Friday, April 2, 2010

40 46 Days of Raw: Day 44, or Urumbo

So, today marked the slump. Urumbo was described to me as Shona (a Zimbabwe and South/East African language) for "the troubles." I think they meant it more in the way the Irish say "the troubles," but I'm taking both, man, because I am seriously facing my worst time right now, on the last mile. Number one, my brain is all over the place.

Got up this morning (had the day off) after getting a wonderfully unfulfilling 5 hours of sleep only to find out that my hairdresser is sick and couldn't come. I then failed to accomplish the one thing I was supposed to do today besides get my hair cut. But y'all don't want to hear me gripe, so let's talk food, gardens and veg*n, shall we?

After my stop at the bank, I hit up whole foods and picked up some snacky-poo for myself. I lazied out and got some pre-made guacamole (made in store, the only kind I find bearable as far as premade guacs) and seedless cukes to dip in the guac. I cut the bad boy up and had a mighty filling lunch, then set about my major task for the day, gardening.

As you can see, I got my garden turned over and some of my crops held over from last year (lavender and rosemary) and my bulbs are coming up and making life a delight, particularly on the walkway up to the front door, which is lined with Daffodils and paperwhites, creating a beautiful stink of spring and a splash of color, too. The paperwhite smell, for those unfamiliar, is most similar probably to the Easter Lily (one of my students just gave me a plant for the holiday, it is living in my room), in that it's pervasive, somewhat treacly but overall pleasant.

I believe I mentioned that I'd put in two raspberry bushes last Thursday and over the weekend, they really took! The foliage increased, the plants seem to be in good shape. Granted, the bushes I planted this week were a little more robust straight from the store, but I think you can still see the difference (newbie plants are the two on the left, week-olds on the right). So, if you, like me, have soil that's full of clay and essentially destroys anything but the heartiest of plants (seriously, my lawn is half dead because my yard is totally overtaken by trees, ivy and crabgrass). I also put down a couple of fig tree-lets (that are literally 6" tall right now and absolutely darling).

The real challenge of the day was that my vegessentials order came in today and the temptation to eat something, anything out of that box of joy was great. There were the cookies. There was pasta. There was chocolate and there was fake cheese. There were 3 fake meats I am really excited to try. There are 2 more days. I'm trying, and everyone says they're proud right now but I am JONESING for some processed wheat with partially hydrogenated soy involved. It's taking a lot of will power to pour myself a bowl of Chia with fresh cut strawberries with local honey* or pour myself a glass of grapefruit juice and a handful of cashews (that was dinner and evening snack respectively) instead of just going downstairs and tearing through a frozen bagel. I've had NY bagels in my freezer since early march =/. /rant

Anyway, I'm getting my plans together for the rest of the garden. I just found out that planting basil and rosemary side by side is bad news, so I think the rosemary side of the garden will be for brassicas, since I recently learned that rosemary and basil hate each other and battle it out underground, as do their counterparts. For those unaware, rosemary is a good compliment to things like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Rosemary and the brassicas should be kept away from tomatoes, peppers, basil, oregano and carrots, apparently. Oregano is also supposedly good for cukes. As far as eye-candy to help yr dirt candy, the 3 big reccs are geraniums, marigolds and borage (new to me this year, but I'll sniff some out).

Any gardening tips out there in the blog world? I've had a heck of a time keeping my brassicas alive, hopefully this year with the division they'll at least get a fighting chance to battle it out with the evil squirrels (seriously, I've had squirrels eating my cucumber stalks before they even reach a decent size through like, 3 attempts last year. I don't want to sprout my seeds only to see them become very expensive sprout feed for squirrels.

Gosh, there I go again. Just trying to resist Liz Lovely's cookies. Til tomorrow, kids.

*Yes, I know honey is not considered vegan. NC has one of the highest number of indigenous flora of any state in the US. People who never had allergies move here and are debilitated by sinus pressure, snotties, sneezies and so forth. I try to work about 1 tsp of local honey into my daily diet at the beginning of the season and have just had some slight itchy eyes. Plus, I'd totally eat a bee, or a wasp. It is one of my secret desires to get a fig that has eaten a wasp. You can fight me on this, but honey (and, for that matter, insect byproduct in general) is not something I get up in arms about. Obvs, when I find out if things are truly vegan for YOU all (like beer) I get that info to pass along, because we all draw our line in the sand in different places. :)

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