Gardening Update, Pussy Flash

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Well I started with 20 broccoli plants and now there are 6. I’m the unluckiest gardner in the world. I expected I’d lose a few after transplanting them into larger pots but this takes the cake. Two more things happened to kill them off besides transplanting. First I let them out on a sunny (and windy) day to harden them off. The wind and sun burned them and some of them died. They died from shock. I have to remember to shade them on the first few days of hardening them off. Well, yesterday I had them sunning on the back porch and forgot to bring them in for the night. So a raccoon found them and flung them across the porch. I have a whole family of raccoons in my yard and they are, cute as can be, vandalizing punks. The weather has been so wishy washy I don’t know when I’ll put the broccoli in the garden. In other gardening news I started the seeds for everything I’m planing this year. The planting list this year goes like this: Peppers, Tomatoes, Squash, Watermelon, Sunflowers, Eggplants, Bee Balm, Thyme, Sweet Marjoram, Onions… Every year I have this vision of me picking this huge BOUNTY. I’m in the garden with bushel baskets running over. It never quite turns out the way I envision. But I never give up hope that this will be the year.

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It’s not an official blog until you flash your pussy. So here it is! lol My cat Sweety Pie. He is a stray that showed up a few years ago. When he first arrived he was very afraid of me and I could tell he was an abused runaway. Now I’m able to pet him profusely. I think his previous owner must have beat him really bad because he was afraid of every sudden movement you would make. He also has a blood stain in his eye, which was worse when he first showed up. He also seemed and still does seem mentally challenged. He will not get out of the rain and until recently didn’t wash himself with his tongue. I don’t have pets, unless you count the fish in my coy pond. I love animals but I don’t like them in my house. I only take care of strays that show up in my yard and that keeps me pretty busy. I have a problem with Sweety Pie pooping in the garden, which really gets on my nerves. I think I have a way to stop it though. This year I’m putting fake snakes on the edge of the garden beds.

A cute story about SweetyPie. When he first showed up I had another stray cat Bootsy, who has since died (sad story), that sort of helped him learn the ropes I guess. He would talk to Sweety (you know by meowing) and he showed him how to ask for food. Bootsy walked up to me and let out a meow like he always did when he wanted to be fed, as Sweety watched shyly from a few feet away. And after he let out the meow he walked over to Sweety, like, all, that’s how you do it. And Bootsy nodded for him to try it and he did. Except Sweety has a broken voice that doesn’t work well. And it was the sweetest thing. He had my heart at a weak meow.

Speaking of abused animals. My heart was broken last week when I saw the news report about the largest meat recall ever. The footage of those sick animals being tortured like that made me lose my shit. I went to a very dark place. What really made me lose my shit was that the animals that were being tortured were already sick. We all know how it is to be sick with the flu or something. Can you imagine being sprayed with water into your nose while sick with the flu and being forced to stand up?

Newest obsession: Weekend Vampire. Their new CD is the perfect spring soundtrack. Goes great with the whole boat shoe trend.

Vegan Gardening: Broccoli, Post 1

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It might seem weird that I’m doing a blog entry about gardening in the dead of winter. Here in the deep south early spring vegetables can be grown early in the year. I planted my broccoli seeds on January 12th, while the moon was in the first quater and in the sign of Pisces. I’ve been gardening by the moon a couple of years now. My broccoli seeds have been under a grow light for more than 2 weeks and today I transplanted them to bigger pots. As soon as they have four true leaves I’ll be moving them outdoors into the garden. This year will be the first year that I will be officially gardening veganically. Although, I’ve never been big on using things like manure in my garden anyways. I have to admit I’m not that great at gardening. One of the “faults” I’ve had is trying to grow organically but being unwilling to use animal by-products. I thought I was being picky until I actually found a name for it, veganic gardening! There’s many alternatives to animal by-products. If only I could have known about these years ago. It’s strange to think that possibly the vegetables you’re eating aren’t actually vegan. Strange huh? lol I’ve been doing a lot of research on organic farming and when you find out the facts it’s disturbing. The only way to be absolutely sure is to grow it yourself. Or is it? While researching further I found this website: Naturally Grown. They are working with small farms that would normally be unable to claim their produce organic because of the fees associated with it.

Below is a back porch view of my “victory” garden. The beds were created by digging into the side of the sloping hill I call my backyard. Years ago, I leveled the cement blocks at the bottom and stacked them up to create beds. This helps with soil erosion. I created 5 separate raised beds that have convenient cement paths in between them. I have a similar garden that is at the side of my house that’s under construction. Garden 4, as labeled in the photo is where my strawberries are. If you will notice in the middle of all the beds is a huge bush. That’s my 7 year old giant rosemary bush. I’m going to have to cut it away because it’s taking over everything. I also have marked in the photo where I plan to plant the broccoli. I’ll be posting periodic updates on my garden through out the year. Stay tuned.

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Original Food Photography & Original Recipe Text Copyright 2007-2014 Josh Latham. All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.