Posts Tagged ‘Compost’

Some Quick Reminders

1. The sham of the two-party political system isn’t conspiracy theory. The Bankers Manifesto of 1892 is an actual document and a brilliantly devious piece of work that still largely determines American (and by military extension, World) policy.

2. You have within you the capability to transcend whatever limitations you currently feel as restrictions. The fact that situations feel too tight and too oppressive is a sign that you have already outgrown them in their current form. New sizes, styles and solutions exist.

3. “Insights from myth, dreams, and intuitions, from glimpses of an invisible reality, and from perennial human wisdom provide us with hints and guesses about the meaning of life and what we are here for. Prayer, observance, discipline, thought and action are the means through which we grow and find meaning.” ~Jean Shinoda Bolen

4. “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

5. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” ~Soren Kierkegaard

6. “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” ~Henry David Thoreau

7. “I think everyone should be told theyโ€™re beautiful until they believe it.” – Unknown

You’re beautiful.
Keep living.
Keep loving.
Take heart.
Have courage.

Sure, the current “reality” is complete BS, but even BS eventually becomes compost, also known as “black gold,” the richest soil enhancer that makes things grow. We are the change, and that change is happening. Transcend fast and prosper! ๐Ÿ™‚

Gardening in Partial Sun and Poor Soil

Here’s a little photo update detailing our gardening endeavors. As I’ve indicated before, our rental property presents some challenges in that neighboring trees shade the only raised bed for veggies, and the side of the house has poor soil and a chain link fence. Without major digging and soil amendment, we’re still aiming for maximum productivity with minimum effort and space.

We may still add some hanging Topsy Turvy Tomato planters, making sure to fertilize regularly, since I learned last year that without regular compost or nitrogen boosters, the tomato plants yield very few good fruits. Good news, though: used coffee grounds make excellent tomato fertilizer. Just today, I arranged at our local co-op to bring in a bucket, in which they will happily dump all their used coffee grounds for a later pickup. Free and easy on the adrenals. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, here are some shots:

Backyard Raised Bed

Our shady backyard bed has volunteer broccoli from last year. We keep the greens active, rather than the full broccoli plants, primarily because I don’t want to deal with green broccoli worms. The leaves taste essentially the same without any extra maintenance besides the nearby marigolds. We’ve also got what appears to be a volunteer strawberry plant. We planted some bok choy and celery leftovers from store bought produce, both of which seem to be growing now. I have transplanted collard and kale that I started indoors from seed. Those are growing, but definitely not too quickly with all the shade. Nasturtiums and parsley seem to be doing well, though. In the back of the bed, we have asparagus roots from our landlord, and on the other side of the bed, we have green onions planted from the produce section, as well as some prolific nettles and chives that reseeded themselves from last year:

Nettles and Chives

I will be planting some Asian Greens known as “Tatsoi,” which are supposedly “fast growing and vigorous … popular as a baby leaf for salads.” I like the idea of speedy and hardy growers that can handle partial shade, because I really am a lazy gardener. That’s why I love my nettles and mints:

Apple Mint from David’s house where he grew up.

My new favorite smoothie is nettles, apple mint, strawberries, banana, water and lemon stevia. Super yum!

Peppermint I planted last year when I learned it would be illegal in the UK.

Another delicious smoothie is what we call Andie’s Candies: peppermint (or peppermint essential oil), carob powder, hemp seeds, spirulina, coconut water and vanilla stevia. Way yummy!

Garden Soxx with a Southern Exposure

I have partially planted these experimental Garden Soxx — some with my own plants grown indoors from seed, and some with seedlings from our co-op. Those compost-filled, black mesh bags heat up in the sun, so some of my less mature seedlings wilted. Without mulch, I decided that larger plants might fare better. We still may add some kind of mulch, but for now, this is what we have: two kinds of kale, ruby red chard, nasturtiums, Greek oregano, flat leaf parsley, tomatillo, green onions, garlic greens, all with marigolds planted at each corner of the bags. One of the more fun aspects of our gardening project involved my building a tomato “fort” with a large board to secure compost within the chain link fence and then logs and concrete castaways from our neighbors’ patio project. We filled the fort with compost from our backyard, and then I planted two tomato plants I had started indoors from seed, plus a relocated indoor basil starter. My indoor basil is still growing gangbusters!

Tomato Fort with Tomatillo in the Garden Soxx to the right

We have another experiment in the works soon. It involves me creating a few indoor starters of “Double Yield” cucumbers, and then transplanting them outside so that we know which are the right cukes to foster. According to Seed Savers Exchange, “Introduced in 1924 by Joseph Harris Co. of Coldwater, New York. In the words of the introducer, ‘The remarkable thing about this new cucumber is its wonderful productiveness. For every pickle that is cut off, two or three more are produced.’ Very early pickling type. Green 6″ long fruits are symmetrical, smooth, and uniform. 50-60 days … Can ..be started indoors 2-4 weeks before the last frost for an earlier harvest.” We will be planting these little guys under our side steps, allowing the vines to snake up the steps, a tomato cage, and the fence chain link fence. I created a little brown bag and rock “path” between the tomato fort and the steps for easier harvesting. Good thing I’m tiny and do yoga!

Cucumber Spot between the steps and fence

Other things in the works include New Zealand Spinach, which will never bolt, even in the hottest summer weather. I may plant those in some Gardeen Soxx alongside the other greens. I’d also like to check out a few other starter plants at Whole Foods and see if we want to do the Topsy Turvy tomato planters again. We do have two elder trees growing out back from last year’s planting. I don’t know if we’ll get any berries from them this year, though. Our window boxes will only hold flowers this year, and we’ve opted for a moisture control, non-organic soil for those, just to keep them lower maintenance than last year’s two waterings per day extravaganza. We did get some yummy kale and chard from those boxes with our nasturtiums, but they required more babying than I’m willing to offer this year. It’s all about ease and the yield this year, growing the right things in the right microclimate. I hope this inspires you in your own small plots, and I’ll let you know how it goes!