Saturday, August 28, 2010

Earthbox Update Week Nineteen: Fruit of my Labors; How the Mighty have Fallen

This urban gardening yogini went on vacation for a week, and returned to a bountiful garden of plants and fruit grown larger and ripening.

The ten-second update is as follows:

I'm about to harvest my first golden bell pepper and the excitement of this really cannot be underestimated. (Tangential thought: holy crap, you'd have to plant a lot of plants to feed yourself!)

While I was away, my first Black Krim tomato ripened...and my honest-to-a-fault neighbors left it on the vine instead of taking it themselves. The result was I came home to a rotten tomato on the vine, which I then had to see but couldn't enjoy. Sadness. Sheer tantalizing sadness.

On the squash front, oh how the mighty have fallen! What once was a killer zucchini is now just a sad, shriveled shell of its former self. Maybe even sadder than the wasted tomato.
Former glory...
Total bummer
And in related news, you may remember that the cucumbers met a similar fate after being ravaged by the 10 plagues. Sentimentality warred with practicality, and finally, after a suitable period of mourning, I decided to replant the empty Earthbox that used to house the cucs.

12 days ago I planted these 23 dirt cups (technically called Peat Pots - and yes, I actually took a picture of them)...

And now...voila! Beautiful little baby bean plants! On the advice of Aunt Joan at Primex, I selected the "Bean Bush Contender" as it's a 45-day til harvest variety. And at this point in the season, time is of the essence!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Earthbox Update - Week Eighteen: Peppers are Exhibitionists, Tomatoes Are Shy

A throw back to the '60s: the tie-dyed pepper

Awww...tiny finger-tip sized baby Bell (pre-adult, tie-dye stage)
I've learned this week that peppers are brazen hussies--shamelessly flaunting themselves in all their pepperish glory. These are the showgirls of the garden. Not an ounce of modesty in sight. Their proud calls vary from, "Look at me! I'm a six-inch, horn-shaped Carmen!" to "Look at ME! I'm a Golden Bell, half-way to my golden status!" But one thing's for sure and that's that nobody ever accused a pepper of being self-conscious.

Now tomatoes...a different story. This mama plant is five feet tall and just as wide (so not so modest in size), and yet, I could barely see her beautiful red-turning-to-purple-and-black fruit. Tomatoes are shy, secretive creatures. They make you work for it.

Next time you're out for drinks, check out the tomato and the pepper types in your midst. You know what I mean ;)
A shy Black Krim

Brazen Carmens (pre-ripe Red)

Brazen in bunches!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Earthbox Update - Week Seventeen: Tomatoes Are Coming! Tomatoes Are Coming!

Tis the season for tomatoes...lots and lots and lots of tomatoes! They're all still green--nary a red one in sight (or actually, as these are the "Black Krim" heirloom variety, nary a purple-black one in sight), but seeing all these pre-ripe beautiful, shiny, round tomatoes cropping up and expanding everyday is just so exciting. And tomatoes aren't even my favorite thing to eat!

Why is it so fun and exciting to grow your own food? What is it about these plants that reduces me to a quivering garden geek? Is it yogic? The fact that nothing connects you to the universe (or yourself) quite like growing your own food--that which nourishes and sustains you? Or is the childlike wonder of watching the fruits of your labor evolve under your TLC? ("Fruits," get it? ha ha ha.)

Is there something just innately satisfying about being responsible for the life of something else?

Who cares? It's FUN!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Earthbox Update - Week Sixteen: The Glass is Half-Full

For weeks, I've been bemoaning the plagues that have been visited on my zucs and the cucs and anything else that's bitten the dust. I've been wringing my hands and whining about the pests and the pestilence, the lack of pollination, and the lack of product (so many buds and no veggies...wah, wah, waaaaah). In short, I've been, an ungrateful little wench.

Both my ingratitude and my use of the word "wench" are un-yogic. Or at least un-cool.
This un-coolness culminated in me, in a fit of fury, ripping out the Aphid-infested cucs. Yes, they were being slowly eaten alive, but they were still alive until I, frustrated and hopeless, yanked them out, then felt terrible. Both the life-ending, the fury, and the rash decision were pretty un-yogic/un-cool too.

Today, however, as I was watering the remaining crops--tomatoes, pepper plants, and zucs (what's left of their Aphid-damaged carcasses)--I was shocked to see that the tomatoes have basically burst into bloom over night! There are hundreds of baby tomatoes all over all the plants--even the little guy who I found growing out of the outdoor carpet (presumably from a fallen tomato last season)!

Even more surprising, there are nearly half-grown horn-shaped peppers whose existence I failed to notice altogether, being far too busy whining. (Whining, when done in excessive amounts can be pretty time-consuming, after all.)

So what did I take from this horticultural wake-up call? Basically, that from now on, I need to shut my pie-hole and appreciate what I DO have instead of what I don't.

How could I have missed these guys (above)? Geez! I must've been pretty darn preoccupied complaining about what wasn't working. cute is this little guy? Seriously! How cute?!

This tomato (above) from the giant plant is really getting big. Which is necessary if it's going to contribute to the #25/per plant that Earthbox guarantees!

This little tomato is barely the size of a pearl. Am I the only one that thinks that's awesome? I found this plant growing out of the carpet. Now that is determination!

This tomato is nearly as tall as me! Clocking in at over five feet tall and nearly as wide, it's hard to believe that it's just one plant. One glorious, enormous, fruit-filled plant! Grow baby, grow!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Something to Consider When Buying a New Computer

Recently, my ancient laptop (clocking in at over #15 and made by a company that doesn't even exist anymore) bit the dust. This necessitated the overwhelming task of researching, comparing, and purchasing a new one.

My primary considerations: weight, feel of the keys as I type, visual appeal.
Secondary considerations: Memory, battery life, all the technical stuff that I don't really understand.

Then the guy at Micro Center uttered this golden nugget: "This will be your constant companion and partner for the next two to three years. So choose wisely. You will spend much time together."

Me: "Um...I was looking for a longer-term commitment."

Him: "No. Two to three years. That is all. But in that time, it will be your closest companion."

After much consideration, my new closest companion for two to three years is a Toshiba Satellite. I'm looking forward to seeing what this partnership brings! :)