It’s All Good

The pressure's on

The pressure’s on

My ‘boy’-friend called lately to exclaim that artichokes could be had for $1 each! He loves them and has perfected cooking them in a pressure cooker. Trouble is, he is living as a vagabond, traveling hither and yon in search of a new place to resettle. He inquired if I would be willing to cook them for us, but was not satisfied with steaming them and wanted me to search for the pressure cooker. The bottom was storing sweet potatoes in the ‘pantry’, the top showed up but the regulator went missing.

Friend started searching thrifts to no avail and then found one new for $12. I said, “Mine will show up.” I could recall having it in my hands but could not bring its whereabouts to the front of my mind. “Good luck with that”, he said.

Well, it did show up, almost miraculously, without me going on The Hunt For Red October.

I have been keeping my old appliances just because it is too much trouble to get them off property currently. I just read lately that old washing machine drums are a good place to store root vegetables. The old refrigerator is serving as a wall to keep alleyway travelers from looking straight through to the covered patio where valuable collectibles are staged for selling. It has also been useful for storing tools and such and to keep them dry.

Collectible Glass

Collectible Glass

When I was first setting up a home for myself, my mother gave me a pressure cooker. She had already given me a sewing machine and felt that these two things were essential for life. She cooked almost everything in a pressure cooker. Unfortunately, she didn’t supervise teaching us much about cooking as she didn’t want her kitchen a mess. She was a hard-working, single mother. I discovered that we learn what we really want to know. I became a skilled seamstress all on my own, some initial help from her, but I NEVER got the interest in cooking. “The root to a man’s heart” would never be my forte. I bake sweet potatoes in a Pyrex bowl with lid in a toaster oven, toast bread in it too, boil eggs for the doggies and Brussels sprouts for all of us on a hotplate and just slice or eat whole all other fruit and veggies. That’s the extent of my cooking.

I went looking for a tool in the defunct fridge and discovered two bins with kitchen implements in them. You know, strawberry leaf pluckers, egg separators, cheese slicers, salad serving spoons…things you never bother to use but think “I’ll save theses just in case”.

Lately, I had gone around scooping things off of surfaces and taking them out in bins, tubs and bags to sort later. Home Depot taught me to put stray items in shopping carts to go back to that department for sorting periodically. Great strategy for home as well.

I knew that the regulator had been in my hand, but not recently. Had no idea where it really was. Inside these bins of kitchen implements stored in the old fridge was a little item swaddled in a napkin. My hand went right for it and sure enough, it was the regulator. Take that Mr. Good Luck With That!

Sometimes I feel that I am daily dreaming my life into existence as things happen, just in the nick of time, almost without fail, to manifest in a way that works and is good for me.

I think that is the way with the world at large, if we just relax, have patience and plod along doing good… “Everything will be alright in the end and if it is not alright, it is not yet the end” ~ First Exotic Marigold Hotel

A little Pollyanna never hurt anyone; too much.

Sweet potatoes still 'cooking' in the Sun in #CompostCorner

Sweet potatoes still ‘cooking’ in the Sun in #CompostCorner

Sweet potatoes are a staple in my diet and I am determined to figure out how to grow them best. These are vines growing from whole or pieces of sweet potatoes that were sprouting in the pantry. Slips had already gone out into other areas from ones that had been grown in jars of water. I have yet to know if these will fair better than others, but it’s suspect that they will as this soil has been kitchen scraps (that the doggies won’t eat), cold composting for years.

Cruciferous volunteers in the #TriangleRaisedBed

Cruciferous volunteers in the #TriangleRaisedBed

Cruciferous vegetables are another staple here. This is in the #SNarrowRaisedBed in the #SouthFortyTriangleLot. Sweet potato vines that were pulled from other areas and were mingled into the bagged compost and arbor mulch for more nitrogen are still/re-growing. Some seed pods that had been compromised (because someone waited too long to cull them and they got too much moisture) were just laid atop for additional mulch/biomass. They are volunteering after finding their ways out of the pods and near enough to soil to inspire themselves. Brussels sprouts, cabbage or broccoli???

This volunteer cruciferous plant was marked with a painted magazine rack and protected from the nemis white butterfly with the wire trash can (if you take the trash can off for two seconds a white butterfly WILL show up). The pink thing helps keep me from running the hose over it. Really just need another stake. Lazy momma.

