Saturday, August 8, 2015

Gardening Update 2015

This is our third year independently gardening. It's been far better than last year when a very wet spring left much of one of the plots under water.

Still, the early spring led to early planting in general and the growing season has been...awkward. The spring came so fast the gardens needed a massive weeding weeks before anything could be planted. And then one weekend it took ten hours to weed. Which made it just go crazy immediately and everything shot up overnight. 

Some things have been producing faster than others (when they should actually be producing slower), and some are just caught in a stalling pattern.

This also marks the first year for starting some plants indoors, instead of buying them all, and then transplanting. Mostly squashes - which was a success - and tomatoes and peppers - which was not a success and yielded two surviving pepper plants and one tomato).

The south plot is officially out of control. At least the squash (we think it's one plant, but it seems like it should be two), and which was added after two of the melon plants didn't take off, so it didn't get recorded on the garden map, has taken up a good third of the roughly 220 square foot garden and is producing at least eight squashes of various sizes. They seem to be buttercups. In any case it's wrapping itself around everything in comes in contact with...potatoes, green onions,'s trying to take down everything.

The first eggplant has a bulb, and there should be 7 more by summer end.
We watched a bee pollinate one of the melon plants this morning. It was totally cool. (we have two small watermelons growing, from the seeds of a grocery melon, no less!)

The broccoli was a bust this year. We pulled two of the six up because they just can't stop bolting. Also, spinach and lettuce bolted too fast for the third year in a row, so it seems like it's time to give up on growing that. It takes up too much real estate.

We have a slight pieris rapae (cabbage butterfly) problem. We need a butterfly net. Because chasingbutterflies around the backyard wouldn't look crazy at all...
Not sure if it's them, but something has chewed tiny holes in much of the swiss chard and potato plant leaves.

In the west plot we now have loads of baby tomatoes, some plum tomatoes. The others are starting to ripen. The peppers, sadly, are not doing so well.

The other squash plants are not producing as much (save the spaghetti squash) which has encouraged us to research hand pollination for next year. Yep. We're gonna help the plants have sex next year.

There's more, but we'll wait for another day.

So far this year we've picked:
- Zucchini (not as many as hoped)
- Bean
- Green onions
- Snap peas
- Radishes
- Broccoli
- Green peppers
- Tomatoes
- Potatoes
- Various herbs (sage, basil, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, tarragon)
- Parsley
- Swiss chard

Oh, we used a measuring wheel to determine how much bigger we're making the garden next year. We're adding 228 more square feet, for a grand total of 858 square feet. :-)

And we're considering a small greenhouse to start the plants in...because lining them all up in big totes around the dinning room for weeks on end...with cats in the not ideal.

This has been your 2015 gardening update. :-)

Various Photos From This Year's Garden
(most recent was taken about a week and a half ago)

West Plot

South Plot

Squash Blossoms from the West Plot


Spaghetti Squash and a Buttercup Squash

Shisito Peppers

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

So You Care About Human Life? An Abortion Rant

Much of what is said here has been said by many others. You've probably read it too. This is our way of saying it.

People who decry abortion because it is potentially painful to the fetus - which is essentially an unfeeling mass of cells until around the 20th week* (do your research, scientific, not from talking heads) - and “cruel”, among a litany of other charges, are confusing.

Those same people are fine with sentencing that same fetus to a [potential] life of pain: poverty, hunger, sadness, mental and emotional anguish from being born into a society that tells them that their mother [or father] is lazy, worthless, and where they are statistically destined to a similar fate. If that child makes it into the foster care system, either at birth, or after a chance at healthy development has passed due to the home life they were born into, they are bounced between families or live in orphanages until they are lucky enough to be adopted. Sometimes the foster care they receive is equally as damaging to them emotionally and mentally. Sometimes they never get adopted. This is cruel and painful treatment.

Never mind the life of the mother.

These same people condemn using their tax dollars for food stamps to prevent hunger, housing that prevents homelessness, and other assorted costs that go into taking care of those less fortunate. Many of which are children born to parents who did not have access to preventative services (and this doesn’t just mean abortion).

These same people are fine with defunding an organization because 3% of what they provide is NON-TAX FUNDED abortions, which also provides contraception - preventing these very social
conditions as well as potential abortions - and which also provides much needed and important reproductive health services to low-income women – like cancer prevention.
Yeah. But you care about human life, right?

You can’t make people give birth to something they don’t want. Sometimes accidents happen. Sometimes accidents happen because of poverty, drug abuse, and mental illness. Often times those sometimes are what the tax dollars you clutch in your hands are paying for. You can’t have it both ways.

But they care about human life. Sure.

Let’s not discuss how usually those same people have no problem with the death penalty (and those people aren’t always guilty, or gun related deaths in lieu of regulation.

Let’s not even get started on how much of your taxes go to funding war which directly results in the ending of hundreds of thousands of lives. Full complete thriving lives that have families, hopes, dreams, jobs.
But no. They care about human life?

*The 20th week is generally the cut-off date, in some states it's up until the 22nd week. All but three states have laws against aborting the fetus if it is viable (can exist on machines reasonably outside of the womb

Consumer Friendly Sources: not directly cited, because fuck it, our academic paper career is on hold until we register for grad school, or find a bag of extra free time. Please report spelling and grammar infractions.
Read the sources yourself.