Y and I are new to gardening successfully. Very new. In fact, most everything I’ve ever tried to grow has pretty much died.
I’ve always said that I have a “black thumb,” but I’ve come to realize that a black thumb comes from being excessively lazy and forgetting to water. While I haven’t cured my excessive laziness, I have found a solution: it’s a drip watering system, which is on a timer. Hallelujah!
And yet, we still have some things going wrong.
The first disaster is a little experiment I did.
See this area of our back yard? It’s all deck and no dirt. As a result, it’s kind of unfriendly looking. Looking online for a solution a few months ago, I was inspired by an article I found online about growing lettuce vertically in rain gutters.
I decided to try it for myself and was very excited when my lettuce started to sprout.
And then everything died.
I’m not sure if I drilled too many holes in the bottom of each gutter or what, but the dirt dried out. And with it, my sproutlings dried out. The gutters also started to sag. Note to self: when trying this again, buy the stainless steel gutters instead of the plastic ones.
Not a pretty sight, is it? Even Lulu is trying to avoid looking.
You may be wondering what’s up with the wood strip above the top gutter. That’s Y’s attempt to save us from poisoning after we realized (too late) that the wood along the top of the fence is treated lumber, and that mature lettuce would be touching it.
So, my little experiment was a complete failure. I am undaunted, though–I’ll probably go get stainless steel gutters and try again.
Our other failure is with the radishes I planted. See that tangled mess on the right? Yeah, those are radishes. They’re tall, skinny, flowering and all over the place.
This wouldn’t be so bad, if not for the way the roots turned out.
Yeah. That looks nothing like a radish. I have no idea what went wrong.
I bit the root, and it DOES taste like radish, but it’s really “woody” tasting, which leads me to believe that they’re actually past their prime picking stage. That red part is sitting above the ground too.
Ugh. Any ideas? My thought is to pull them all out and plant more lettuce.Comment
Photo from here.
This is kind of embarrassing, but I’m going to tell you anyway. A few weeks ago, I got inspiration from Bee Movie. It is, in fact, almost entirely responsible for my 101 in 1,001 list.
Awhile ago I heard about the decreasing number of honeybees. I was sad about it. Maybe even a little bit worried. But it wasn’t until I saw Bee Movie that I started to feel really bad for the bees.
I am sure that most people did not cry at Bee Movie. Clearly I have emotional problems.
But anyway. Bee Movie is the reason why I added #2 (“Save some honeybees”) to my list. I started researching a little bit today and realized that I couldn’t help any bees without having a nice, friendly backyard with lots of flowers. Chances are, I’d end up killing #8 (“Raise butterflies”) with our current backyard anyway. So I’m going to have to start with #5 (“Figure out what is wrong with the soil in our yard and fix it”) and #6 (:Grow flowers in the backyard and keep them alive for a season”) first.
I have kind of a black thumb. I’ve killed almost everything in our backyard. Nothing has ever flowered there. My main problem is that I’m totally, 100%, wholeheartedly LAZY. I get all excited in the springtime about having a backyard full of gorgeous flowers, and then I am too lazy to water them. I have also been too lazy to do anything about how dead our soil most likely is. It just seems like so much work. Maybe a beautiful backyard wasn’t enough motivation for me, but helping the poor little bees and butterflies certainly is.
Well…sort of. It just seems like so much work to garden. I wish I could hire someone to do this for me.
Do any of you guys like gardening? What’s so great about it? Do you think I would like it? Is getting started the hardest part?Comment
OMG I want to live on a farm. This pig is so freakin’ cute!!!!!!
I will take one pig, one goat and one horse. And seven chickens. Thanks.Comment
Photo from here.
Y and I are in the process of doing something right now (we’re getting chickens), and I’m going to talk about it tomorrow. As I was writing that entry, I realized that I needed to provide a bit of background about why we’re doing what we’re doing before I could describe the chicken situation.
Okay, so I’m a vegetarian. It’s not that I don’t like the taste of meat–on the contrary, I actually like it quite a bit. I’m a vegetarian because I’m disgusted by how animals are treated while they’re being raised for food, and how they’re slaughtered. I won’t go into detail here. I figure you’ll do the research yourself if you care about the poor widdle animals.
I was a vegetarian for five years (back then, it wasn’t about the animals–I just felt like I wanted to be a vegetarian for some reason), until I went to live in Italy for three months. I started to feel really sick after awhile, because there aren’t many options there for a well-balanced vegetarian diet. I ate meat for about four or five years.
Then I started reading. If you’re interested in learning more about how animals are raised and slaughtered (and their impact on the environment), I recommend checking out these books:
I personally feel that you should know what an animal had to go through to provide your meal. I also believe that if you’re going to eat something, you should be able to kill it. I know I wouldn’t be able to kill an animal, so I don’t think I should be eating meat. I have no problem slaughtering a vegetable, though (haha). I’m not doing this because I think I can make a difference in the meat industry. I’m doing it because the idea of eating meat now disgusts me.
I am not a vegan. I don’t really care if it’s “unnatural” for humans to drink milk. It is delicious. And life without ice cream and cheese? That sounds horrendous. I also don’t care if an egg is an unborn chicken. It doesn’t hurt the chicken to lay the egg and it doesn’t hurt the chick to eat him, so whatever.
Photo from here.
Except. Except it does hurt the cow to give milk, and it does hurt the chicken to lay the egg.
I have been trying to reconcile this for quite awhile, and up until this point, my solution has been cage free eggs and organic milk. I knew that neither of these were awesome solutions (because animals who are part of any industry probably aren’t treated that well), but I wasn’t sure what else to do.
Anyway, I’ve eaten cage free eggs for as long as I can remember, and I’ve converted other people to eating them, too. Recently, though, I learned a lot about what it means to be a “cage-free” or “free-range” chicken. To be honest, there’s not really that much of a difference (this documentary looks awesome, and it’s all about chickens if you want to learn more).
I don’t think I can continue to eat eggs without picturing their poor little chicken faces (dammit!).
Sooooo…that there’s a good reason to get some backyard chickens. Which we are doing! I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. :)Comment
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