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Today's Bitch

The Lady of the Lake

April 19, 2008

As a farmer, I would like to order rain only when I need it. The ground here is saturated, so this new rain is just making my place look like a model of the Great Lakes and keeping me from doing anything outside. I have more work than I have time for as it is this time of year.

I'd like to place this order with the rain guy. I'd like one inch of rain twice a week through the growing season, with a week of dry weather just before I till.

I don't think that's too much to ask.

The ground was too wet to till but I did it yesterday anyway because it was as dry as it was likely to be for awhile and I needed to plant.

I got some plants in and planted the peas—they go into a hill so too much wet won't do them in. I will have to wait to plant everything else because torrential rains wash out small seeds—you then wind up with a mixture of vegetables all coming up in the lowest part of your garden—and it has a tendency to rot large seeds.

My neighbor just tilled a spot for a garden and in fact I've noticed that all around us people who don't normally put in gardens are doing it this year.

Why?

Because of the recession. Will growing a garden really save them that much money? Not really. It's grain and animal products which are skyrocketing.

They are doing it because it's human nature. Things are really bad, the economy is collapsing, and food is the most basic of needs right after air and water. Growing food helps them feel more in control. Hell I'll just come right out and say that's why I do it.

People are putting in gardens because they are scared and this is the way they are comforting themselves.

They definitely are heading in the right direction. Food supplies are being corrupted all the time now because they are trying to grow more and more food on less and less land. (Note that this was written in April, long before the tomato/cilantro scare.—L) Gardeners will be eating better, healthier food. Growing plants will make oxygen and eat CO2. They have found that gardening helps people deal with stress, too, so it's win, win, win.

But as someone who's always had a garden and kept animals I'm going to tell you the most important reason that everyone ought to be growing at least some herbs in pots in their apartment windows. The weather is completely whacked. People are blaming bio fuels for the high price of feed and therefore the high price of animal products, and it is at least in part to blame, but the main problem was that most of the corn belt had such screwed weather last year that they only got one crop and then droughts in the southeast killed off hay fields and forced ranchers to feed more grain.

The truth is we don't know what the weather is going to do or where the next drought or flood is going to wipe out one or more crops. (Note again that this was written in April, long before the recent floods that have cost the country one third to one half of its corn crop this year.—L) That small garden in your yard, those herbs in your window, are important not just as a hedge against inflation but because we could be looking at massive food shortages as the weather becomes increasingly more erratic.

Normally I would have already put in a spring crop. I couldn't because the ground is too wet. Now I still have lettuce, carrots and beets in my cold frame but if I don't get those things in the ground in the next couple of weeks there is no way they will make because they need cool—not cold—nights.

So... Go buy some seeds or some plants and stick them in the ground.

Selina

If you enjoy these bitches, please contact Selina directly at selinarosen@cox.net. Thanks!

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