February 22nd, 2020


Compost and Carbon

In addition to making healthier plants, compost sequesters carbon in the soil.  

Another approach is to bury wood in swales or hugelkultur pits. This not only locks carbon underground and feeds plants over time, the slowly rotting wood also becomes a sponge that traps water.

We may not have much luck getting any government in gear, but anyone who has a yard or a farm can do compost.  So can small local groups in charge of a town's park system or municipal chiplot.  Around here, if you want mulch you can go to the chiplot and shovel up whatever you want.  A few days a month the town puts out a guy with a frontloader who will load your pickup truck for free.

Poem: "The Making of a Wonderful Sculpture"

This poem is spillover from the September 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] curiosity, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, and [personal profile] gingicat. It also fills the "Metal" square in my 9-1-19 card for the Arts and Crafts Festival Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] erulisse, and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. (I was meaning to post the one above it, but I am tired and this got posted early instead.) It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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March Chores

... that should probably be done in February now.

Some other thoughts ...

The No. 1 piece of advice this month: Don't place tender plants outdoors just yet, regardless of the weather — or that the calendar says it’s spring.

Depends on the plant. Cool-season plants (lettuce, peas, etc.) should go out "as soon as the ground is workable," i.e. not frozen solid and you can walk on it without sinking to your knees. Warm-season plants (tomatoes, melons, etc.) have to wait until the soil warms up. However, you can take anything out on a nice day if it is in a pot that you remember to bring back indoors at sunset. Doing this makes it easier for them to survive outside.

Don’t walk on wet soil; you’ll compact it and risk damaging its structure.

Even if you’re itching to get into the garden, don’t till the soil until it’s crumbly.

For fucksake, if I did these I would never get anything done. When the ground is no longer wet, the summer dry season is starting and that is NOT the time to plant anything.  Crumbly soil is the warning that the dry season is approaching.  (I have heavy black soil with lots of humus.  If you have clay or sand, YMMV.)  If you're that worried about compaction, you can:

* Walk on boards.

* Create walkways you don't plant in.

* Make raised beds you walk between.

* Fluff the soil with earthworms, pigs, a tiller, or a shovel.

Rake and clear only the beds that hold early spring bulbs.

Some of mine are already up hand-high and past when I should've cleared them but I haven't had time. 0_o

Apple Pear Ginger Smoothie

We based this on a fantastic one we had in the past, made with a different device.  Sadly, ours didn't turn out very well.  :/

This is what we used:
1 cup almond milk (so everything would blend)
1/2 cup ice
1 apple
1 pear
1 knob ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (new, from a different recipe, and did not help)

The amount of ginger was good, though.  We still have most of the root left, so it can be added to other things, like tropical smoothies.

Community Building Tip: Guerilla Gardening

For my current set of tips, I'm using the list "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City.

13. Begin a guerrilla garden uprising. Green thumbs often have private plots and backyards to grow, but they can also get on the front lines. Surreptitiously filling in unkempt lots or small patches of untendered land with plants and flowers, or tossing a "seedbomb" at a hard to reach patch of land, turns lost space into lush greenery. Richard Reynolds, one of the leaders of the movement, maintains a blog with invaluable tips on how to reclaim "unloved public spaces."

Learn about guerilla gardening.  There are many approaches.

Make seed bombs.  Choose species native to your locale and they will need little if any care to thrive.

Make moss graffiti.  Important tip: take your seed moss from the type of substrate you plan to paint.  Dirt mosses won't grow on rocks.