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I bought some seeds.

Here's my diary about my seeds.

My wife and I,
my Tonia and I,
are buying an old house
with a good sized yard,
and we're
ready to plant a garden
this year.

I work at a Walmart store,
so late Wednesday night,
when I got off the clock,
I went to the lawn and garden department,
to shop for seeds.

I found a rack
of packets of seeds,
American Seed:
Finest Quality Since 1897,
for twenty cents each.

Twenty cents each.

I bought two packets each
of nine kinds of seeds:

Tomato: Beefsteak,
Cucumber: Straight Eight,
Garden Bean: Harvester,
Onion: White Lisbon Bunching,
Turnip: Seven Top,
Garden Bean: Cherokee Wax (Yellow Bush),
Cabbage: Early Golden Acre,
Carrot: Danvers Half Long,
Watermelon: Crimson Sweet.

Tonia asked me to make three plots,
two in the back,
one in the front yard,
each plot 4' x 4'.

I'm eager to get out and do that.

I'll need some stakes;
I can make some from scrap metal
or scrap lumber
we have lying around.

I have some string
to tie between the stakes.

I'm not sure what method I'll use
to dig up the grass,
and chop up the clods,
and rake it out smooth.

I have a shovel;
I'll at least need a rake.

In one of the plots in the back,
I'll put the tomatoes and the beans.

Tonia can check the tomatoes,
every day,
and pick them and eat them,
as soon as they're ripe.

I'm counting on her
to pick and to snap
the green beans and yellow wax beans.

I wonder if we'll have so much beans
that we'll feel the need to can them.

I grew up with my grandma's canned green beans,
always a treat.

Better than trying to use them all up,
or put them in the fridge,
where they likely will rot.

In the second plot in the back,
I'll plant the
onions and turnips
and cabbage and carrots.

That'll be my pot of stew plot.

(Pot of stew plot;
that rolls off your tongue!)

In the front yard,
I want to plant
my melons,
my cucumbers and watermelons.

(Cucumbers are melons,
if you think about it.)

It'll be fun,
if neighborhood kids walk by,
and see big watermelons,
right in front of the house.

I plan to use brown water
from our washing machine
to water the garden.

We use Ecos brand laundry soap,
a coconut kernel oil based detergent;
I think it's safe.

I'm excited;
I'll drive a stake,
measure four feet over,
drive another stake,
measure four feet forward,
drive another stake,
and so on;
when I'm done measuring
and driving stakes,
and wrapping twine around the stakes,
I'll get my shovel,
and dig and dig,
and tear out the grass and weeds,
and throw them of to the side.

I'll get a rake,
and maybe a hoe,
and break up the clods,
and break them up some more,
and rake out the fine grain soil,
and feel so good.

Then,
Oh then!
I'll plant the seeds,
just deep enough,
and water the seeds,
just wet enough.

Then I'll become a small child,
checking the plots,
looking for sprouts,
with no patience,
and so excited
at each sprout I see.

I planted a garden,
at least once before.

I remember the turnip plants
coming up like weeds,
so thick and lush and green.

I didn't know how to pick them or cook them right;
someone said to strip the soft greens
off the center veins,
so it's easier to eat.

I'll need to look that up.

I have a picture of myself,
holding up a tomato plant,
and the plant was seven feet tall,
at least.

That picture is from the mid eighties,
when I was still something of a newlywed
with my first wife, Pam.

Those were good times.

Tonia and I
will make good times again.

Thanks for reading.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 03:13:43 AM PDT

  •  responsible people not having kids (3+ / 0-)

    means you are breeding for irresponsibility and the idiocracy. Think of it like weeding your garden, if you don't tend it all you will get is weeds.

    Population needs to be limited dramatically but to some extent the die off nature will provide is going to be offset by people living longer due to more and better affordable health care.

    That probably means more death in equatorial and tropical regions, places that depend on fossil water to grow crops, low lying coastal areas, places with opportunistic diseases finding new niches and areas where there will be genocidal resource wars.

    There will be relatively greater population increases among populations of believers who don't believe in birth control.

    We could end up with more births, more malnutrition and disease, natural selection for greedy people who take more than their fair share of resources by whatever means necessary.

