Monday, April 21, 2008

A Garden Grows

Well, the scapey bits on the garlic are up now. Their springy greenness reaches across the yard and through my (dirty) office window, pinching my eyeballs with their urgent presence. Charlie and I nibbled on a few the other day--heaven for me, "Bleah! Too 'picy!" for Charlie.

Some seed distributor or other is clever enough to put a picture of a jack-o-lantern on their packets and display them at kid height, so... we put pumpkin seeds in jiffy pots yesterday. And thanks to our incomparable friend Naomi, whose seeds began most of last year's garden, we'll sow a wildflower patch at the end of the driveway this week.

The Honeycrisp apple tree is scheduled to go into the ground for our annual Cinco de Mayo celebration. I have my little eye on some cherry and pear trees, as well. Appleberry Farms has an entire quarter of their gardening section dedicated to fruit trees and rose bushes. It's like the "me" section.

We bought a bag of seed potatoes (purples ones). But then my husband John, whose family has been growing potatoes around these parts for 250 years, outlined the basics of potato growing for me. Which convinced me to say 'nuts to that'! Green Betty don't hoe.


Friday, April 4, 2008

About That Tobacco...

OK, so Cindy Bablitz wants to know "what gives?" on the tobacco we're growing in the garden this year. It's a good question.

First off, I am not a smoker--although I used to be. A long, long, time ago. Now I'm that super-anti-smoker crazy person who former smokers tend to turn into. Just ask the nurses blocking the sidewalk in front of the hospital down the street from my house with their cloud of cigarettte smoke about the nutso CFA. (CFA = "Comes From Away" in local parlance.)

Dh and I have toyed with the idea of ceremonially smoking tobacco for years, although I always get the former smoker wigguns about it. Our conversations, though, have gotten me pretty curious about the history of tobacco.

The seeds we're growing are tobacco rusticana, which is quite a different strain than what goes into commercial cigarettes. For one thing, the nicotine content is several times higher. It's a mighty powerful plant, used for ritual purposes by all kinds of people for the past 4,000 years.

So, when I saw the seeds listed in the catalogue for $3, I couldn't resist joining the hordes of human history who have grown it. It's supposed to be a nice ornamental, too. I'm curious to watch it grow. I want to smell it, warm and fresh and musky on a summer day. I don't know whether I'll be able to bring myself to smoke any, but at the very least we'll give some to our smoker friend Jim. Jim, our own personal canary in the mineshaft. If he smokes it and is still tweeting... maybe we'll give it a shot.