what's growing

I've been really busy toiling away in the garden. I've dug holes for the 4x4 posts for the new raised bed for tomatoes, and I have the wood (the sides are already cut to length). My folks are coming up a few days after we get back so I can get dad to help build and mom to help plant.

Here's what has been planted so far: spinach, carrots, arugula, radishes, beets, onions, garlic, shallots, rhubarb, broccoli, cabbage, kale, 3 varieties of lettuce, strawberries, and a bunch of flowers. O2 has some pumpkin seedlings growing, he was given a kit as a party favor, and he is very attached to them. He was upset to hear he would have to choose two of the three seedlings to cut so that one would have the room it needs to grow well.

It's nice to be outside so much. The mosquitoes aren't bad yet, but I did get tagged by a couple of deer-flies. All the birds are back, this week we saw the orioles, a hummingbird (who flew up an stared me down from 2ft away, I think he's hungry), and a pileated woodpecker. Last night, O1 saw an owl in the hemlock just outside his bedroom window.

There will be a lot of change in the garden while we're gone, I just hope it is all for the good.

From Iraqthemodel

Tyrants and murderers like Ahmedinejad, Nesrallah, Assad and Qaddafi must realize that we are not their possessions to pass on to their sons or henchmen. We belong to the human civilization... They can't take out our humanity with their ugly crimes and they can't force us to back off. The world should ask them to leave our land before asking the soldiers of freedom to do so.

The cost of liberating Europe was enormous in blood and treasure and thereafter it took half a century of American military presence to protect Europe's nations from subsequent threats—now if that made sense during a cold war, and it did, then I don't understand why would anyone demand a pullout from Iraq (and maybe later the middle east) when the enemies are using every evil technique, from booby trapped dead animals to hijacked civilian aircrafts to kill us and destroy the human civilization.

Some will keep on blaming America and her policies and they will consider anything America did and does wrong whether America stayed or left, fought or ran away, negotiated or boycotted. There will always be those who blame America for everything that goes wrong in this world but that doesn't mean America has to listen to them. America instead should listen to the spirit of America and what it stands for.
Reaping the fruit won't be today, it will be in the future after patience and great fighting.

Life update

The spring has, as usual, been amazingly beautiful. We've been keeping very busy around the house and with volunteer activities (although I had to bail out on one after the car broke down last Friday). I've declared a 6 month moratorium on dryer use, although I'm going to make an exception for towels. Even on the windiest day, they still don't dry nicely. I've made it since MM without using the dryer, but now there are towels to wash again.

The veggie garden is looking really good this year. I've cleared another compost bin of berry vines, and sifted and applied many wheelbarrows full of rich, dark compost from last years bin. The carrots, arugula and radishes are planted. And last night, I had a wonderful dandelion and sorrel salad with cranberry vinaigrette and violet blossoms on top. Maybe dandelions aren't so bad.

O1 is playing baseball and we have all enjoyed going to his practices. O2 plays on the playground with all the other little brothers and sisters, and I hang out with the parents chatting and cheering on our players.

The fire chief stopped by the other day to check on us. He said that every member of the fire dept. had said he should let me know that I can call on them if I need anything. He offered to take trash to the dump, or rototill my garden, or watch the kidlets when I could only come up with one task I needed help with. I am very touched by all the phone calls and offers of help I've received from our friends here.

And, saving the best for last, in 8 days we will be in California! Woo-hoo!

I know it's Monday morning, but please take a moment

Our politicians are quietly trying to pass legislation that would be a major blow to any future effort to curb global warming and preserve our natural resources.

S 807 and HR 1398 would exempt Animal Feed Operations (AFOs) from reporting the pollutants relating to manure and (this is even more important) would exempt them from liability should they mismanage the manure.

The 1997 Farm Census reported that 35,000 miles of rivers in the US had been contaminated by pollutants from manure. AFOs are also responsible for the majority of ammonia, as well as other air pollutants like nitrous oxide and methane, from decomposing manure. The recent spinach contamination and the most recent algae blooms in California were both traced to cattle manure that wasn't properly managed.

Please take a moment to let your reps know that manure should be classified as a hazardous waste, and that you want the EPA to continue to track pollutants from manure and fine AFOs when they mismanage this waste.

You can go through Sierra Club and they will fill in your info and send it along to your reps. It only takes one minute!

Purple asparagus!

I have darling little purple spears popping up in the garden. The rhubarb that I planted last summer is already going strong, along with the chives and sorrel (and dandelions).

Any recipe ideas for the sorrel? I didn't use much of it last year.

Happy Buddha Day!

When a wise man is advised of his errors, he will reflect on and improve his conduct. When his misconduct is pointed out, a foolish man will not only disregard the advice but rather repeat the same error.

Let it snow!

It actually has stopped snowing in the last couple of hours, now the blobs of heavy snow are falling from the trees and it sounds like a downpour. It's a beautiful morning, I think it's hot tub time. (First, I have to shovel it out.)

It's hard to believe, looking outside right now, in 6 weeks there will be veggies growing in the garden. I can't wait to visit springtime next week, and hopefully all the snow will be gone when we return home.

Is it all about evolution?

When we look at history and the people who pushed society on moral grounds such as slavery or women's rights we call them enlightened. We proclaim them as heroes who forced an important issue of their day; however, in their time they are usually called wacky, kooky, self-righteous, or are said to be suffering a mental affliction. Is this just part of how we evolve? Will we have to evolve beyond torturing animals before we can evolve beyond war?

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."
Thomas Edison

"As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields."
Leo Tolstoy

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."