Take a look around you. Weed out the unused, unloved and un-necessary in your life and you won't believe the breathing room you can achieve! It's almost like losing a huge amount of weight.

OK....last thing. I think I've figured out the problem with research. Medical, tech, scientific, whatever. Human beings are short lived and far too proprietary. Long ago the practice of choosing an apprentice was commonplace, and quite necessary. Many leaps forward were made as the result of an apprentice continuing the work of his/ her mentor. Someone who was there to observe the process from the beginning, or near enough. That way, when one's mentor died, the information that had been accrued up to then was already in the head ogf the apprentice. There was no need to waste time re-learning from notations the progress that had already been made, so precious time was never lost.
I really think humanity has become so engrossed in "I want my name on it" that 'it' never happenes. We live longer lives now than ever in recorded history, this is true....but not long enough to finish a project that takes generations to complete. The time lost in reviewing the notes of one's predecessor and trying to figure out where they were going next is so vast, in the scheme of progress, that it becomes a case of one step forward, two steps back. This is simply my opinion of course, and I'm just me, but it's something to think about.

I SWEAR I'll write little enough next time to add pics. LOL!
(also, later this week I have a surprise! My first interview! Woohoo!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Experiment: Weeks 8 & 9

The sun is shining and summer is here!.....and it's beating the TAR outta my poor plants!
I am beginning to dislike the sun intensely for what it's doing this year. 95degree days in May / June? And now today, high of 70.
My tomatoes are understandably confused.
However, that having been said, I believe this is the best garden year so far!
Over 40 pots and I even have FLOWERS! Y'all should know....I don't do well with flowers on the whole. At all really.
But as far as veggies go...well does anyone out there have a really good recepie for tomato based pasta sauce? One with lots of basil?
The cayannes are going to be strung and dried again, so those should last the winter no problem, but we need a great sauce recepie that can be frosen with no bad effects.
Any help would be GREAT! LOL!
So.....between my new job, Trader Joes and the prospect of lots of great veg from my containers, the local food thing is going swimmingly. The Trenton Farmers Market is also an AMAZING resource! Aside from the logal produce, there's a Polish butcher and an Amish bakery, even a cheese monger! It's like a little time machine in there. There's even a little bodega where you can get Mexican sodas with REAL sugar in them!
Hooray! Thank you for the eye opener Mary.
I also HIGHLY recommend y'all go to the Trader Joes site and check out their food policies. Most things with the TJ label are made in the USA, and if something isn't it's CLEARLY labelled, and ALL their products are non-gmo and natural. We like them. :)
As for the other half of the experiment, I'm doing OK. Ups and downs, strikes and gutters, as the Dude says. I've gotten some GORGEOUS summer skirts from my friend Deb who has MAD tye-dye skills, (Yes tye dye, no I haven't gone hippie....they're just really cool!!!) and have been pretty good about not shopping big chains. My recent purchases have all been from ebay, or hand makers.
I DID have to go to Home Depot last night for pots, but I used a gift card and the pots are for food plants so I think it balances out.
Also, our big yearly party is coming up and we plan to have a table by the porch covered with all the things we want to find new homes for. We are going with the 'yard-give'. We don't want cash for it, just take it home! This way our treasured toys and decorations that just don't fit into this tiny apartment won't end up in a dump somewhere making the planet pissed, but with good people who will love them like we have.
Sappy I know, but I like to think my gargoyles will be happy.
I'm doing some more thinking about the supper club too. I'll have to see who would be interested before I really go to town, but it's still floating around in my head.

OH! By the way....we have defeated both the ants and the aphids this year! Thanks to all of you with the great advice! Looks like the Brussles Sprouts are going to flourish!
Sadly, as usual, I've chattered on too much for pics....maybe next time....