Archive - March 2019

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A little struggle
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Tooting my own horn
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Angry Man Farm 2019

A little struggle

This week I am struggling a little.

In this season I’m in, my peers are dying young and the adults I grew up with are dying, well, as scheduled.

The week in bleak:

Luke Perry died at only 52. I was a college freshman when 90210 came out and watched the episodes lovingly and with not one shred of irony.

A woman who lived next to the house I grew up in (where Mom still lives) since before I was born died. She was in her 80s and I can’t even picture my childhood home without this person next to it.

A member of an online community I’ve been active in since 2010 (and lurking in for years prior) passed away. This is something that’s happening with more frequency as the old-guard denizens of the Internet age.

Alex Trebek has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He’s 78. I know how this is going to go.

And I’m feeling like…is this it? Is this the back nine…watching everyone die while waiting for your own number to be called?

It’s bleak and damn sad but I wouldn’t be doing this blog justice if I implied my life was all gardens and love and beaches and doggie hijinks. I’ll pull out of this soon enough – I have a 1st birthday party to attend for my favorite little meatball, Nephew B after all.

But for tonight? BLAH.

Tooting my own horn

Because if I can’t do it on my own blog, where can I do it?

This is the first week that I used reusable bags for my entire grocery shopping journey. (Because I am becoming An Old, grocery shopping means I go to Target and then to Acme instead of meekly accepting whatever crap produce Target has in stock.)

Bags pictured: Froot Loops, Barnes & Noble, Acme, ShopRite, King Arthur Flour. Not pictured: Disney store, Pennsylvania Women’s Conference.

I had the bags for a long time but I never went through with it. Why?

Imagined obstacle 1: I was waiting until I found the perfect set of reusable bags. My bags are from a plethora of stores (the Froot Loops one is from Atlanta Pride!) and they’re all different sizes. In my mind, I wanted the best set of attractive, uniform, brand-free grocery bags I could find.

Reality 1: Nobody gives two craps what your bags look like, as long as they work. And the best bags are the ones you’re actually going to use.

Imagined obstacle 2: It’s awkward telling the cashier that you want to use your own (fugly) bags.

Reality 2: Put the bag at the very front of the conveyor belt and they’ll know what you want without you asking for it.

Actual obstacle: I’ll never remember to bring the bags into the store with me. Like I never remember to use the stainless steel straw in my purse.

Reality: Yeah. That takes time. Now what I do is bring the bags right back out to the car after unpacking. Another thing that helps with that is I’ve started taking most of the plastic bags we accumulate each week to Target to recycle. Since I have bags on the brain, I bring the plastic bags AND the reusable bags in with me.

Also, did you know you can drop off many types of plastic bags at Target, including Amazon plastic mailers? YES, YOU CAN. This link will blow your mind.

Why do I do this? Because I am tired of trash in trees, in drains, in rivers, and storm drains. I’d like to see a world with less garbage … to see a world for once all standing hand in hand. And hear them echo through the hills for peace throughout the land.

(that’s the song I hear)

Angry Man Farm 2019

I had a really good experience with my herb garden last year. I stuck with it and watered it every morning and weeded it every night and it worked.

This year, Angry Man Farm is going BIGGER. You can tell I’m serious because now … I HAVE A NOTEBOOK.

BIGGER!

In addition to the 2 raised herb boxes I already have, I’m going to build a 2×4 foot raised bed for the yard. I’m going to … somehow … wrap it in chicken wire so the rabbits, squirrels, and Murphys can’t get in and eat my seedlings. Note: I don’t know how to do any of that yet, but that’s a question for next month and if I get stuck trying to figure that out, I’ll never move forward.

Last month I ordered a sunlight meter because I have no idea how much sunlight various parts of the yard receives in a day. On the second day of measurements Murphy broke the meter so we are going with “part sun” and hoping for the best.

I fretted over which seeds to buy that wouldn’t give any profit to Monsanto, but after a week of comparing I just went to Burpee and ordered a bunch of seeds. When I’m better at this I’ll go for the heirlooms from independent seed shops.

Herb boxes

This plan is for the 2 herb boxes. This year I’ll be planting:

  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Lavender
  • Mint

Funny enough, my thyme plant from last year never completely died, even with the snow and muck. When it gets warmer, I’ll trim off the dead branches and see if I can get it to grow back. If it doesn’t, I’ll plant a new thyme.

I laughed at my father when he did this very thing this decades ago.

In the 2×4 raised bed, I’m planting:

  • Regular tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Sweet peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Carrots

I’m planting cucumbers into a large pot, and I still have garlic bulbs from the fall in another pot.

Out front, I’m planting red and white impatiens and California bluebells.

About half of the seeds need to be started inside. My original plan was to start the seedlings in the garage, but it’s been cold AF and I was afraid they’d freeze. Instead, they’re up in the guest room in this cute little tray.

and room for more!

How do I know which plant is where? I HAVE A NOTEBOOK!

I just realized the tray is upside down in the photo.

My 2019 garden goals are simple:

  • To can ONE JAR of tomatoes for the winter
  • To have more basil in the freezer for winter
  • To harvest vegetables that I will actually eat
  • To have enough food that I can give some away

I’m pulling a lot of my guidance this year from the Sow Generous challenge at The Art of Doing Stuff.

Next month, I go into the garage and BUILD. But for now, did I mention I HAVE A NOTEBOOK?

A NOTEBOOK!

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