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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Six Things I Think I Think about Gardening (in January)

With apologies to Sports Illustrated writer Peter King for stealing his format (and stealing his format without being all that insightful)

Bright Sunshiny Day

1) I despise my neighbor's trees -- I live in Ventura County, where millions of dollars of produce is grown during the winter supplying groceries to families all across the nation.  And guess never see a row of cypress trees next to the farm land.  Imagine the great winter veggies I would have without those cursed trees!

I Can Get a Lunch out of This

2) Winter gardening is better than no gardening, however -- Even with the neighbor's trees, I'm still able to pick a few things about every other week.  That's swiss chard, green onions, potatoes, and some tiny broccoli.

One Just Never Knows
3) The surprises can be delightful in the winter -- Tough to see everything here, but I'm showing a potato plant in the nearer box, and some green onions in the farther box.  The potatoes were planted in the spring, and harvested, but I apparently left a few potatoes, which, guess what, turned into more potatoes in a wonderful cycle of infinite potato production.  Regarding the green onions, those were also planted in the spring, but were overtaken and forgotten by my zucchini growing zeal.  Once the zucchini vine died off...voila! onions!

4) The anticipation (and planning) in winter is intoxicating -- I have been digging lilies out of this side bed for months now.  Although there are some sunshine issues on top of what I note above, I'm still thinking I could get another productive bed in there.

How Much is THIS Worth?

5) Veggie growing doesn't save me money, but it does -- Although I don't keep meticulous records...OK, so I don't keep any records at all, I cannot imagine that my total harvest in groceries per year equals what I end up spending in soil amendments, tools, flats of plants (when my seeds are not working out), and raised bed materials.  However, my hobby results in food that I really enjoy eating, and that eating supplants some of my indulgences like going out for lunch too often or eating Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese.  I would imagine that it will also save me some cholesterol medication in the future, also.

Mom with Cake Balls
6)  Shared Experiences with Mom -- I think that most guys, when they get to their late 40's, kind of run out of things to discuss with their mom, unless they are either into water aerobics or quilting.  Imagine my surprise and delight, to find out that mom knows  gardening.  I guess I should have known, as mom grew up on a farm that supplemented their diet with fresh-grown veggies, and as we were always rototilling up lawn for gardens as a child, but still, when mom pointed out what was eating my broccoli (cabbage moths) and that I didn't have enough corn planted (four stalks) to effectively grow corn, it was like I had a whole world of discussion topics open to me.  Thanks to the garden for opening a line of great conversations with mom!

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