Guano



My pumpin haiku…ahem…

Crazy big pumpkins

Can our garden contain you?

You’re freaking me out.

We’ve never grown pumpkins before. We’ve grown zucchini, however. I always need sugar pumpkins for my Thanksgiving pies and end up wanting more, so have to go out searching. Well, it’s less “wanting” more because I usually only need 2 pumpkins for my pies. I usually need more. One year, I left them outside and they froze. I didn’t want to use them after that, the texture was weird. The next year, I didn’t want them to freeze, so I kept them inside on the windowsill and they rotted. We decided that, this year, we’re going to grow our own and bought some organic, heirloom seeds (gotta start out right!)

I was a bit late in planting the seedlings and they were root-bound and not-so-great-looking. Same with the cucumbers. Keith picked up some more pumpkin and cuke seedlings for me at the garden center, you know, just in case (so thoughtful!) He also picked up 2 acorn squash by accident. We’ve never had that.

So, everything is doing great. More than great. The plants are large. Feed-me-Seymour-large. Shall we analyze the hows and whys? Yes, lets. Because Mr. DaisyPatch has access to the internet and he knows how to use it. He’s been reading up on the best fertilizers for each phase of the life of our plants (that sort of sounded parent-ish, like our garden will be fed Gerber Graduates or something. Now is not the time for psychoanalysis, thank God! Moving on…). We have all sorts of organic fertilizers that have numbers and pictures of veggies all over them.

Needless to say, the shit seems to be working (oh, and we did, of course, use guano, aka bat shit, when we planted, so that shit is working too). The thing about it is, um, how to word this, I think we’re sort of screwed. He also bought giant pumpkins in that little trip. Yeah. I guess the plants are giant too. There are three very long branches, (tendrils? stalks?) and, so far, at last count, over 20 flowers. Yipes.

These are just the giant pumpkins. I’ll save pictures of the cukes, etc. for the next freak-show-post. OH, small DaisyPatch update. The Edamame is dead. I repeat. The Edamame is dead. I’m pissed. I shouldn’t be. I knew it was going to happen. But still, I’m pissed. That is all.

Advertisements

The DaisyPatch has several followers. Some subscribe, some find it through LinkedIn and Twitter. Others find us by searching for a key term like “Daisies” or “Houdan Chicken” or “Guano.”  The search term yesterday, however, tops them all.  Are you ready?

Oh, before I go there, I promised in the last post I would discuss a few things like the pics of some freaky bird-chicken-hawk-foghorn-leghorn-falcony-owl thing that Keith has been watching in the backyard and a philosphical discussion about what actually defines “edible”, BUT, this has GOT to be shared.

Here, is the search that was conducted yesterday that landed this poor soul on my mis-directed gardening site…

Ok, before I share it, I just have to tell you, this cracks me up. I mean, WHAT Google/Yahoo/Bing search algorithms landed this person on www.daisypatchfarm.com?

Ok here it is. Ready?    The search terms were          men “ratty underwear”

Yes. That was it. Men “Ratty Underwear”.  Let’s break it down.

Men Ok, innocent enough. Plural of “Man.”  Ok. Understood. So, we’re talking about guys. This person has more than one man in his or her life that is related to the next phrase which BLOWS MY MIND.

“ratty underwear”  in quotes. You see, the part that it was in quotes is the BEST PART. THE BEST. Both words belong together and can not be broken apart. The two words must be combined and in this exact order. Combine this EXACT phrase with the word previous and this person doing the seeking has men in his or her life who…what? Have ratty underwear? Hoard ratty underwear? Make ratty underwear?

Let’s drill down some more. WHAT prompted this person to search the internet with these search terms in the first place? I can just picture the guy wearing, well, ratty underwear for lack of a better term, and the spouse getting so frustrated he won’t throw them away that she has to seek help in cyberspace. (Well, I didn’t actually ‘picture’ it because that would mean that I was thinking about another man in his underwear and I’m a married woman and would never, ever, ever do that.) (Mmmmmmmm Marky Mark)

Where was I, oh, right. This person was so driven to, what, exasperation? Disgust? Dare we say, curiosity?

Ok, now that we’re pondering…here’s the magic question. WHAT ON EARTH HAVE I WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE LAST OH, I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG amount of time would have caused the Internet search engine Gods (GOO-Ds (bahahhahaha Google Gods  are GOO-Ds)) to send them here? What did I say? I don’t think I ev…OH! I decided to go look to see if I ever even wrote the word, “Undewear” on the Patch.

