Friday, March 21, 2014

The Dirtiest Job in the World!

What is the name of that guy who has a television program showing him working for one day at some pretty dirty or dangerous jobs?  I wonder if he will...?
I am moving to Hawaii and I'm going to be a cop!  A nasty and dangerous job but somebody has got to do it, right?  I'd tell my wife, "No, I was WORKING, honest"!!!  Thats right folks, in Hawaii to get a bust you gotta do the deed and it is all legal and a part of the job description!  Working, really honest!
Maybe next we'll get to smoke some dope for those arrests also!  A whole new image when you say, "hands up"!  Yeah, "Spread 'em"!  Oh, I love Hawaii but I'm sure they gotta be kidding!  I mean, really, do you want a cop like that?  They will have a new requirement for their "entrance exam" if you get what I mean.  Pretty crazy.  Arrest them?  I don't know, but screw them first?  You gotta be kidding me.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Feed the Soil...

and the plant can take care of itself.   Not by luck but by design, I have lived here on this little third acre for over forty years and it has changed a lot over those four decades.  The house was a shack,
"worst house in the best neighborhood", 900 square feet, built right on the ground and without insulation anywhere.  Over the years the house has transformed, grew bigger and proud, standing on its firm foundation.  It is a nice place to live but the real change and the best place to be is my backyard.
    The soil was almost pure clay and I considered for awhile opening a clay factory for potters.  The almost blue clay was that pure and wouldn't grow anything.  My first experience in building was to create my greenhouse, a permanent 8' x 12' stone and glass structure that forty years later is still the best greenhouse I have ever seen.  I plotted out the area for the garden and surrounded it with an 18" concrete curb.  It looked like the foundation for a big house.  Over the years I have filled this area to overflowing with leaves and wood chips and glass clippings the City crews brought to me by the dump
truck load.  I layered this with sand and gypsum and more truck loads of manure.  I would guess that over 40 years this has totalled well over 100 cubic yards and it always disappears.  Eaten by worms and chewed up by the soil microbes which must think that I am the god that feeds them.
   Forty years later I am still feeding this soil.  All the leaves and grass clippings I can find and on alternate years I add about 3 yards of composted manure or in 50 pound sacks, kelp meal, cottonseed meal, bone meal, various rock dusts and gypsum to keep the Ph in balance.  My entire garden is one big raised bed filled with wonderful potting soil.  Now instead of thinking of opening a clay factory I should sell worms.  There are hundreds of  these night workers in every shovelful.
   I don't fertilize my plants during the growing season except sometimes when I think about it, a bit of compost tea to go with their daily meal found throughout the soil they grow in.
   I made a lucky find yesterday!  I seldom get a latte to go at a coffee drive through but yesterday I did and out of curiosity asked the barista what they did with the coffee grounds?  Behind the little shop were three large bins of this wonderful nitrogen rich product and she said I could have as much as I wanted!  I ended up with an entire truck load!  Now my garden is happy and very awake!
   It is still six weeks away from getting the main garden in and established but we are having nice weather and I have Spring Fever!   How is your garden growing?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Do You Like Daylight Saving Time?

You don't really get an extra hour of sunlight, a 25 hour day and more sunlight would raise heck with global warming.  Like all government programs, they steal it, take it away from us early risers and give it to those people who like to mow their lawns or operate the leaf blowers at 8pm.
At one time I think it saved energy.  You could work late and walk home without the aid of streetlamps.
Now so many businesses are open 24 hours, someone is always in the dark.
In my retirement I am a morning person, pretty much getting up and going to bed with the chickens.  Well, at the same time they do anyway.  Chickens are smart and have sensible hours.  I still get up early, it is just longer before the darkness goes and, it seems, the day is half over before the sun comes out.  I think most gardening people like the early morning, hours when we can still find the slugs, and it amazes me that the little garden shops I like to frequent haven't caught on to this.  At 8am if I need something garden related I have to go to the "Big Box" stores.  My little garden shop doesn't open until 10am!  It concerns me that the best shop in town caters to the marijuana growers and doesn't open until 10:30am!  They have seriously great soil amendments but I suspect their clientele are busy testing the products late at night and prefer to sleep in.  That is too bad, I would buy a lot more from them if they maintained "gardener's hours"!
   Speaking of "that herb", I wonder why Monsanto and the seed producers and chemical suppliers of the world have not gotten involved in its production?  The marijuana produced now is not the same as the nasty leaves of the 1960's. No sir re bob!  We would have 16 pound tomatoes by now if the same effort had been put into agricultural production!  Let's see?  I have a really good greenhouse and perhaps the best soil in the Willamette Valley and I have a green thumb and unfiltered well water.
You are allowed Six Plants, at various stages even.  That is a lot of money!!!! What the hell am I growing tomatoes for?

Saturday, March 8, 2014

What will happen to the Ukrainian Babes?

I am not totally on their radar but I have gotten emails about "Hot Russian Girls" and I think many of them are from the Ukraine.  I wonder what will happen now?  If you look at it on the map Crimea is a peninsula, like a big blob off the bottom of the Ukraine.  Until 1954 it was a part of Russia so all of the older people consider themselves Russian while the younger (the hot babes!) think of themselves as Ukrainians.  The whole situation is not unlike the Arab Spring.  Young people wanting flat screen televisions and access to the internet and an occasional latte.  Who can blame them?  The minimum wage is less than $25 dollars a day!
It is complicated because Russia is no backwater country.  It has become fairly wealthy off  natural gas and oil exports to Europe and Europe has become dependent.  Personally I am sick and tired of war and wish we would stay out of it entirely.  Actually, the best position for us would be to let Russia have the entire country of Ukraine. They are billions of dollars in debt and are about at the stage of Chicago during the 1920's.  Corrupt and run by hooligans.  The western world has already offered them billions in loans and maybe that was the plan all along?  We could bomb them with flat screen tv's and old vcr's and out of date tapes.  Maybe "Leave it to Beaver?"  I hope we stay out of it.
This is March 8th and it is 60 degrees in Oregon and I am going crazy in my garden!  Planted outside, the earliest ever, I have spinach, peas, 2 types of kale, 2 broccoli, cabbage, collards and five varieties of lettuce!!  I have well over 100 tomatoes, six different varieties, four different peppers and watermelon are all warm and cozy in the greenhouse!  I am trying my luck at "Hokkaido Black" watermelon this year.  One melon sold at auction last year in Japan for $6,100.  wow!  That is the kind of war we should have!  Who can grow the best watermelon!