Seed catalogs are to me like perverts with porno mags.… Every year, I say I am not going through all that again for so little financial reward. And every year, the seed catalogs arrive by mail or email. My palms sweat, I tremble slightly and my cheeks flush ( yes, even at this age) as I flick through the pages and gaze upon the naked pictures of seeds in all their glory. I swear I hear the little buggers calling in my dreams, : “Pick me, pick me. You know you want to!”
It takes days, sometimes weeks for my resistance to crumble. A total abandonment of memories of disastrously failed crops of last year and the weeping bitterness of disappointment, I check the Whats and How Manys, take out my reluctant BOA constrictor (Bank Of America) credit card and gulp as the final amount is rendered and tendered.
So many factors go into growing stuff and even though I do not know all or even a third of knowingness of matters organic and agriculture, I have managed to do my fair share of plants, goats and chickens over the years.
All I know is that growing herbs and veggies is something so entwined and deep rooted within and serves to attempt to anchor me in a rootless land. I understand the psychology behind my longings but I am powerless to shift that particular strong river flow course of Thou Shalt Farm All The Livelong Days Of Thy life.
What you, reader, need to know, is that I am a farmer without a farm. I do not even own a home and I live in an Egg. Granted, the Egg is parked in a driveway in a good neighborhood, but it still amounts to 13′ in length and 5.6 ‘ wide.
So, you ask, how are you, immigrant farmer sans farm armed only with an attitude and an egg, going to farm this blessed year of our Lord 2013 if you have no land, no tractor?
So glad you asked!
Well, I am getting soil ready where I work. It is solid clay mixed with leaf compost and pine needles. Not a healthy start to my beautiful basil and tomato babies. Desperate times call for different measures.
To counteract the acidity of the leaf-pine planting mix I have added lime. Guesswork was involved in amounts. But as “they” say use less lime than you think.
To counteract the totally pure clay which really and truly WANTS to suck tires off a tractor, I added four bags of gypsum.
When it comes to clay, “they” say use much more gypsum than you think. Gypsum apparently breaks up the clay and allows the rich minerals to be released into the soil. Soil? Huh? What soil? Don’t really have much of that to work with.
Now all this pretty mixing up,gathering and ordering has been done during stolen moments, extreme stress and financial nowhereness – and all because my woven DNA strands are actually roots seeking solace in the soil and Spring is still trying to keep her God-given appointment with the earth.
But grow I must.