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Well obviously the news that Michelle Obama is putting in a vegetable garden on the White House's South Lawn makes me giddy with joy. Especially as she says everyone, and she means everyone in the family will be pulling weeds. I don't think I can express fully the awesomeness that is the image of Obama with his shirtsleeves rolled up pulling out hen-bit. It kind of makes my heart hurt with love.

*cough* One little complaint I have though is the perpetuation that organic foods are some how healthier, aka more nutritious, than other foods. They're not. The same amount of vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc. are in both types. Organic is less damaging to the environment, it does not mean more healthful. [/end rant] (You can read these rants I wrote a few years ago about this very topic here.)

Yesterday I put in my green beans and a veggie that I am so excited to try and grow, Chinese long beans. Dude, they get well over a foot long. \o/ We actually eat more of them in our house than traditional Western green beans. (Some shrimp paste, fish sauce, fresh ginger, Rooster chili sauce sauteed with them beans? Heaven. Esp. if you sprinkle dried shrimp over the finished product.)

  • Peas (snap)
  • Peas (English bush) <-- makes me want to make a dirty joke because I'm broken inside
  • Tomatoes (Roma)
  • Tomatoes (Cherokee painted - heirloom)
  • Tomatoes (grape)
  • Bell Pepper (red)
  • Bell Pepper (orange)
  • Onions (1015, mmmmmmm)
  • Taters (we're the most excited about these)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce (Bennie Simpson)
  • Zucchini (I cannot wait to roast the flowers stuffed with ricotta and oregano, in a little puddle of homemade marinara)
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans (pole)
  • Long Beans (I have no idea, we'll find out as we go, wheee!)

This does not include the peach tree, the grape vines (I have NO idea where they came from!) and hopefully a soon to be planted fig tree. Mmmm, figs.

I still have jalapeños to put in, and probably a few more tomatoes, because you can never have enough tomatoes. And here's the thing: all of this is just tucked in amongst the flowers. I don't have raised beds or dedicated plots for this, because I can't with my HOA. Also, when you tuck your veggies among flowers, you increase the chance of bees going to town with the pollinating, which means higher yields.

I spent a goodly portion of this past weekend (on my vacation, I know, I'm dork city) talking with an old friend (2nd picture!!!) about how the real dream is to have acreage because I want to grow my own wheat and grind it. You can take the girl out of the apocalypse-preparedness cult, but you can't take the apocalypse-preparedness cult out of the girl...

And we did talk also about what to do when the zombies rise up because he's a smart guy and knows it's coming. *taps temple* You have to think about this stuff, you guys, or they will eat your brains and then where will you be?

Last thing related to nothing, but it made me laugh and laugh. I've been on a Golden Girls kick, because I <3 Sophia. Funniest Sophia line I heard in a while, "Advice for you young girls: Wear half as much makeup and twice as much underwear." And it's STILL TRUE. Ahahahaha. "PIcture it: Sicily, 1922!" I'm going to sit outside with my coffee and watch the bees on my bluebonnets now. YAY SPRING!


I'm a spazz. Sue me. Wait, don't, because that would suck. Also, that's a terrible waste of the court's time. So I found this gorgeous icon on kushi_icons site and it immediately made me happy and immediately made me sad. 16 years ago I moved out West to live among My People (turned out? not so much my people after all) but I lived in the mountains for years and I miss them so much. This is where I met the BFF and we practically lived in Zion's National Park. We'd go hiking along the river, find a cliff, strip off our sweaty, dusty togs, and go jumping in. We'd float down the river otter style, our feet out in front of us, bouncing off the rocks. (Better than your head, right?)

In the summer during college I worked in the Tetons National Park, just a short hike from Hidden Falls. Moving water is what I'm talking about. Mossy boulders that fell from thousands of feet up, now partly covered with pines and scrub brush, little eddies with a leaf swirling at the base, the feel of bare feet gripping the lichens that take hundreds of years to form a proper colony... I mentioned that I live in Texas, right? We have that stuff, just not where I live. And nothing like the mountains of Wyoming or Utah. (And as a child we spent a goodly portion of our summers in those mountains at my Grandma's.)

There's a part of me that almost resents growing up. I can play with my children (Emily and I made worm hotels yesterday) but there's nothing like being a child, walking into the woods, and spending hours making little people out of sticks and leaves, building mossy-roofed stone houses for them, and imagining trolls and fairies and all sorts of things living in those woods. I spent almost all of my childhood in my head, mostly because what was happening around me was so unpleasant. (Yes, Pan's Labyrinth did a number on me because YES. I identify a lot with that concept.)