Folks. I have. Not only did I write about underwear, I have actually referenced Ratty Underwear.

Welcome to The DaisyPatch – where we discuss gardening, worms, bat shit, underwear, star wars, guns, boobs and more. I am so glad we’re all things to all people. It warms my heart.

Next post, I promise, the pics of some freaky bird-chicken-hawk-foghorn-leghorn-falcony-owl thing that Keith has been watching in the backyard and a philosphical discussion about what actually defines “edible.”

Ratty undewear…hah, whoda thought?

 

 


The downside of overcrowding your plants? It drastically reduces the size of your favorite little veggie. And? When you pick them, since they’re so small and overcrowded? They’re super hard to pick. Yeah. So, below, please find my little visual of a backyard Husk Cherry (left) versus a front yard Husk Cherry(right) that self-sowed itself by the road. (I have taken the liberty of including a bright, shiny new quarter for ease of comparison. Isn’t that nice? You’re welcome.)

Yes, you read that right. The ones we tended to with loving care all Winter in the basement and in the greenhouse then planted in the garden, side-dressed with guano and egg shells aren’t doing as well as the one that grew all by itself thanks to a bird or critter stealing the fruit from our garden last year and leaving the seed behind in the pile of crappy sand left from the Winter road sanding to fend for itself. Fascinating (and irritating as hell. Damn Murphy’s Law!)

We did make Husk Cherry/Lemon jam. It’s great on Ritz (What isn’t great on Ritz? You could spread cat vomit on Ritz and it would be delightful. Ritz rock!) Anyway, it’s pretty good. Keith has made jam before, I have not, this was my first.  It’s a little on the watery side, so I’ve decided to call it a Chutney.  Same yellow sweet stuff, now you have different expectations.  Words are powerful.  Maybe I’ll call it Side of the Road Sauce. No, that gives visions of road kill. I’ll come up with something.


My pea haiku…ahem

I am impatient

I eat the sugar snap pods

And then don’t get peas

I came home today from the DJ and promptly starting cutting an old t-shirt into strips. You know what comes next…tying up the tomatoes. We invested in this roll of green gardening velcro (ok, can’t blame him. I invested). I thought this stuff was the bomb. Until? Until the bat shit, egg shells and coffee grinds happened and the plants exploded like some freakish science experiment. (No, it had NOTHING to do with the weather!) Yah, no stupid velcro is going to hold back these plants. Picture that scene in Christmas Vacation as Sparky brought the perfect Christmas tree into the house all tied up in rope and you can just hear it creaking before he cuts the rope and all the branches burst loose from their binds. Yeah, like that. We’re going to be taking out the neighbor with our green tomatoes as they slingshot loose when the velcro bursts free. So, one lavender (my color!) t-shirt and several bug bites (HATE mosquitoes) later, all the Audreys (feed me Seymour!) are bound up. I can tell you now, we have POUNDS of tomatoes out there.

Next post…I think the garlic is ready to harvest. I think…


My crabgrass haiku…ahem

Oh crabgrass, you suck

Taking over the garden

You like bat shit too?

First, sorry for the long lapse between posts, we decided to go away on a quick vacation. We came back to pure jungle. Note to self – what is a little, tiny weed before vacation will, if not pulled promptly, turn into a ginormous crabgrass that completely envelopes the red onion so that when you pull out the weed, you pull out the onion as well. We’ll be eating two immature onions sometime in the near future.

Onto Keith’s mission. We have a chipmunk problem. What we thought was one or two chipmunks have been creating havoc in our yard, like the gopher in Caddy Shack. I swear I could hear them giggle to themselves as they dug up our yard and garden, putting holes everywhere. Bastards. Keith bought a Havahart trap. He’s relocated 18 chipmunks so far and is still trapping at least one per day. I expect to come home and see little pencil drawings of chipmunks on the wall to mark his “kills” (which are just “relocates!”) Maybe it is the same one and he keeps coming back. Perhaps we should spray his tail or something. I doubt it though, Keith is bringing him towns away from here and setting him free to start a new life (or get hit by a truck like the one yesterday. Well, the little idiot just froze in the road! That was just natural selection right there – taking out the dumb ones.) Can you just imagine the scene?

