Saturday, April 17, 2010

Container Garden, the Beginning: Seed to Seedling in 48 Hours

Now that Mother Nature has stopped being such a bitch all winter long, and gone back to acting more like a proper and friendlier lady, I'm pretty excited about getting my container garden growing. The weather has been crazy fantastic here, earlier in the season than is usual for a streak of 80-degree days, the upside of global warming. Yay, greenhouse gases!

So anyhow, last Tuesday I got busy repurposing some of my collection of done-with yogurt cups for starter seeding what (hopefully) will end up good eats later on. I suppose I could have just gone ahead planting them in their final resting places; I've got the containers set up and ready to go, it just seemed overwhelming such tiny seeds in such giant buckets! Also it allows me to bring them in overnight if need be, since the Great Mother still occasionally relapses into being spiteful and frosty this early on.

As it is typical of me, once I got everything seeded I felt let down afterward, with just so many cups-o'-dirt to show for it. No wonder why way back when I used to do the common sort of gardening (the less creative, stuck-straight-in-the-ground kind), I always opted for starter plants over seed whenever I could; I need instant gratification, terrifically impatient about most everything, and all I had there were some throwaways filled up with muck.

It didn't help much that the flipside of the packets said I'd have to wait anywhere from 7 to 14 days for the seeds to germinate. Whatever, par for the course, such a long time to sit tight, twiddling green thumbs. So imagine my surprise when less than 48 hours later, Thursday morning, behold... smidgens of green from the iceberg lettuce, and by early that afternoon, also a couple of cucumber nubbins! By Friday, three days in, the zucchini started taking a stab at daylight.

Of course I am happy about it, actually growing stuff already, but how come so quickly? All I can think to attribute it to is the amazing dirt I dug up for planting, from in the wood behind my home nearby the creek running through it. The regular soil closer to the house is way too clayish; I tried it earlier, and all I managed from that experiment is making too many brick paperweights. I can't afford buying any good stuff, nor even the not-so-good, being literally "dirt poor" for now, but that out back looked so black and rich I figured I'd shovel it up.

I'm supposing it's mostly natural compost, really, what with so many fallen leaves, motley foliage and whole trees, all rotted over umpteen years, plus the cow and horse shit down there, too, nature's smörgåsbord. A bacteria buffet, a fungal feast, a crawler's canteen, and most importantly, free black gold for me! Judging from such pronto results, I can only hope that this bodes well for continued growth and production, but only time will tell. So far, the rest of the fruit and veg hasn't caught on, but I can be more patient with them, now that I've been appeased for awhile with some already sprouted, closer to ready for their big boy buckets!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cheap laughs, Fruitty and Igny

The grocery store's dollar aisle! Gotta love it. From one endcap to the other, all the various and sundry foodstuffs with those yellow $1 (or 2/$1 even better!) tabs stuck in the slots underneath. Where this all comes from, I have no idea, everything there is a step below the regular store brands, even.

So I bought this here box of cereal, conspicuously a Froot Loops knock-off of sorts, without bothering to pay much more attention than that it was just a buck. Cheap counts to me, it's a good thing linguistic prescription not so much... I didn't notice until only a couple of days ago that I had bought myself some Fruitty Wheels! To tell you the truth, they weren't even so very one-T fruity as far as taste goes, doubling up letters can hardly compensate for that.

Then I noticed that cool skater dude also on the box. At least I first thought he was a skater except that he has no wheels, so I think he's maybe supposed to be milk-surfing or something instead. With arguably nonessential knee pads and elbow pads, gloves, too, but I reckon safety precautions can't be overdone.

It says his name is Igny, by the way. Igny. I had to Google that before I made too much fun of it, and so far as I can tell the kid's only namesakes are some assorted French towns. According to the Fruitty Wheels box, Igny is a "product of Argentina", so very transnational is the Pampa brand's target market.

Toucan Sam has nothing to worry his pretty avian head about, that's for sure. Fruitty Wheels are a hinky cereal, I can't tell exactly why they suck so bad. But hey, at least I'm only out a single for it, and I'm not disinclined to pay for an occasional amusement no matter how mingy I might be. Clearly it doesn't take an awful lot to amuse me, whatever. I don't get out much.