I want The Dark Crystal to be real. I want to finally go visit dovil and see the hobbits that caper about the New Zealand mountains like sheep. (Wait, those are just sheep, aren't they? Har. EH, we'll drink until they look like hobbits, knowing us.) When my dog barks at random places in the house, I want to believe that there is a whole colony of Fraggles in a hidden rocky cave with an entrance in my pantry.

*SIGH* Spring gets me wistful. And so... I garden. I'll just spend the afternoon imagining pill bugs are little tanks for weetiny creatures, I guess.

Comments

( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
dwivian
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
There is the argument that organic foods won't be full of pesticides or additives as part of their management or harvest... won't that make them healthier? What is the acceptable level of bug-spray in a corn casserole?
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:17 pm (UTC)
Well, not really (and I just saw that I didn't link back to that rant, about to be fixed.) The use of pesticides is actually HIGHLY controlled. It's all broken down by the time the consumer purchases it and eats it, so you're not ingesting pesticides. I'm sure there's a shady outfit out there somewhere that isn't following protocol, but it's rare. "Silent SPring" did a LOT of damage to farmers, and most of it is just scare tactics. Mind, I'm an organic gardener, but not because it makes my food have higher concentrations of vitamins, because it doesn't. It's just easier on the native wildlife, which I'm in support of.

The problem with pesticides is the effect they have on birds, native plants, etc. It's not doing anything to YOU. (and the biggest waste of money is on organic bananas. Are you eating the peel?)
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thebratqueen
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
I gleed when I read about the garden, GLEED.
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC)
I LOVE THE GARDEN, BB. Love it. And your icon makes me want to smoosh it to my bewbs. BOONEES!!
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azryal
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
I get you on the water thing. Moving water is my peace. I live between the ocean and a river, and can't imagine being somewhere with no water. Just visiting places like Nashville was enough to convince me that I need to be near the water. That park you speak of sounds like a peice of Heaven, and I've just added it to places I want to explore someday.

I also grew up near the woods, in the boondocks, to be exact. I remember the sun through the trees and birds calling, and filling my shirttail with blackberries (who cares about stains when there are fresh blackberries?).

Your entry is killing me.

Hugs and thanks for the wist.

Mae
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
I never thought I was an ocean person, because I was all about rivers and streams. But that peaceful sound of waves crashing... Living where I could have both would be utter paradise.

I cannot recommend the Tetons or Zions ENOUGH. They are my happiest places on the earth. I honestly can't pick between the two. The former is just woodland mountainous paradise and the latter is the desert in all its shining, red-rocked glory. <3 <3 <3

Fresh blackberries!! Now I want to crawl into the book "Blueberries for Sal" and eat fresh berries all day long. Sigh.
samwe1
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
It's great and all that Obama is getting out there with the fam pulling weed...

But what about the reason he is in the White House... you know, that important job of.... say... running the country? Just saying....

Also... my mom is putting in a garden... and I hate gardening. :/
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
? Uh, sorry, I'm having a hard time with your second comment. Obviously the man isn't dropping out of work just to putter in the frickin' garden.
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minstrel666
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
Chinese long beans. Dude, they get well over a foot long. \o/

Must... resist... making... penis... joke...
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
AHAHAHAHA. Um, haven't we met? (Internet met, but you know what I mean.)

Dick jokes are ALWAYS welcome here.
ruthless1
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
I have a gardening question. Can you do that sort of flower/vegetable thing in big pots? I live in a 17 unit building and we just have giant pots. Would they be too small to mix and match? We dedicated two pots last year to a rosemary bush and one to basil. I wonder if we could sneak in some peppers or something with the flowers?
The rest of your post was just lovely. We had a fort in a patch of forest when I was really young. In Alabama - the trees were big enough to climb. When we moved to Colorado I kept asking my mother if the trees here were sick! Gotta love that desert climate!
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, you can TOTALLY garden in pots, that's what I used to do back when I was a young mom living in an apartment. There are lots of great books about it - look for things called "square gardening." That means growing things in one square foot. You can grow a "pizza pot" with basil, oregano, tomatoes, etc. or a "salsa pot" with tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic, and jalapenos. Go for it! Just keep in mind that pots will need to be watered often to keep everything thriving.

