Saturday, February 11, 2006

More on the Beer Bash & High Country Gardens

Beer Bash:

The beer bash has been most successful. Even though that beer is quite stale now, it continues to attract and drown slugs. In fact some containers, by weight, contain more dead slugs than they do beer. It is a wonder to me that the slugs go a head and dive right in even though they can see their fallen peers. I guess it is no different with human addicts and alcoholics of the practicing kind. They just keep on doing their thing, in spite of information, warnings, and the funerals of their peers. Of course I know there is another path. I have been clean and sober for 23 years.

My addict alcoholic buddy of the practicing kind wonders if some of the slugs will come to my little taverns, take advantage of the hospitality, and head on home. Maybe so. I suppose that is the hope of all those who do not resist the urges of their chosen or un-resisted life style. They hope to escape doom and wander on home to party another day. Or perhaps it is something beyond hope.

I remember when I was practicing a plethora of addictions it was way beyond belief. It was a certainty that I would wake up the next day and take care of my responsibilities and party again. It was certain most of the time. There were those few nights I was awake all night, throwing up blood, and praying to live till morning. Nights that were soon forgotten in the pursuit of who the hell knows what . . .

Slugs of course, probably don’t have the time to pause and think about the stress they are causing their children, the damage they may be doing to brain cells, the possibility of ruptured hearts, or being incarcerated. They smell the brew, head on over for a sip or two, they fall right in, and there is no need to call an ambulance, an undertaker, or a brain surgeon. As far as the slugs are concerned, that works for me, for now. Eventually I will get some nice loamy toad habitat together and dispense with this death by alcohol.

Mean while, it is food for thought, I suppose. I get to watch my friend rationalize, defend, and stand up for his choices, in spite of being intelligent, talented, and highly skilled. He believes he will wake up, take care of his responsibilities and use his favorite substances to keep on keeping on, to unwind, to sleep, to wake up and get going. All without ever having to attend to his bodies actual needs. He told me that if he actually has a stroke or a heart attack that then he may have to change his lifestyle. And damn, I am using beer to kill slugs. Damn, double damn; bring on the toads.

High County Gardens:

This is a totally yummy picture rich catalogue. Each entry gives the botanical name, hardiness zone, and a description. There is clear information on the plants water needs, bloom times and colors, the eventual height and spread of the mature plant, and other useful notes. They have a number of categories they specialize in: hummingbirds, butterflies, drought tolerant, desert, critter resistant, and Xeriscape. (But not food for people.) This is a great catalog for plant collectors, garden designers, or those looking for just that certain something for a special spot. They ship plants only - not seeds, and while most selections are reasonably priced, you will not find many bargains. You will, however, find a number of exclusive selections not available anywhere else.

As complete as the catalogue is in many respects, I find it somewhat lacking in basic descriptors. As I browsed I found myself wondering if certain selections were evergreen, deciduous, if they were woody or herbaceous. Notations on how long the particular plants could be expected to live, and how long it would take them to reach their mature size were also lacking. Most folks may not be concerned about these things. But in thinking about toad habitat I most certainly am . . . Anyway, check them out: Maybe you will find something you can’t live without!

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Glorious Garden Day

A Glorious Day!

Today was truly glorious. The sun was bright, the air clear. Our weather started out cool, but became warm enough to remind me that I need to start shaving my legs so I can get into shorts . . .

I had a hard time dragging myself indoors today. So, well, I didn’t. I had 4 plants from my indoor, mini green house complete with bottom heat and full spectrum lights – that had outgrown their little house. They now have bigger pots and will have to live without the warm protection of electrified plastic. One gourd, one cucumber, and two squash will be given a chance to harden off before being transplanted to the garden. I am planning on making hot caps from recycled containers once they are in the ground, unless the nights have turned a bit warmer by then.

I finally got some holes drilled in the shallow wooden box that used to be my medicine chest – before my bathroom was remodeled. I am using that to start some seeds from a jumble pack from Bountiful Gardens. I separated out the types that were recognizable – the nasturtiums, corn, curcurbits, buckwheat, etc. What I had left was an assortment of grains, sorghum, millet, and who knows what. A surprise. So I sprinkled that all over the top of some planting mix and covered it all with some sand – and we shall see what grows. I love surprises.

Lets see, I recently walked through the totally thrashed riparian area near my house, and found several still alive plants caught way up in branches and debris piles where the flood waters had left them. I transplanted them to a shady spot today. Three giant Horsetail ferns, two tiny ferns, and some other mysterious small plant with quite and impressive tap root – for it’s size.