Cool season/ overwinterers

Cool season/ over-winterers

More cruciferousness. Some seeds were sown a little while back. Trying all different ways to get Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli to grow for me here in this desert. Not sure if the seedlings were far enough along, but the first freeze is near, I can feel it; so wanted to get something out ahead of that.

A six pack of Bonnie Plants red cabbage were purchased and set out already. Yesterday some seedlings were put out with them. They had been nursing several places, eventually under the lace and sheer cover in the background. Spinach in the rectangle boxes are germinating very well now.

One Brussels sprout among many cabbages

One Brussels sprout among many cabbages

This one Brussels sprout seedling was put in among the cabbages before it dawned on me that things from the same family are often better off apart from each other to thwart disease/bugs.

The rest of the few Brussels sprouts seedlings went to the Southern end of the #1HugelkulturBed. It doesn’t get much Sun now, but come Spring, that area is shaded and cooler so maybe they won’t bolt like they did last Spring.

Southern end of #1HugelkulturBed

Southern end of #1HugelkulturBed

Bagged potting soil was put in each hole as the soil here is compacted. It takes a LOT of biomass to make better soil; have patience and plod along doing good, it is not yet the end.

Sun pattern this time of year

Sun pattern this time of year

The edge of the #RaisedBed had been planted with flowers in Spring and amendments to the soil were added at that time. The cabbage seedlings were planted where there was the most Sun combined with the best soil.

Strawberries from Spring still struggling to survive in the wheelbarrow

Strawberries from Spring still struggling to survive in the wheelbarrow

Last Spring a strawberry patch was made between the pomegranate and plum trees in a little raised bed with bagged compost and composted mulch. They did terribly as it was discovered that the bagged goods just aren’t composted enough for things to be happy growing in it like they are compost we make. There were three put in this wheelbarrow at the same time. I put the variety that sends out from the mother to establish other plants in the bed and the other variety in the barrow. These did the best. Hopefully mulching will keep them overwinter to grow in Spring?

I try not to be political here; but I have to say, after this election I feel profound relief; mostly that the circus has left town and things are back to a certain calm. I’m surprised that except for the most diehard Hillary supporters, most (‘liberal’) people are responding to the results with a sense of “it had to happen”. I register independent but will likely change to Green next year. I voted for Jill Stein. Hillary could not have won in Arizona, not that I would EVER have voted for her (the status quo is hopeless); it’s (Arizona) filled to overflowing with people I DO NOT agree with/Republicans (most of my own family). I’m a hippie. I wouldn’t have bothered to vote for a President had it not been for Jill (and wanting to help her party get 5% of the vote to get campaign funding for the future) as to me, there were no real choices. I will say that I was seriously relieved, and much more to my own surprise than I had any idea I would, that Hillary DID NOT get it. I understand the Trump victory. I understand being at the bottom of the totem poll with no hope in sight. I don’t get Trump or why anyone thinks he is the savior…Our system is terribly failed; but I believe strongly that it is failed much because of US, you and me. What I love about what I am hearing is that most progressive people feel the same and they know that WE have to do things for ourselves. There is no “Knight in shinning armor”.

So, I came to the conclusion that, to cause change, my design needed to change first. My arguments had been reactive, a sort of pesticide-like solution that, while temporarily stunning my foes (who were actually beloved family members), only strengthened their resolve. But, in permaculture, we don’t use pesticides and we don’t focus on destruction. Rather, we are careful cultivators. We are admirers of nature, striving to work with it as opposed to battle it. Human nature, then, should be no different. ~ Jonathon Engels, Permaculture As a Political Act

Schmolitics

Schmolitics

“All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden.” ~ Geoff Lawton

I believe this with all of my heart. I know it is true for my own life.

Pretty pansies

Pretty pansies

Look at this beauty. If this kind of beauty doesn’t make you happy, what will?

Well, maybe this…

Lucy gone Birding; chitter, chitter

Lucy gone Birding; chitter, chitter

or this…

Little Red-Haired Girl with her T-shirt 'lifter' on going for a morning waddle

Little Red-Haired Girl with her T-shirt ‘lifter’ on going for a morning waddle

She can barely walk but her tail wags ALL. THE. TIME. I do as little as I can get away with so as not to traumatize her any, she is so frail. I will give her a clip again very soon. I’m planning to make a halter for her today, but in the mean time, the T-shirt gave me something to hoist her up when she wants up.

There are more important things to worry about than the end of the world; as we thought we knew it. It wasn’t all that great anyhow. Time for change. Serious change.

The moral of this story is: It’s up to us. It’s all good; permaculture anyway.

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