Oh, those big ol' southern trees. Live oaks? Mulberries? Magnolias? I loved my skinned knees of youth.
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bastardsnow
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
FREE BILL STICKERS
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
HE'S INNOCENT, I TELLS YA!
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stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
HURRAH! Mmmmm, fresh food. There's nothing like fresh off the bush berries. (That's what she said. Wait, that didn't work...) My aunt, the one that now hates me (sad face) used to have a raspberry bush that grew along half of her fence (it was a looooong fence.) Goldens and reds, and all for the picking. So good.

Hahahahahahha. Organic avocados. Because you eat the peel? What?!

SPRING! It's so beautiful here today, I can't stand it. I wish I could read my computer screen out side...
solipsiae
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:38 pm (UTC)
And here's the thing: all of this is just tucked in amongst the flowers. I don't have raised beds or dedicated plots for this, because I can't with my HOA. Also, when you tuck your veggies among flowers, you increase the chance of bees going to town with the pollinating, which means higher yields.

I never knew this. Storing this away in my mental files - thanks!
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
Yep! Then you also won't have that real boring looking set of rows, etc. (Keep in mind that *I* don't find it boring, but I know others do.)

I'm waiting another week for all these buds to pop open for picspam of my garden. It's making me so happy to sit on my bench and just LOOK and SMELL. <3 <3 <3

HI BB! *smooch*
tabaqui
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, man. Growing up, we had two Macintosh apple trees, and those apples...gods. So freakin' good. I loved going out and just picking one, eating it as i walked along. I probably ate more apples then than any other time of my life. Nothing tastes the same.

And going for walks in the woods and eating ripe blackberries, or persimmons!
Wonderful.

I miss the ocean, too - we used to go to Hampton Beach in NH every year, and Cat and i lived near Seattle and spent a lot of time on the coast/along the Sound while we were there.
*sigh*
*pines*
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Oh man, fresh apples!! My uncle had an apple orchard and would send every one in the family jugs of homemade apple juice and cider. I've still never had anything as good.

You know what? I don't think I've ever had a persimmon!! They're not grown here. What's up with that? I'll have to remedy that ASAP.

Oh, the ocean. Just lying on the beach, warm and peaceful with that wonderfully repetitive crashing and sucking back sound. BLISS.
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stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know that book!! And I'm with you: anything that makes people fear science and automatically decide that technology is bad drives me batty. *cough* Like people's knee-jerk reactions to genetically modified foods, for example. What a luxury to want to keep beneficial foods from starving nations because you have qualms about what it could "potentially" become.... Bleh.
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stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
Don't be shy, comment any time. I love having conversations here, so pipe up when you have something to say, yo.

*pats a spot on the bench*
sealwhiskers
Mar. 20th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
I love me some Sofia, and I still love her Sicily stories so much!
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 05:08 pm (UTC)
I still love to catch that show. Rose and Sophia are my faves.
entrenous88
Mar. 20th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
Awww, enjoy the gardening and cultivating beauty!
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)
I will, I will! Oh, your icon is so filled with joy and SUNSHINE. <3 <3 <3 You always have the best, Jerry, the best!! ;)
abusing_sarcasm
Mar. 20th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
I want to put in a garden this spring! But I have NO clue what I'm doing, and I live in Michigan, so I can't steal your tips. :(

But I'm gonna do it... I want my own taters!!!!
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
But you can steal a lot of my tips! you just have to adapt the plants to the ones best suited for your climate. Get on google and locate your local extension agency. 1. it's free and 2. it's nothing but How To Grow Things.

Scootch, Magootch!
julia_here
Mar. 20th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
I'm going slightly nuts here about getting the garden going; the weather's been so bad (SNOW! Stoney, it keeps dumping snow on me! UGH!) that the first three days of any clear spell are spent doing laundry like a fiend, and I am running out of the ability to keep going every daylight hour like I did in my forties. I'm going to try to get all the pruning tools in and sharpened today, and then hope tomorrow or Sunday the weather will be good enough that I can poke the XYs with sharp sticks and have them pick up the crap that's been blowing around in the windstorms the last couple of weeks.

Julia, it would help if the younger XY has not hit that post-adolescent wall where he's figured out life is not really going to get to be easy and automatic, and is in a seriously unproductive funk.
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
I say it every year, but I just don't know how y'all can live up north. I'd rather be hot than cold, that's for sure. Oy.
judetwee
Mar. 20th, 2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
Poor Bill Stickers has been on the run since the 1880s. Why must he be persecuted so?