I tucked four-o-clock and nasturtium seeds in to my borders and beds, sprinkled red maid seeds on to bare spots, pulled some weeds, and started some melon seeds. I am also doing another germination test on some gourd seeds I found when trying to get organized. I have no idea how old they are or where they came from. I am blaming that on my brain injury and not old age. And you better not blame it on old age either. One of my gardening buddies says that I may not use the brain injury for an excuse any more. But dang – it is the best excuse I ever had. And it is true to.

Ok now, where was I? Oh yes, I started one more germination test. Some Tinda squash from India via Evergreen Seeds. I think this is the only thing from them that I have had any trouble growing. I think it needs warmer nights than we ever can produce here in the beautiful and mild Hoopa Valley. And now the seeds may have gotten too old to even try one more thing . . . Oh well.

Last but not least, I found one Day Lily seed - chilling in the fridge, had germinated - so it got a new home in a tiny pot.

Very cool . . . I just did a search on yahoo trying to find the link to this blog, and I found this link: My blog is mentioned, along with a bunch of others. I hope you enjoy them all!

I really just straight up over did it today. I got major aches and pains. A nice hot bath is calling me . . . You all have a great evening!



Thursday, February 09, 2006

Recently Published & New in the Mail

Dear Readers,

I recently had a poem published in the "Indigenous Peoples' Journal of Law Culture & Resistance," Vol. 2 Issue 1, published by the UCLA School of Law. This poem was previously published on the web, so you can take a look at it over here: <>
The IPJLCR is a print publication without a web site, so I can't give you a link. It is a very scholarly publication and I am proud to be included.

I also have had my third piece included in the local paper's gardening section. They have started a regular column called "Digging the Dirt." This weeks piece is the one you will find here on my blog called "First Flowers for the Season / Violets and English Daisies"

I am pleased to be able to offer our local paper information the community can enjoy.

And the mail:

I just received a catalog from High Country Gardens. I haven't gotten to look it over much, but I will soon. From what I have seen so far it looks really yummy! More on this at a later date.

I also recently received my seed order from the Heirloom Garden Group, included: Giant Red Celery, White Cucumber, Skullcap, Purple Millet, 4 different kinds of short carrots (I have to grow in raised beds because of the dang gophers), 3 more kinds of cucumbers - Oriental, Armenian, and Burpless, a Canadian watermelon, Tiger melon, and last but not least some Larkspur.

The seed bank is a great way to trade your excess or saved seeds for other varieties. I include a SASE and $1.00 with my deposits - to help defer the costs of running the seed bank - and send in my requests for a equal or lesser number of seeds than I deposit. It is great fun and I get to try things I might not other wise be able to afford. You can check it out here:

All righty, it has been a long day - and I still have groceries to put away . . .

Hope you all have a great evening . . .



PS - It looks like some stuff that isn't links is impersonating links - and I can't seem to fix it . . . Dang it any way . . . H.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Literary Garden - A Book Review

The Literary Garden:

“The Literary Garden - Bringing Fictions Best Gardens to Life,” Introduction and narrative by Duncan Brine, published by Berkley Books, New York – 2001. ISBN 0-425-16874-3

This is a fun book for gardeners, garden writers, and avid readers who are thinking of landscaping their yards. There are excerpts from 33 different writers, many of them very famous. Each excerpt contains a vividly drawn garden, from simple kitchen gardens to elaborate estates. It was with great pleasure that I dove into each fictional garden. The images drawn across my imagination were as delicious as the allegory and metaphor that each writer used to create such comely scenes. The excerpts alone make the book a worth while exploration.

Those new to landscape arts and kitchen gardens are sure to take delight in the precise instructions that follow each excerpt. You will find information on everything from passionate tiger lilies to training a grapevine. Personally, I found most of the gardening directions to be so very basic that they were boring. An exception is the section on “An Army of Daffodils.” Quite a variety of daffodils are mentioned. I was pleased to learn about one called Narcissus tazetta that can bloom as early as Christmas in some climates. (My garden is so drab in winter. Any winter color would be a blessing. In fact fall and winter color are going to be one of the focuses of my trading efforts next season.)

I definitely recommend this book to gardeners, garden writers, and those who do their gardening best in the realm of the imagination. Each will find plenty of ideas, projects, and food for thought.