    All that will do is make the end times that much more brutish, nasty and short.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 03:35:47 AM PDT

    •  I'd rather we properly educate the kids others (4+ / 0-)

      have.  Too many people in the world, and too much ignorance.  Educate almost any child properly, and they'll turn in disgust from selfishness, hatred, and the other negative emotions.

      •  That sounds a lot like the missionary approach (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bigjacbigjacbigjac

        What are we talking about as regards "proper" education? Is home schooling allowed without a teachers certification?

        Whats in the curriculum?

        Do we teach kids how to read and write English?

        How about the other 4000 some odd languages a nurse in a Brookline CHC or a waitress in a Cambridge restaurant might be expected to have familiarity with ?

        Bus the kids to a Masrada to learn to do mathematics with Arabic numerals properly? Include unit fractions?

        Invite an Architect to teach a more scientific version of intelligent design and have the nuns in to teach sex ed or go with the protestants and the missionary position?

        Include Art, Music, Gymnastics, Astronomy?

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 01:59:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have no idea where you went with that. (3+ / 0-)

          I was talking about public education.

          •  Public education is an oxymoron (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigjacbigjacbigjac

            1.) Its a babysitting service for working moms
            2.) It teaches minimum requirements
            3.) Lots of inner city kids are horrendously disadvantaged by larger classes, more disruptive classmates, lower expectations for success
            4.) There is bullying, peer pressure to make mistakes, lots of selfishness, competition, failure, hatred and every other negative emotion raging teenage hormones can muster.

            Religious education is worse, home schooling worse still.

            A proper education would be an ongoing and continuous process of learning how to learn. A good teacher would be hard pressed to improve on providing some standards and expectations, stepping back and allowing a student to make as many mistakes as necessary to learn

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 08:06:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rktect, bigjacbigjacbigjac

              Obviously we went through completely different public education systems.

              At any rate, I do at least agree that there needs to be a paradigm shift to focus on learning, rather than teaching.  I think the better teachers have actually been there for decades, but it needs to be pushed more as an emphasis for all.

              •  My education continues (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bigjacbigjacbigjac

                Compare some of the other alternatives to having your education terminate when you "graduate".

                Have you ever been apprenticed to a trade or trained to be all the man you can by a drill sergeant? Public schools rarely ever get that intense and cooperatively competitive.

                Doing something supplemental to a public education such as attending the apprentice shop to learn boat building or the furniture workshop to learn how to design and build furniture or even getting on the job training as a mechanic working on cars or as a chef suggests more focus on the individuals interests encourages entrepreneurial vocations that can be more fulfilling  than the usual sheepskin and job with a corporation.

                Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

                by rktect on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 11:40:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The DKos community has an impressive number (2+ / 0-)

        of very bright and articulate people who started off poor and disadvantaged, but who have still made successes of themselves.

        I'm all in favor of both good public education and good sex education; it's important not to write any child off because he's born with the odds stacked against him.

        •  "good sex education" is where you learn mad skills (0+ / 0-)

          I agree with every word of your comment.

          I just have a quirky sense of humor, at three in the morning.

          Good night. Or morning.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 03:16:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Congratulations on the house (5+ / 0-)

    with it's garden space.  I've always found that a freshly dug
    area that has only been covered with lawn for years is extremely productive with the first year annuals.

    I know the climate in your general area, so if you are direct sewing the sooner the better before the intense summer heat.  The only two I would worry about developing in time are the cabbage and carrots, if the heat hits soon.  I think that you should have good luck with most of it though and it's very fun and exciting as well as the rewarding taste of homegrown vegetables.

    Good luck with the adventure.

    “April is the cruellest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain." T.S. Eliot

    by blueoasis on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 04:35:25 AM PDT

  •  good luck (6+ / 0-)

    on your garden venture!

    Nothing beats homegrown tomatos.  I simply cannot buy any tomoatos off-season (in fact refuse to buy)... tomatos are always strictly seasonal when it comes to my tastebuds.  Either homegrown or farmer's market (when I haven't been able to do a veggie garden)

    I like that you are planning small.  Once you're hooked, you will start to plan big - especially when you realize how easy it is (after all, you'll have done all the hardwork of getting beds in AND supplies to do this.)