For a second, I thought you were growing tater tots in your garden. XD Once again, I have proven to myself that I'm an idiot.
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 06:49 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, that's exactly what I'm joking about. :D POOR BILL!!

Tater tots! If only... Hee.
a_mistletoe
Mar. 20th, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)
Not apropos of the garden, except elliptically, but I think you're growing the giant beans to beat off the zombies, or maybe as an alternative food to brains. Once again Stoney saves the world. Woot!
stoney321
Mar. 20th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
My secret is out! My hope is to keep them as a back up in case I run out of arrows. :D
irishrose1
Mar. 20th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
I've decided I'm going to put in a small garden this year. I'm still waiting for the mesquite to give me the sign. (I've been sternly warned by the older ladies that I MUST wait for this to happen or my garden is doomed to frost and freeze! Doomed I tell you, doooomed!)

Perhaps you can clear this up, I was also instructed that I should use heirloom seeds if at all possible. What's the difference? I'd love tomatoes but it seems that everyone tells me they only grow well in hanging baskets here.

I'm also going to figure out a rainwater catch system, because my flowers always look better with rain than my 100% chlorine city water. I assume it'll do the same for my munchies.

I always go for the natural insect remedies. We have horrible aphid populations here. And those big giant tomato horned worms love tomatoes and squash plants here. But the birds are plentiful for keeping those in check. We just buy nice bugs to eat the aphids! Now, if I could just figure out how to control the darn fleas!

Anywho, yes, fruit and veggies. (And hey! I knew about the flowers amongst! Woot! At least I remember something from 20 years ago.) Need to get with the local extension for a soil analysis. You know, something other than "crappy". Gotta love West Texas soil. Or well, not. ;}

Edited at 2009-03-20 11:21 pm (UTC)
a2zmom
Mar. 21st, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
garden!

still too cold here though.
milaya36
Mar. 21st, 2009 01:43 am (UTC)
The term "organic" whatever always irks my inner chemist (read: all of me) because what, am I going to be buying inorganic collard greens instead? Yeah, yeah, I know it has entered common cultural use, blah blah blah. It still bugs me.
stoney321
Mar. 21st, 2009 03:15 am (UTC)
ME. TOO.

I love the use of "natural" too. As if something can possibly be unnatural - if it's made with stuff that exists on earth, if you turn THAT stuff into something... You catch me. :)
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chrryblssmninja
Mar. 21st, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
You have to think about this stuff, you guys, or they will eat your brains and then where will you be?

BE PREPARED.
pluckygirl
Mar. 21st, 2009 09:36 am (UTC)
I know this is completely OT but do you think you're going to see Knowing? Without going to much into the spoiler stuff it's religious... some are saying just good ole fashion Christian while others are saying it has Mormon theology all over it. I was only a convert for four years so I remember maybe 10% or so of what I learned. I wanted to see if you were seeing it so that I could hear your opinion. Again sorry for the out there random comment/question.

Oh... and what's a worm hotel? Is it anything like an ant farm?
tricksterquinn
Mar. 22nd, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
Last summer, just before I left Utah, the exboyfriend took me to Zions and we walked up into the Narrows (...well, ok, not to the point where they become truly narrow, but it a drizzly day and we were wary of flash floods) and it was gorgeous. I would love to go back there some days.

I'm sorry your missing it. That's rough. I know how hard I found living in Salt Lake and aching for rain. And here I miss the ocean, but at least I've got rivers.
soundingsea
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
the real dream is to have acreage because I want to grow my own wheat and grind it. You can take the girl out of the apocalypse-preparedness cult, but you can't take the apocalypse-preparedness cult out of the girl...

Your veggies-among-flowers sound awesome, but you should totally get that wheat going someday. How cool would that be? *daydreams*

Also, nothing wrong with preparing for the apocalypse! Those zombies could rise any moment now. ;)
stoney321
Mar. 26th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
Can you imagine having your own wheat?? My aunt bought whole grains every year (side note, remember the Roller Mills in the movie Footloose? Those are grain silos the LDS church owns to sell to their members. It's also a stone's throw from my g-ma's house. I digress.)

You need 10 feet by 10 feet for wheat, corn, those kind of wind-pollinated crops. I can't convince the family to let me turn the backyard into nothing but mommy's wheat crop, unfortunately.

THE ZOMBIES WILL RISE ONE DAY. And you and I will make it, because we r smrt.
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