278 words, Copyright 2006 Harvest McCampbell

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Garden Gourmet

Dear Reader,

I had company for dinner tonight and I cooked up something special. I started with a ground turkey meat-loaf seasoned with garland chrysanthemum, green onion, and celery leaves - all from the garden . . . Then I picked a cauliflower, and used the tender leaves near the head to wrap the sides of the loaf, and I stuck the most perfect florets into the top of the loaf. Next I chopped the tender stem of the cauliflower and and tossed it into the casserole around the loaf. The casserole had been rubbed down with olive oil previously. Next I picked some bolts from several kinds of Chinese greens and also some baby broccoli sprouts, I threw them in around the edges of the casserole too. Next, on top of the veggies around the edge of the casserole I poured a cup of rice, and 2 cups of water. I tossed that all into the oven with some scrubbed potatoes on the side to bake. (The oven was pre-heated to 350.)

The salad was simply tossed greens. I included 4 kinds of lettuce, some Mizuna, baby leaves from two kinds of kale, and also from two kinds of Chinese mustard. The colors and flavors were dazzling. And it was really simple. Pick the leaves, rinse, soak in cold water for an hour in the fridge (mellows flavors - the lettuce was a little bitter and the mustard a bit sharp) drained and tore the larger leaves in half and tossed. Served it with olive oil and salt and it was all it needed.

The rice/veggies/loaf cooked while my friend and I explored what the recent storms had done to the near by creek bed. I drained the greens and tossed them while she set the table. She thought the main dish was beautiful. (It was! LOL ) Her response to her first bite was, "This is real good; this is gourmet. My reply was, "And the best part is that except for the rice and the turkey, it all came from the garden."

Food can't get much more real than that . . . Unless you can grow your own rice and poultry!

Till next time,


Monday, February 06, 2006

Agapanthus Surprise, Seedling News, & the Beer Bash

Dear Readers,

Here is a little bit about what I have been up too . . . You are welcome to ask questions, make comments, or let us know what you have been doing over in your gardens.

Agapanthus Surprise

This morning I was going through my seeds, doing a little more organizing and making some decisions. Among those decisions were what the heck I was going to do with some agapanthus seeds I had collected last December. Last month I became the proud owner of a couple of agapanthus plants, and they are doing well, so far. So here are these seeds taking up precious space in my overflowing seed boxes and what ever am I going to do with them?

I decided that I would mix them in with some iris seed I plan to sow in wooden flat. So I opened up the recycled instant oatmeal pouch to make the switch, and much to my surprise most of those seeds had germinated right in the pouch! I am not certain how easy or hard they usually are to germinate – but this was about the easiest thing I have ever done.

I now have 5 – six packs of agapanthus. Mixed colors or blue and white. That is 30 plants, if they all make it. The next decision will be, what they heck to do with 30 agapanthus plants . . . (Hmmm, Christmas presents, maybe?)

Seedling News,

I have so many seedlings I am not sure if I can list them all, but I am going to try: Agapanthus, Armenian Cucumber, Arugula, Basil, Blackberry lily, Bronze Fennel, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage – several kinds, Cardoon, Chervil, Cilantro, Columbine, Corn Salad, Coreopsis, Dames Rocket, Egyptian Spinach, Ephedera, Feverfew, Florence Fennel, Garland Chrysanthemum, Giant Red Chinese Mustard, Italian Parsley, Kale – 2 kinds, Kohlrabi, Miners Lettuce, Pak Choy – 2 kinds, Pink Peony Poppy, Purslane, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Sweet Cicily, Tobacco, Vitex, White Butterfly Weed, and White Sprouting Broccoli. This is just counting the things that have all ready germinated aren’t planted out yet.

Now I want to tell you the White Butterfly weed is persnickety. I had to go in the fridge for about a month, then it needed light to germinate, then it needed warmth to raise it’s head, but once it raised it’s head it complained of the heat, and had to go outside. The only seedlings that are alive went through this whole rig-a-ma-role. (The agapanthus is cool; I have one six pack in the warm propagator, one outside and the rest in my bedroom window. Now the Vitex also needed a cold period to germinate. I have one seedling that goes out days and comes in at night and one in the warm propagator. Both are OK, but the warm one is happier.

The Beer Bash.

I bought a 40-ounce bottle of the cheapest beer we have around here, and divided it up between 8 containers. Over night about 10 slugs met their doom in the bottom of the stinky brew. I think it cost me bout 15 cents each . . . LOL . . . I left the beer out, maybe I will get some more tonight. So far this does not seem like a very cost-effective measure. But if it continues to catch slugs do the better part of the week, that might be ok. (Maybe they would prefer a different brand? I wouldn’t drink Miller High Life, even back when I was a drunk . . . Which was a long dang time ago . . . Thank goodness!)

Well I am off to edit the news for my other internet project . . .