Me: Hold him still

K: What do you mean, hold him still? I’m not touching him

Me: Well, how am I supposed to spray just the tail if he keeps moving around in the cage?

K: Just do it already

Me: I don’t want to get it in his eyes, you know? What if I blind him? Then it would just be torture where we’re trying to be humane here

K: Would you spray him, Jenn?

Me: Well, now he’s tucked his tail under his body and he’s not moving. Shake the cage

K: Oh my God, Jenn. Do you want me to put some gloves on so you can spray his tail while I hold him? (with notes of sarcasm)

Me: (Completely serious) Yeah, yeah. Where are your gloves?

K: I am NOT going to hold him while you spray him with paint. If you don’t spray him right now I’m just going to let him loose back in the yard. We do this any longer and he’s doing to die of a heart attack anyway

Me: Ok ok ok. Don’t move. (sp-sp-spray) Damn it! I had the nozzle pointing in. Crap, does this stuff come off?

K: (laughing)

***

Now for my story. Yesterday, freshly relaxed from a few days of decompression, I decided to tackle the weeding. Apparently, crabgrass likes guano too because they were the size of small neighborhoods. Sunscreen – check. Crocs – check (with little socks underneath, gotta protect the vacation pedicure!) Weed popper – check. Gallon bucket – check.

Out to the Chef’s Garden where we’d eat like kings if everything out there was edible, but 1/2 the plants didn’t belong there and were starting to take over. Now that I can tell what a carrot and parsnip look like (I think I completely weeded the beets when they first started to emerge. So much for that!) I weeded all the garden beds as storm clouds started to move in. Apparently, it was very hot and dry while we were gone. Thankfully, K had set up sprinklers on timers to water the vegetables while we were gone. The flowers, shrubs and lawn could use a drink, however, so the storm wasn’t bad news.

I, however, wanted to finish at least weeding this one garden before I went inside. Keith came out with his radio headphones on, ready to start up the mower. I pointed to the sky and said, “So much for mowing!” to which he replied, “Well, I’ll get it started, the grass is pretty tall,” and walked down to the back of the house to get the mower.

It was only Noon and the sky got very, very dark. The cool breeze came through and then the thunder hit. It was only a few moments from when he walked away to when I saw him walk back, “So much for that.” I told him I was just going to finish weeding and see him inside. Back in he went to make us some Sangria (love that man!)

As it started to sprinkle, I thought to myself, (always be careful of the inside voice!) “What’s a little rain? I just spent a week floating in either the pool or the ocean, why would I go inside? Real farmers don’t let bad weather stop them. I’m going to keep weeding. I don’t have much further to go. Yup, real farmer. Not letting the weather stop me.  My next blog post will be all about how I’ve graduated to ‘real farmer’ from ‘backyard gardener.’ Real farmers farm in the rain (it is definitely raining by now! I’m drenched). Look at me I’m a REAL SSSSSSSSSCCCRRRRRREEEEEAAAAAAAAMMMMMM!”

As I was bragging to myself in my head, I was yanking weeds and accidentally disturbed a grasshopper – the ones with wings – who flew up and bounced off my face and then flew away. The scream, I am sure, could be heard next door. See that peg? I was just knocked down from it. I picked up my stuff and took my drenched, backyard gardener ass inside.


My tomato haiku…ahem

O tomatoes why

Have you grown out of control?

Must be the bat shit.

It’s a jungle out there. I thought I gave everything plenty of room when I planted, but apparently I (more than apparently, really) planted everything too close together. WAAAAY too close together. Like, get-out-the-machete-and-start-hacking close together. (Anyone else picturing Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone besides me?)

I was trying to conserve room. I do that all the time. Put too many cookies on the cookie pan, only to have them grow all together when they bake. Carry too many grocery bags so I only have to make one trip, dropping stuff all the way from the car to the house. Put too many clothes in the washer only to have everything come out still looking a bit dirty, or, worse, having the load go off balance resulting in six trillion trips to the basement to fix the load.

I have no idea why I do that. None. Trying to save time? Just plain nutty? Probably a bit of both. Either way, it is obvious I don’t think ahead. Grumble. I hate lessons. Hopefully this one turns into a lesson on top of spaghetti (all covered with cheese) and in salads, not in the compost heap.