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 04:53:12 AM PDT

    •  My dear kishik, I truly like your sig line. (5+ / 0-)

      I realized some years back,
      that the parable of Adam and Eve
      means that the big mistake one makes
      is trying to base one's life
      on a philosophy
      that includes the "knowledge"
      that good and evil are real.

      The concept of good and evil
      is simply a fairy tale.

      We have community standards,
      and they are different,
      depending on what community you're in,
      and the standards are always changing....

      The most frustrating thing
      is the way folks cling
      to the idea of "bad behavior",
      on the part of "those people."

      Thanks again.

      Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:07:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  :) (2+ / 0-)

        thanks.

        I keep that quote up to remind me (and I do still need the reminder) that there should be no reason for revenge.

        All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

        by kishik on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 10:44:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know that I've ever used a rake in garden (5+ / 0-)

    -ing.

    We've got rather dense, clay-ey soil, which needs as much compost as I can work in, but I've always been able to get everything level enough just using the shovel to chop clods up.

    Watermelons and cucumbers want a LOT of water once they start growing.  You'll want to water the plants daily if you don't get rain, or they'll just be little runts, and cucumbers that don't get enough water on an ongoing basis turn bitter.  Just make sure the soil drains enough that they don't actually sit on sodden ground, or they'll rot.  And straight 8 is a good choice, good for making into relish as well as eating in salads.

    As far as the turnips themselves, I didn't care for the ones I tried, (fried slices) but I've heard that you can boil and mash them and mix them in with potatoes to extend the mashed potatoes and add a milder sweetness that some folks like.

  •  My grandma used to can green beans from (3+ / 0-)

    her garden and they were most delicious things I ever tasted.  She'd put them in a big pot with onions and some chunks of bacon and simmer them nearly all day.

    We'd eat them with sliced tomatoes (also from her garden) and cornbread, which she baked in a cast iron skillet.

    Real butter, whole milk, eggs--all the stuff they say is bad for us and is making us fat and killing us.  

    Funny, because my grandma wasn't fat, and she lived well into her 80's.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories, bigjac!

  •  You might want to consider (2+ / 0-)

    that not all plants get along.

    There are many charts on the web. Here is one.

    Some people think that cucumbers and melons planted together will affect one another. I don't know what truth there is in that, but, I know that it is not recommended to save seed from them in that situation.

    I've had very good luck using sheets of newspaper for mulch in my gardens.

    Good luck on the growing.

    •  I'm thinking those people are wrong. (2+ / 0-)

      Things interbreed at the species level.  While both cukes and melons are in the cucurbitaceae family, watermelons are genus citrullus and cucumbers are genus cucumis.

      A good reference book is 'Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners' by Suzanne Ashworth.  Runs $25ish some places, but I think you can pick it up for around $15 on Amazon at times.  I like it not only because it gives the how to's on growing for seed, but also breaks a lot of things down to a regional level, although with climate change, some of the timing info is probably shifting.

  •  It's so William Carlos Williams! (2+ / 0-)

    I love it.

    •  I vaguely remember reading about him in high (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht

      school,
      but that's all;
      I Googled him.

      Yes, that's me,
      I'm him,
      to simplify my feeling about him.

      What I read,
      just a few of his poems,
      and what I read about his philosophy behind his work,
      yes,
      that's me:

      The breaks in the poem search out a natural pause spoken in the American idiom  
       

      I keep trying to break
      where I would naturally pause,
      if I were speaking face to face with my readers.

      That's what I'm doing.

      Yet,
      I've had several readers here at Daily Kos,
      swear,
      bitterly,
      that reading what I write
      hurts their eyes.

      Really hurts.

      Amazing.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 03:24:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm very glad to hear that you and Tonia (0+ / 0-)

    are buying an old house
    with a good sized yard,
    and you're
    ready to plant a garden
    this year.

    Your last place sounded
    like a rabbit warren,
    with everyone falling
    over everyone else.

    May your garden grow
    fresh and colorful,
    like this diary,
    I like this diary.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 03:13:42 AM PDT

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