Sunday, December 22, 2013

Five Minute Gardening

I'm having a day. I don't know not really a bad day, but not matching my idea of a good day either. My littlest Gelf is cutting a molar. He's not impressed with the process. Then I guess because our mother-son bond is so very strong, I am suddenly in excruciating pain very aware of a cavity in one of my molars. We finally got to bed last night, at 6:30 this morning.Then at 8:30 AM the pain medicine I took for my tooth wore off. Then there's the upcoming holiday. It's my youngest's first Christmas. The baby I am pretty confident will be my last. The three year old really "gets" Christmas for the first time, she talks about it nonstop. For a week now she's been reminding me that she hopes Santa brings her a big, red, balloon. (ya- no idea where that request came from but I am lifting my balloon ban to accommodate & embrace her simple request) I had these ambitious plans for a completely homemade Christmas. I'd make coordinating but not quite matching PJs for all of the Gelfs, I'd even make 2 more sets to ship to my Grand-Gelfs (yes can you imagine? I have two grandchildren already!). I'd think of something clever and magical to make out of all of these chicken & turkey feathers. Satisfying both my creative needs and my desire to not be wasteful of any part of the animals we process here. All meals & snacks would be made from scratch, while wearing the purple & red-hat apron that I brought home from my last visit with my grandmother. At 4:20 on the twenty-second of December, none of these things have happened. And then, the icing on this just not quite cool cake, it's 65 degrees out but it's raining. What? I had acclimated to the cold snap we've been having. I made good use of yesterday's warm day out in the yard. I love the rain, but 3 days before Christmas snow would be so special. Or a warm, sunny 65 degree day would also make for another productive day outside and I would be ever so grateful. But no snow, warm, but raining just seems like exactly the wrong weather for today.

And you're reading along still, thank you, while wondering how any of this has anything at all to do with gardening. I'm getting there, I promise. I felt like something, anything outside would help me shake off some of this blah. And I remembered I had a bunch of celery stalks I've been meaning to plant. And I remember to take my camera so I could share. Here we go.

Disclaimer: I am not a master gardener. I am not an adept gardener. I am barely an accomplished amateur gardener. I just make it up as I go. That approach gives me like, I don't know, a more often than not success rate, and that's good enough.  
These are the bottom 1.5-2"s of 6 organic celery bunches I've used in cooking over the past month. They've been sitting in that little dish for weeks. Most of the time there is water in the dish, sometimes I forget to check them though. They haven't died & all those leaves are new growth. Again, good enough. I took those, 3 soda bottles & scissors out to my front porch.

I have a ton of 6" pots a friend gifted me with recently. If I didn't I would have cut the soda bottles in half, poked holes in the bottoms, used the bottoms as pots, then taped the tops back on. But since I had these pots, I cut the bottles in half & used each half as a top for the pot. I filled the pots with an organic potting soil & buried all but the leafy growth. The last batch I did I only put about half the stalk in the dirt. I have no idea which method is better. The only reason I did it differently this time is because I forgot how I did it the last time until I looked at those ones when I was done with these ones. I think both methods will work just fine. If they don't, I'll have learned something new to apply the next time. I tucked the bottle domes pretty deep into the soil. If I had thought of it, I would have added some rabbit manure to the potting soil- I think I did with the last batch. Rabbit manure doesn't need to age like cow, horse, chicken manure does. I forget why that is, but even fresh it's safe to mix right in & won't burn your plants. The covers will act like a mini green house. Keeping them warm & watered, even when I forget. If the grow faster than the weather warms up, I'll cut new bottles taller or look for another thing to re-purpose for the job.

I've been told that growing celery is challenging. Maybe it is. Maybe these will get half way grown & suddenly die or rot or who knows what. The ones I planted last month seem to be doing fine. Maybe whoever told me that celery is challenging tries too hard or has never tried and is just repeating some rubbish they were told. It took about 15 minutes from when I thought "I should plant those celery plants" to uploading the pictures of the finished project. Took me far longer to share the story. 

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