This will be a picture-less post, but I promise you, it will have the same humor throughout, I am just too damn-ass tired to get the camera and plug it in. Sorry, but read on if you care, this post has been festering in my head all day.

The garden is in. Here’s a breakdown:

Growing: Lettuce -(I plant more seed every few week) Red Salad Bowl, Drunken Woman, Bibb, Green Leaf, (I think some more, again, too tired to get my ass up and check the seed packets); Spinach; Arugula; Garlic, Red Onions, Bush Beans – 2 kinds; Snap Peas; Edamame (yippee!); Tomatoes – Reistomate (supposedly it is like little cherry tomatoes that grow together in a cluster), Sweet Baby Girl, Roma, Striped Roma, Marmande, Red Grape; Husk Cherry; Bell Pepper; Bulgarian Carrot, Indian PC151 and Tepin hot peppers.   

Herbs: Chives; Garlic Chives; Catnip; Oregano; Golden Oregano; Basil (a lot!); Cilantro (not enough!); Thyme; Italian Parsley; Dill; Rosemary.

Fruit: Strawberries; Raspberries.

Seeds just put in: Green Onions; Parsnip; Carrot (I’ll re-seed those every week), more Bush Beans, Broccoli; Beets; Cucumber – 3 varieties

Sounds great, right? Sounds like a wonderful bounty of veggie, herb and fruit goodness, doesn’t it? I can hear it now, “Oh my! Look at all the food you have canned, you’ll be eating all winter!”

So why am I so PISSED OFF? I’ll tell you why. Any self-respecting gardner should have figured it out by now. Go back, read that again. Anything missing?

I FORGOT THE GODDAMNED ZUCCHINI!!!!!!! What the hell? I should just shut the laptop, put on the fucking mucks for the last time and stomp through the gardens, putting a stop to this whole bloody experiment. FOR SHAME, Jenn, FOR SHAME (said in that whispery, condesceding voice. Can you hear it? Listen very closely, it’s there, shaking it’s head in disgust). The problem is, we didn’t plan, we just bought seeds that sounded good, and, well, shit, I forget the damned zucchini, (Oh, but I remembered Shit! Keith did anyway. He reminded me to put a pinch of the guano-in-the-white-bag in the back-fill soil when I planted the tomatoes and the guano-in-the-plastic bag in when I planted everything else.)

“So, what’s the big deal? Why not plant some, Jenn? Don’t give yourself such a hard time. It’s only Mid-May, there’s plenty of time.”  Yeah, well, shut up, annoying positive voice! We’re out of room. I had to pull the Asparagus (planted last week) to make room for the Peppers. 12 Asparagus roots are now hanging in a Valentine-heart-decorated gift bag from the basement rafters. (I told you I was a hoarder, right? Yes, I have an entire collection of gift bags, gift wrap and ribbon for every occasion.) I know that is a random place, but I won’t 1) lose them or 2) forget them if they’re there.

I even discussed zucchini and butternut squash here, in this blog and still forgot them. So, what lesson did I learn? Whatever, I’m too pissed at myself to try to make this into a lesson (the condescending voice just switched into that nasal, mocking voice).

So now what? We are out of wood to build another bed (yes, I said, ‘wood’), I don’t want to put it in our flower beds (I just re-landscaped the front of our house last year and don’t want to mess with it cuz I think it looks pretty if I do say so myself), we don’t have a truck to get more supplies to build more beds, and we can’t just plant it in the ground – beneath our grass/dandelion/ajuga lawn is a very thick layer of nothing but clay. Nothing grows in that!

I think that I have a small amount of either ADD (I am not mocking it, I really wonder!) or something, because that sentence about our clay soil structure just made that scene from Ghost flash through my head. Just for a second, but it was long enough to make me stop, ask myself how I even ALLOWED myself to have the scene from GHOST appear in the first place. That is embarrassing. I will not have chocolate tomorrow in penance.

Source: Wikipedia (Oh look, a picture!)

So, when I realized this morning that I had forgotten the zucchini, I tried to reason with myself (as insane people do sometimes, right?) telling myself, “We don’t really need zucchini. It’s overrated” and “It’ll be plentiful at the Farmers’ Market, go support your fellow farmers even though you can’t call yourself that anymore you silly little gardener” and then it hit me. It’ll be ok.

I have 13 quart-sized ziploc bags of last year’s zucchini, carefully blanched and shredded, hoarded in the basement freezer.

Next Page »