Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekend Warrior

Cleome Thought I'd better log on and update the blog -- it's been a busy busy week! Where do I start?

My brand new dryer died on me this week. I started a load about two hours before I went to bed and the dryer was still going when Alan got up for work! THANKFULLY the dryer is still under warranty and I saved the receipt! Tomorrow we get it serviced! (I always get a panicky feeling whenever my washer/dryer's act up -- Nothing I loathe more than laundromats!)
Malabar needs transplanting! (I said that about a week ago but just haven't done it yet! The Morning Glories are soooo ready to vine, that their tiny tentacles are reaching out to grab onto EVERYTHING!) (((Hint to self: TRANSPLANT!!)))
Yes, I picked up Mr. Owl at the store this weekend. His head wobbles and I move him around everytime I go outside or think about it. This keeps the squirrels and birds from thinking he's fake. Pamela asked me this morning if I had moved him from the steps and I gave her a poker face and said... No???.... (I couldn't fool her though.)

Okay, so anyways, this weekend, while Josh watched Pamela for us, Alan and I went to Academy so I could purchase my brand new shotgun. The one I fell in love with was the 20 gauge Remington model... Oh la la! Love at first sight, and $100 more than I had wanted to pay. After the background check and redtape, I walked outdoors with my shotgun. (Is it weird if a person hugs their gun?)

So let me set things straight: The whole time I was in the store, I was discussing ammo for the shotgun... The clerk kept saying which was better for "killing"... The thing is -- I'm not interested in "killing" anyone. It's only for self-defense and for SPORT. I'm starting to like going to the gun range and target practicing - even though I don't shoot worth a flip. For example: While target practicing with our pistol, Alan had two targets on top of one another -- mine was the green, his was the red... I did an awesome job of staying on the target... BUT, I was aiming for MY target and hitting Alan's!!

That evening, we shared another potluck at the farm and fished, but it was HUMID! Not sure how much I can take of this 100 degree weather. Let me tell you how bad it is...
I went to the store to buy a new water sprinkler for our (fast turning yellow) lawn and the store was completely SOLD OUT -- in fact, all area wide stores are SOLD OUT!

I've been thinking a lot about my garden and Alan and I decided to plant additional gardens in the area behind our pool that is good and sunny. We plan to dig up my Canna's and transfer them to the front yard, along with two banana trees. On top of that, uproot some bamboo-like tall grass. I've decided on a raised garden bed, so I'll have to hunt for some lumber.

I've also been researching on HEIRLOOM seeds and plan to start growing nothing but HEIRLOOM vegetables, this way I can cultivate my own for each growing season. I no longer wish to purchase HYBRID vegetable seeds and pay homage to the genetically altered food/chemical giant - MONSANTO. Have you researched Monsanto any? Check it out - this evil company is what will eventually control our food supply - which they are already driving farmers out of business. In fact, the farmers who do accept their copyright/royalty based seeds, are basically selling their souls to the devil. Read about Monsanto. (There's a toll free number for farmers to call, something like 1-800-Roundup to snitch on their fellow neighbors/farmers if they decide to grow their own seeds rather than their contractual deal with Monsanto! Gestapo?)

So anyway, I'm transferring over to nothing but Heirloom vegetables for next year's garden and for the garden I start as soon as I receive the greenhouse. I really like the idea of saving my own seeds and being self-reliant, rather than being at the mercy of the stores and their prices. Two weeks ago, I visited Walmart's to buy greenbean seeds and the store had removed all garden seeds - telling me the season was OVER - (Probably getting ready for the Christmas decorations!)

I found a book on Amazon that I wanted really badly, but the cheapest copy is $95!! Sooo, I went online with my local library and they just happen to have a copy! It's already checked-out, but I placed a hold. Can't wait to receive it! The book is called, HEIRLOOM VEGETABLE GARDENING - Read their editorial reviews!

THINK ABOUT IT: Do you want your own cultivated open pollinated seeds? Or do you want to depend next year on what's available in the stores? Each year, certain varieties are not available on the shelf - some going extinct. Also, many hybrid varieties are grown for appearance sake, not nutrition/taste!

EXCERPT: William Woys Weaver has written an important book in Heirloom Vegetable Gardening--important for the kitchen gardener, the cook, the historian, and any American who might wonder what our forebears were up to when they sat down to eat. What was the food on their table? Where did it come from? How did they get it? All these questions are addressed in Weaver's elegant prose.
But there's another side to the story, and Weaver meets his reader there, too: Where is food headed, and what's an individual to do?

We have seen the rise of hybrid crops in the years since World War II. They are good for the seed business because the grower can't just let a few plants grow to seed, save the seed, then plant that seed next season. Hybridized plants don't yield seed that's true to the character of the plant, so the grower has to return to the seed rack year after year. Buying seed on a commercial level is a big deal, as is growing enough of it to meet the market. A lot of tillable land in South America isn't growing food for hungry South Americans, but growing corn seed for American farmers, and the biggest use of corn in this country is animal feed. Not many hungry South Americans get to eat corn-fed American beef and pork. In one sense, he who controls seed controls food. Or, he who owns seed owns food, and the highest bidder takes all.

Heirloom seed, then, is more than a trinket or curiosity from the past. It represents the chance of survival in the future. Should an as-yet-unknown plant virus come along and take out the American hybrid corn crop (something that has in fact come close to happening), it's the genetic diversity available in heirloom, open-pollinated seeds that will save the bacon. Governments maintain plant gene banks, but individuals can do much the same, and authors like Weaver show how.

What Weaver injects into the tale is the incredible pleasure that comes of growing heirloom crops and saving seed, and of eating from a table laden with 17th- and 18th-century foods. He shares his own history and his family's history, all of it tied up in gardening and sharing and caring. This lovely book is an extension that can reach into any garden being dug today. In other words, don't hesitate with this title, whether history, science, gardening, or a rich enthusiasm for constructive ways the individual can affect the future drives your interest. --Schuyler Ingle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My mother and grandpa refused to buy any hybrid seeds because our gardening depended on saving our seeds from year to year. So if any new veggie was introduced to our table and they bought seeds to get the start then it had to be able to reproduce its self in its orginal form.
I remember ome time saving some seeds from a tomato plant that I liked and the new plant was nothing at all like the mother plant.
Most of the time I myself will make sure I don't buy hybrid becasue I like being able to save seeds.
Good luck with your new and larger garden.. post pic's of it please. I'm always interested in gardening.
Oh! and congrats on your new shotgun. I miss target practicing when we went to the farm. Nice thing about shotguns.. you don't have to be an expert to hit the target..