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17 October 2006 @ 06:07 pm
Agriculture!  
What a satisfying day.

Now that the weather has cooled to the mid-80s, with less than 90%
humidity, we decided to start gardening. Joy!

We are south enough that we can sow seeds right in the ground in
October, and they'll have plenty of time to grow before frost. We got
to go shopping (yay shopping!) for tools and seeds and plants and mulch
and all that stuff. Got bags of composted manure to mix in with the
almost-completely-sand soil in the yard, a few already-started plants so
it's not completely bare, and tools! Rob has a cultivator hoe with big
prongs. (Hee. I'm twelve.) And I got a Garden Claw! I love my Garden
Claw! It worked great for ripping up all that crabgrass. Kind of like
twirling spaghetti on a fork.

Once we had the area clear of weeds and (mostly) clear of roots, we
mixed in a couple bags of manure, raked it all over, and began planting.
I have to say, weeding and planting in the sandy soil of Central
Florida is about 180 degrees from weeding and planting in Maryland's
almost total clay. This soil actually broke up without pickaxes.
Awesome.

We planted cinnamon basil (which I'd never heard of, but it was pretty,
and hey, I like cinnamon, I like basil), lemon balm, oregano, and chives
as already-started plants. The seeds we planted were Vidalia onion,
scallions, butterhead lettuce, some kind of lettuce mix, regular basil,
broccoli, and dill. And we stuck the envelopes on popsicle sticks and
marked where everything was. Hee, we're country.

This is all on one side of the walkway leading up to the house. Next up
is to rip up the other side and plant there too. Squee!

I came in all filthy and happy, took a cool shower, scrubbed myself, and
got a big glass of water. I feel reborn.

Tomorrow we go to a tropical nursery down south and pick up more plants.
We can plant sugarcane outside, and possibly cinnamon. Sadly, not
cocoa. I so badly wanted a cocoa tree, but they are apparently purely
tropical, and can't handle frost. *weeps* Coffee will be planted
inside, as will vanilla bean orchid and variegated pineapple. We'll see
what else we can pick up while we're down there.

Yes, we're spending money, and yes, it's not absolutely necessary. But
we'll get some return on investment in the form of healthy food. And
honestly? Sitting out there planting seeds while Rob fixed up little
signs from the envelopes-- that was one of the best days I've had in a
long time. Spending time with Rob where we're actually working at
something is one of my favorite things to do. We work well together.
(I love him, you know.)

Two hours of constant sweaty exercise flew by. I can't wait for even
cooler weather, and more planting.
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fangirlsays on October 17th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you had a good day, hon. *squishes*
High-velocity pie of death: dalai lama by fenrissnixieq on October 17th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
Yes, we're spending money, and yes, it's not absolutely necessary. But
we'll get some return on investment in the form of healthy food.


right now, anything that improves your mental health and outlook that much is, in fact, necessary. seriously. you need to have something you feel that good about doing.

on a completely different note: you do realize that lemon balm will completely take over your yard, right? it's a mint. it will spread voraciously. just so's you know. if you're looking for good-smelling ground cover(ish), sure, it's a way to go. i don't know how bad mints are (or aren't) about choking out other plants, so it may not be much of an issue to you. but you've been duly warned. >;)

it all sounds wonderful! i'll have to check out this cinnamon basil. it sounds like it could smell potentially fabulous, or potentially confusing/disgusting. do tell!
Elle: Steal away Logantheletterelle on October 17th, 2006 11:11 pm (UTC)
you do realize that lemon balm will completely take over your yard, right? it's a mint.

Ack! I didn't know! It smelled so good. :( Out of the ground and into a container it shall go. Thanks for the warning.
High-velocity pie of deathnixieq on October 17th, 2006 11:18 pm (UTC)
*touches hat brim* just doing my job, ma'am.

seriously, back in like 5th grade our school got us all (or rather, had us buy) various herb seedlings for our moms for mother's day. i picked lemon balm, because it smelled the best. mom didn't know it was a mint either, and it took her about 10 years to entirely dig it up. heh.

and hey, did you know that lemon balm tea is supposed to be helpful with depression? just take a buncha buncha fresh leaves and pour some boiling water over them. alternately, take the time to dry them and use the amount you would for a regular pot/cup/what-have-you of herbal tea.
Robbstro on October 18th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC)
I think we better nuke it from space.

It's the only way to be sure.
vlynnvlynn on October 18th, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
Hee. Space nukes: the manly way to garden. :-)

Sounds like a wonderful day! :)
Baron Aloha: bread hunterultramang on October 18th, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
I have to say, weeding and planting in the sandy soil of Central Florida is about 180 degrees from weeding and planting in Maryland's almost total clay. This soil actually broke up without pickaxes.

No rototilling involved? How you gonna work the abs and obliques? (actually, at least you get to avoid pulling the abs and obliques...) :)

Those garden claws are pretty versatile. If you had clay soil to bother with, they're good in combination with a post hole digger. I'd like to see one with a ratchet drive, like a screwdriver. Or one that turns the other way, so you can hurt your back in the other direction. ;)