Saturday, January 18, 2014

Victory Gardening revisited & the drought

During both war efforts (WWI and WWII) the Victory Garden went hand in hand with the promotion of home canning, to free up domestic commercial industries for military support of wide variety.  Fast forward to today's urban farming efforts, people buying groceries according to the 100 Mile Rule, and people on food stamps who face cuts looking to dig up their own back yards (or, if renting, growing groceries in flower pots & barrels).  All that's fine as long as you can compost your own fertile soil regardless of what the native soil's condition is in, but you're going to need water with that, in all cases.  The U.S. Drought Monitor shows the major challenge:

So, gardeners--want to re-think your early seed-starting yet?  There are serious field fires in Oklahoma as well as in California these days, and both locations (and Texas, Florida) are the areas that usually provide produce over the winter in the rest of the states.  Some of those states are also the ones that treat fracking favorably, and that uses a huge amount of aquifer water to mix with the chemicals that they inject into the ground to get that done.  Texas and Oklahoma have been embroiled for some years in fights over the Ogalala Aquifer in particular.  The water I use for gardening, winter and summer, taps the Ogalala.  After 2 years of water rationing in Enid because of the massive draw created by the Koch Nitrogen Plant, more individuals have paid to have their own wells drilled, creating a significant backlog on well drilling.

Still want to grow your own?

Actually, you the individual has a better shot at success than large commercial farms because you can use rain barrels and they can't.  It's the scale that's prohibitive.  You can re-route the "brown water" from your washing machine (provided you don't use bleach, that is) to your veggie patch and the commercial farmer can't.

Are you in a northern tier and scoff at home gardening because you can't grow squat over the winter?  Got any Christmas lights? Hehehehe...there are ways of cheating Mom Nature, you know, and that includes watering with fluid water even though you're worrying over your house's plumbing.

A tip for you gardeners who are still itching to start indoor seeds right now because you can cheat with a grow lamp.  You can't.  If you're ahead of the game by having an established compost pile out in the yard, you can fix your itch by planting in that right now.  Yes, in January, and even in the northern tier.

You see, compost generates its own heat by the process of decomposition, even when you think it's frozen solid.  Get your eskimo coat on, put your gloves on, grab your potato fork and turn it over.  Yes, right now.  It'll give a lot easier than yard soil, and when you've got it forked over to where it's an even mix, throw spinach seeds all over it.  You can throw radish seeds in there too, if you like.  Cover that with clear plastic, anchor that down with bricks, and you'll discover that's the first spot that will green up before anything else does.  Compost has the moisture that was contained in whatever vegetables the scraps came from.

You're welcome.

If you're really ambitious, next time you go to the grocery store look for clearance vegetables like scallions (green onions). They might look like crap, which explains why they're so cheap, but it's not like you have to eat 'em like that.  Look at the root end and see if the roots there are white, not brown.  Buy 'em, clean up the dead-looking limp green parts, stick that in your spinach patch and they'll happily take root right there.  You can eat 'em after they've grown a bit more, but I'd recommend just letting 'em go feral, as you snip whatever parts you want to eat and just let the rest grow.  You'll be surprised just how huge feral scallions can get.

I have done gardening in the Phoenix desert, too, but not until after I took lessons on how to do that at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens, where I learned that Rio Salado irrigation still won't take you where you wanna go.  It is, well, salty.  Stuff will die of salt poisoning.  There's a trick to that, too, which I'll reveal anon.  Stay tuned.

If you have an account with Care2Connect, you can view my old gardening picture albums HERE. I'm not sure if they're viewable without an account, so if you don't, give it a shot anyway. Basic how-tos are in THIS album.

Spinach & romaine patch under plastic arch equipped with "wall o water" and Christmas lights. In January.  However, this patch was started in October. Punctured hose hooked up to the well pump provided the moisture. This pic taken with 2005 technology. Meh.

Oh good grief--I have to address this cynicism regarding time travel to the future.  It's been presupposed that I already know the future of PEGASYS and the fuss is just theatrics on my part.  That's not how that works at all.  Again--time is not linear; it is fractal and from this point in time, in this particular universe, PEGASYS has a number of possible futures, not just one, and taking the wrong path from this point to a possible future can lead me to a pocket universe where everything ends, not just PEGASYS.  I'm here in this universe now, and I'm not going there.

The future of PEGASYS, at this point in time in this particular universe STILL depends on choices being made here and now.  Future history isn't about future historians either--it's about the record of what actually happens, and there's only one extant record of one important event which established a fixed point in this time, in this universe, and where the future branches off from this fixed point is what's in question. There's a universe where it does exist and there's a universe where it doesn't; causes and effects also come into play.  Choose wisely.

Again I use the game of chess as a point in time with many possible futures.  Make the right choice in your first move, you can make other right moves until you don't.  Make the wrong choice in your first move, and a chess master will put you in checkmate in 4 moves regardless of whatever the other possible moves might be. When that happens, it's like running into a pocket universe--it's game over.  There is no such thing as predestination; if that were true, then everybody can just sit back, let time happen as it will, and don't try to do anything at all.  Predestination is complete rubbish.

It's actually more like this...

Note the circular figure in the middle of the pic. Note where designated below...
Designated here are the parts that navigate a departure from a fixed temporal point into the future. Mathematically, it's the sigma of a series of thetas, which is why those parts rotate. OF COURSE I can read time-space co-ordinates (I call those geotemporal co-ordinates); I'm just lousy with the rest of the Gallifreyan language.

Didn't understand a single word of this?  I'm not surprised.

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