walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Great Gardens, Batman!

In the plant world, I am feared.

'Drought resistant' junipers cower before me.  Houseplants flee in terror -- or, rather, they would, if they could.  The grass trembles beneath my feet: for to their kind my hand brings death ... or, at least, it used to.

This year, against all odds, I have managed -- thus far -- to not kill a Wandering Jew, two shoots of 'Lucky Bamboo,' two little zucchini (out of six) grown from seed, a whole 'passel' of little pepper plants grown from seed, and one tomato plant grown from seed (I bought six more already started to keep it company, but I've only had them a few days, so I may yet succeed in slaughtering them where they stand).  Initially, there were six little peat pots of each, some sown with one seed (zucchini and most of the tomatoes), some with two or three (peppers).

Suffice it to say, I am absolutely agog.  I don't think I can really take any credit for any of this, though I guess I did attentively water the seedlings back before they were big enough to transplant.  They now live on the front porch, in planters, with inverted Boylan cane cola bottles to ensure that they won't die if I forget to water them for a day (DD also looks after them).  So far, they're hanging in there; in fact, the two successful zucchini and the peppers are thriving.

My remaining tomato seedling is even growing hair on its stem, just like the other, much larger, tomato plants.  Perhaps it felt self-conscious about its hairlessness.  I should tell it that it's okay to be hairless; millions of cyclists, runners, and swimmers shave (does that mean triathletes have to triple-shave?).

I'm looking forward to enjoying (and sharing) the fruits of their bounty.  And possibly to anonymously depositing boxes of excess tomatoes and zucchini on the back steps of my neighors' houses, late at night :D

DD and I are trying to adopt a more self-sufficient lifestyle, and a big part of that is producing and preserving some of our own food.  I expected growing plants to be relaxing (assuming I managed not to kill said plants), but I didn't expect it to be as exciting and rewarding as it is.  It was amazing to see the little dry seeds turn into tiny green shoots, and to watch those little shoots unfurl their first leaves and grow taller and taller.  I'm anticipating their first fruits eagerly, and totally looking forward to canning tons of tomatoes later this summer.

I suppose I could attempt to link this post, in some roundabout way, to cycling.  I am trying to improve my diet (and DD's) -- and for me cycling, especially racing, is a big motivator.  Cycling motivates me to eat (indeed, it seems to motivate everyone who gives it any effort to eat); racing actually motivates me to pay some attention to what I'm eating.  However, my primary motivator was simply a desire to grow some stuff and see what happened; to try to produce some food with my own hands instead of just murdering houseplants.

Meanwhile, my hair is also growing longer.  It's actually a bit ridiculous, right now, but I like how it looks when it's untied.  I do generally get my hair cut at some point in April or May; I've let it go longer than usual this year.  I'm not sure whether or not I want to cut it this year.  I rather like my hair; in fact, I am inclined to say I'm a tad vain about it.  However, it's rather extremely thick and, when stuck under a helmet in hot weather, it makes my brain boil.  Since I've acclimated to the heat much better this year than in previous years, I'm going to give it a couple of weeks, I think, and see if I can stand it.  If nothing else, I'd like to get it long enough to donate to Locks of Love before I cut it.  It grows pretty fast, and it's at least pretty close to the 10" minimum, so if it's not already long enough, it should be in a few weeks.

Until then I will continue to ride around with my goofy ponytail swishing around behind my helmet.

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