Journal: June 28th, 2010

I was in San Francisco last week, taking care of some stuff and seeing friends, and got back to Serenity Valley on Friday. I’m planning on staying up here for a couple of weeks, at least, since, once my bills are paid towards the end of the month, I have relatively little to worry about until the middle of the next month (when I have to start thinking about bills again).

I got in right around dusk on Friday, and headed straight to my garden. My neighbor had been watering my garden for me in my absence, and wanted to see how my little babies were doing. Lo and behold, I was pleasantly surprised to see little itsy bitsy vibrant green shoots sticking out of the dirt in neat little rows! Baby corn! They’d sprouted in just about a week, and man do they grow fast. I can see them getting bigger by the hour.

A row of beans have also started to sprout just in the last couple of days, though some of them seem a little under-developed. I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but my hypothesis is that some of them weren’t deep enough in the ground, and are coming out of the ground prematurely. But, at least some of them are looking just fine. I have three more rows of beans between the corn that haven’t sprouted yet, and I’m a little concerned. I sowed those rather haphazardly (after unexpected rain, mentioned in the last post), so we’ll see if they sprout. I still have some seeds left, so if they don’t come out in the next several days, I’ll probably redo the beans.

It occurred to me recently that growing corn my first year might’ve been kinda silly. Corn is a heavy feeder, and will suck out all the nutrients in the ground. And besides, I don’t actually even eat that much corn, though, maybe my corn will be super amazing and it’ll all be worth it. Nonetheless, that’s partially why I’m concerned about the beans; beans put nutrients (namely nitrogen) back into the soil, so I was counting on them to balance out the corn.

Other than that, I’ve been trying to relax, which isn’t too difficult seeing how it’s been really warm. It’s around 100F in the sun, and close to 90F in the shade, so my natural inclination obviously has been to just sit in the shade, like all animals do when it’s hot out. It’s actually surprisingly difficult for me to just sit back and relax. I feel guilty if a day has gone by and I haven’t done anything productive, as if I owe it to someone to actually do work. It’s an interesting phenomenon, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of work, which I’ll hopefully write about in another post…

And speaking of work, now that my garden’s basically done, I’ve been thinking about my hut upgrade in earnest. Today, I came out to Redding (the nearest city from my property, about an hour and a half’s drive away) to check prices of building materials. I also stopped at a place in a Big Town en route to check their prices. The biggest problem is logistics. The place in Big Town would charge nearly twice as much for OSB (for instance), but deliver for only $25. Stuff’s cheaper in Redding, but delivery would be super expensive, and the cheapest option might be to rent a U-Haul, or get a tow-hitch for my car and rent a trailer.

2 thoughts on “Journal: June 28th, 2010

  1. I just read all of your latest post one after the other so forgive me for putting all these thoughts together. As far as antisocial tomatos go, those darn things can grow upside down in one of those hanging baskets. Before you know it, with the right amount of sunshine you’ll have to start giving them away for having too many! My parents and I used to have a garden at our old house years ago when I was growing up. I would also suggest building some sort of root cellar and learning to can your fruits and vegetables. Until your beans sprout, I recommend purchasing a large amount of beans and rice to store so you’ll always have something to eat. Even though I don’t live in a place like Serenity Valley, growing up poor taught me a thing or two about staples. Beans, rice, a few chilli seasoning packet, jars of salsa and tortillas? That’s the beginnings of what I call good eats! You can also do well by having dried fruit and berries of some sort. See if your solar panels can support a food dehydrator or learn to do it the old fashioned way. When it comes to meat, native peoples from all over the world have been capturing and smoking their own meat for centuries. I hope you like barbecue because a hibachi or a Weber Kettle could be your best friend! Lastly, it amazes me how much we depend on technology but don’t truly need it. Just think, until humanity learned to mine and refine metals, we had no idea what wires and signals were. Now I’m so whipped, these last few weeks without high speed internet access and cable for me have been brutal!:) Well, keep on enjoying your land, and remember that if you are at peace with yourself then solitude is easy. There’s nothing wrong with getting lonely sometimes. We’re naturally social creatures . Have a good one Ryo.

    Makeba Ellis

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