2 Apr 2017

ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
I wasn't sure (about a lot of things). The seedlings went outside in the cold. Would they live or die? I worked so hard to learn more about what each plant would like in order for them to thrive. The plants planted at the end of January were too early. There wasn't enough light for them even with grow lights. Only the Bok Choi survived. Lettuce just doesn't want to grow for me. There is also one Lovage plant for which I'm thankful. They can grow quite big so one plant should be enough. In tray number one, only five plants made it to this stage.

January Planting

The second tray planted at the end of February fared much better. Planting before heading to Gulf Wars for a week is always dicey. Chronographia also had a four day show and John was in the hospital so the seedlings were on their own with potentially a furnace drying them out. This year was unseasonably warm though. It was colder when I got to Mississippi than when I left Pennsylvania. The seedlings survived. I tried hardening them off when temperatures were between 55 and 65°. Then it would dip colder and back in they'd go. I didn't dare leave them out at night.

February Planting

I finally said, the heck with it. We haven't had frost in a long time. I mowed the grass today for goodness sake. So they've been outside at night. It's been in the low 40's. Guess what? They did even better! Perky. I planted things that like cold weather, mizuna, leeks, swiss chard, lettuce, and parsley. Tonight it dips down to 33° so they are in an unheated porch and will go back outside tomorrow. If the weather holds, they are going into the ground this week. I have a row cover for them.

We got a lot of rain this week. The rhubarb grew overnight. What was just a shoot poking out of the ground on Monday is now 6" long. I expect to harvest next week.

Our third seedling tray was just planted at the new moon in March. It has Blue Cherokee Tomatoes, basil, Shungiko, nasturtiums, and Florence fennel. These plants all like each other as companions and increased my germination rate significantly. Here's my new favorite companion planting guide
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/companion-planting-guide-zmaz81mjzraw?pageid=2#PageContent2
So far, only the Florence Fennel has not germinated.

It's been a long week. I have not been able to get in any dirt therapy for days now. I miss the sun. I did taxes on Wednesday. Our income can barely be called that anymore. We have fallen so far from when we both worked, two engineers pulling decent salaries. We put a kid through college without financial aide. We paid a lawyer to fight for my dad's estate. (His widow did not want to honor his will.) We had 401k's. After three market crashes and a bout of three years without work, all the money is gone. Now we are solely dependent on my business for income. There is no safety net. My husband is on social security for as long as the government allows it to exist. That is it. There are four more car payments to make and 25 house payments. The amount of money I owe on credit cards is staggering. It is killing us. This is how the wealthiest people in America are getting wealthier and there is no trickle down effect. The banks are not lending it out to middle America. The middle class is becoming a myth, just a legend of glory days gone by. It hit us first because of my husband's medical condition and various hospital stays. It will hit more and more Americans each day. A lot of them don't know it's coming. Goldman Sachs is running the country now. They were a big part of why I have no retirement funds, despite having saved all my life. Playing loose with the rules, the housing bubble, savings and loan scandel, the crash in the late 80's, yes, there have been many crashes over my working life. In the past, my business was able to get a low interest loan, which I then paid off. No longer available. I was informed by the bank that a "small" business must gross $250,000 a year to qualify. Mom and Pop businesses on Main Street don't pull in those kinds of numbers. So I used a business credit card. Then they hiked the interest rates significantly. And that was not because of missed payments. They just did it because they could. A class action lawsuit followed. I received $4.37 for all the thousands of extra dollars they got from me. And they didn't even lower the interest rate after they lost the lawsuit. I am perplexed, but mostly, I miss the lifestyle I became accustomed to. I enjoyed being middle class. Well, I can't complain too much. I did the math. I am up to $.51 an hour. For a small business owner, that's a helluva n accomplishment in America today. So now instead of TV, most nights we sit around the radio. And work on our projects to sell.

Fresh from the Loom

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