I am not wearing my happy face, people.
I have a cold.
On the bright side, tomorrow is Saturday. I do not have to jump out of bed and start hassling my children at half-past-too-early in the morning. I can take it easy. I can make a second coffee. I can loaf around on the sofa reading the newspaper until 9:15 if I want.
I can’t wait.
Meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about my money. ‘Thinking about’, by the way, should be pronounced ‘have been wildly clicking on the Internet buying things for the last hour’.
I am going to invest some of it in seed for a Victory Garden.
I have been charmed by the idea of the Victory Garden for years. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s something that was first started during the first world war (yes, really – I know that most sources will say it was a 1940s thing, but it was first put into action by Woodrow Wilson in 1917: Let me suggest also that every one who creates or cultivates a garden helps, and helps greatly, to solve the problem of the feeding of the nations…). The idea was that every individual would plant some food, as a matter of civic and social duty, in whatever dirt they had available to them.
You then ate the fruits of your labor, and shared them with your neighbors, and by golly during WWII, some 40% of our total domestic produce consumption came from Victory Gardens.
Today, I’d doubt that 40% of our consumption came from within our borders, let alone from backyard gardens. I don’t know and am too lazy to go look it up, but judging from the stickers I see on produce at the supermarket (Imported from Chile! Export of Mexico! Grown in Kenya!), sometimes I wonder if anything is actually grown here in the states.
Which is an ironic statement, seeing as how I could walk out my front door and, on foot, be walking through farmland in less than ten minutes.
So I spent some quality time buying a whole lot of different seeds, from corn to carrots to peas to bell peppers, and have whipped the children into a frenzy of anticipation about How Much Fun This Will Be!
I figure between having good, fresh produce for ourselves, being able to donate our overflow to our local food bank (which has a terrible time getting such things before they’re a bit past their prime, if you catch my drift), teaching my children the miracles of nature and being able to make this recipe I have for tomatoes stuffed with béchamel sauce without falling over in shock and dismay because it cost me $24.97 for six stinkin’ beefsteak tomatoes, I think it’ll be a good return on investment.
I also got a couple packages of ladybugs in the (probably vain) hope that they will have a good old time eating my old enemies, The Aphids.
I hate those aphids. I hate them so much. They do unspeakable things to my rose bushes. And they are more numerous than the stars in the sky. The only thing I’ve found that works to (temporarily) get rid of them is Orthenex, and it must be applied weekly.
I have over a dozen rose bushes. The Orthenex solution gets pricy in a hurry. Of course, we also get the powdery mildew disease out here, so the ladybugs may not be enough – but then again, without the aphids sucking their will to live, perhaps my roses will be able to fend off the mildew on their own.
Anyway, I like ladybugs. And I hate aphids. Ladybugs living in my backyard eating aphids sounds like a match made in heaven.
And there you go. One chunk of change, invested.
Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
1 day ago