smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)
Just spent the past hour pulling up my lettuce beds. Have no clue what to plant to replace them atm. Kind of outta fund until mid-month anyways.

Roman was good. Will try planting that again next year. It's a little late to plant them this year as they will just wilt in the summer heat here. If I knew of a way I could plant them year round, I would. We eat a lot of lettuce in this household so growing them constantly would be a boon. But I don't see how to do that unless I had a climate controlled interior space. Not gonna happen. I can dream though.

The Italian Radishino did poorly. I don't think I got a single head out of the lot. Part of that was my fault. I planted them alongside the Roman and the two did not get along with each other. The Roman chocked out the Radishino badly. I was really looking forward to a mix salad of the two, but that did not happen. If I try again, they will be in their own bed, or planet with Onions that won't out compete them for sunlight.

The Butter Leaf is what I'm most mad over. They did really well, right up until harvest. Just when I was about to harvest them, It got hot enough we had to hook up the air conditioners, which block my access to the backyard, and I was not in great shape due to allergies. As soon as the weather tapered off I went out to check on them to find in that two day period, they had become mite/aphid infested and before I could salvage more than two heads, all of them were dead. What I salvaged was yummy. But loosing all the heads but two due to me thinking "Just a couple more days and they'd be ready to harvest, I can wait til then," is just maddening. Lesson learned. Better to harvest early than too late.

If I had to live off what I grew, I would be screwed. I am lucky in that my gardening is basically a hobby sprung out of the need to get 15-minutes a day of sunlight. If my harvest goes bad, I can just walk to the supermarket and get the food I need. It's a luxury that I think most American's take for granted. Also, when breaking down the cost of planting and growing anything I get at the market is penny compared to the dollars I've spent for growing one of the same item. People who tell the poor to simply "grow your own food", need to be taken out behind the woodshed and given a stern paddling.

Lets do a little math - Sweet, Burp-less Cucumbers (one of my better crops this year), we have gotten 5 cucumbers outta 2 plants so far. Might get more, who's to say. It cost five dollars after tax for each plant. Another eight dollars in soil for the planter, Twenty-five dollars for the climbing cage, and about two dollars worth of fertilizer. Not including time, water or the planter itself (all those cost too), I spent forty-five dollars to plant these. That comes to $9.00 per Cucumber to sit on our table. Looking up the price at Safeway for Organic Cucumbers, they currently sell for $2.00 each. For next year, I can deduct the price of the cage - but all the other costs would remain the same. That would be $4.00 per green, edible, phallic thingy. Growing your own food in the united states is no-longer cheaper than you doing it yourself. Those who can do it in-mass have better chance at recovering costs. I, with my tiny suburban concrete strip of a backyard, do not.

So, next-time you hear someone say 'Why don't you just stick seeds in the ground instead of wasting money/food-stamps," Please, tell them how much of a duffus they are for me.

With that said, true farmers are producing more with less land. It's actually kind of impressive. I talked to my dad recently about the family farm up in Montana. My father came from a large family of 8 brothers and sisters. None of them wanted the family farm and when it came time, went their separate ways, passing the farm to their cousin, who already had the farmland next-door. The farmland nowadays has encompassed many other families' plots ... and it all lays fallow, with only wild prairie grass gown, under the direction of the Bureau of Land Management. This is not a bad thing. It means that anything that could be grown there would be in excess of what is actually needed to go to market. It also means the return of the prairie and all the life that brings with it. I just hope it's being managed properly so that the life there can flourish. Oh, and as far as I know, while they have done some exploration, no oil has been found there during the resent Montana oil boom. So no Big Oil stepping in to muck up that little patch of prairie. Despite how much money it would bring in, as my father and his brothers still hold mineral rights to the land, I hope it stays that way.


smudgedragon: watercolor of dragon cleaning its magic pearl (Default)

July 2017



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 10:32 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios