May 24 – hoe, hoe, hoe….the merry season of seeding and planting

Rights of spring in earnest as Rotzy hits the hoe, row by row


We Got Word From….
….Annette Funicello (not her real name) a couple weeks back that our (10’x10′) plots over at Hope C/R Gardens would be ready for planting by the 24th weekend….and they were, the soil worked up REALLY well by some guy with a heavy-duty roto-tiller for the 2022 growing season. Rotzy wasn’t sure about taking on TWO plots this year….here at the 555 Harris Place Commune Gdn….AND Plot #58 over at Hope, largely because of the latter. It’s the farthest one from parking and down a tricky (for me) ‘slope’. So….SO….I asked Ms. Funicello for ‘something closer’….and she ‘delivered’! Big tyme! It’s like going from worst to first, tho it’s actually from #58 to #9….with #9 being located in the middle of Row 1, rather than the end of Row 4. (*still with me?) Now, I just back Edna The SUV up to the curb, open the tailgate, and I’m gardening. A dry spell? Need watering? Well Sir/M’am, the hose, sprinkler and watering cans are four feet away from Plot #9. Hey, sometymes you’re the statue and sometymes you’re the pigeon….and as ‘the statue’, even if you manage to avoid the pigeon poop, just as sure as s–t somebody gonna come along to toss red paint all over you and/or tip you over on your head! So, coo, coo, coo. Now, as long as nobody decides to ‘help me out’, as was the case last summer, and then ‘my helper’ stomped the s–t out of #58 less than a week after I had it all planted….so….no repeats of that in ’22, thank you. To quote our ‘go-to garden expert’ from Nakina, the late Shirley Khoui….”Let’s get growing”! The biggest difference in Shirley’s advice….comparing Nakina’s zone to Brant’s Ford would surely be the ‘Safe After Date’ for setting out tomato plants and the likes was/still is June 16th ‘up north’ with May 24th the banana belt date. Miz. Jo and Rotzy were a week and a bit early with OUR tomatoes this year, planting 3 or 4 large pots around May12/13th but they’re on our balcony….and they’re doing good. I’ve got a row of green cabbage planted in The Commune Gdn and the rest will go in when it goes in (*see below). I’ve previously said in this space ‘I do it because I love to watch stuff grow’. Still do….but with a couple ‘attention getting health issues’ with my ticker earlier this year, yours truly isn’t about to try breaking Ripley’s* record for The Fastest Hoe-er/Planter In The World! Lawdy Miss Clawdy….who in hell wants THAT title anyhow??!! My/our stuff will go in the ground when I WANT it to (*see above)….not a nano-second before, OK? By the bye, here are a couple comments (one’s true the other a lie) that you often hear from gardeners….specifically those who grow mainly vegetables for their own consumption, OK? Just a quick/little ‘aside’ here, if I may…..in my one year of experience at Hope Gardens I learned that about 40% of them gardening there this year will get their plot mostly planted in a couple hours, make ONE return trip in two or three weeks to hoe/cultivate the new plants, drive home, never to see it again. No, I am NOT kidding! OK, so here’s the most common Veg Gardeners Comments….#1…..when you grow them yourself, they taste better!….plain and simple!! *That, folks, is absolutely TRUE!! Without a doubt in my mind. Don’t ask Rotzy how in the hell to ‘splain it…IT JUST DOES….and they’ve carried out extensive laboratory tests with REAL people, experts and small, furry animals. So, rest assured folks, you’ll be eating yummy produce….your parsnips and leeks will be ‘stars’ of your menus! Which is good after hearing the other Gardner Comment. ”I grow almost ALL of our own veggies and some fruit and they are SO cheap, they cost us practially nothing”. False. A BIG fat LIE. Lier, Lier, Pants On Fire!! You are putting out loads of cash on SOMETHING, but ‘little extras’, things like gas, fertilizer, seeds, plants and cetera….well, Buster, they add up and the extensive ‘costing check’ done by a Reg.CCA last August showed our medium-sized ‘Patio’ tomatoes were costing us $37.55 /lb to grow, And Tiny Tim*tm were $29.88/lb. Our Butter Cup Squash was a deal and a half,,,,only $5 Bucks each….but we only had three in total. That’s why you really gotta concentrate on their flavour. Eee-yi-eee-yi-oh.

Readers Writes
I wanted to go with this one last week, it ‘went missing’. I found it! I love it! Here it is…..in the form of a message written with a wide, black magic marker on a big piece of plain brown cardboard.,.,.,.,”Dear Putin, Let’s speed up to the part where you kill yourself in a bunker. (that worked fine for another Madman….that one was from Austria….in 1945) Isn’t it interesting/ironic that Russia just recently celebrated their victory over Germany toward the end of WW II, and now, in 2022 the boot is on the other foot as Putin gives it his best Hitler impersonation in The Ukraine….as history repeats itself.

Yours Truly Makes Mention….
….from tyme to tyme about missing the life and lifestyles of Nakina, and last weekend the feelings were even a little more ‘focused’….because….it was Opening Weekend! Yes, I’m talking about walleye, pickerel if you wish, and just like the Rites Of Spring are observed down here in the Brant’s Ford area, the same sort of thing is ‘celebrated’ in Nakina and across North and N/W Ontario. And without a doubt the ‘celebration’ is MUCH more ‘serious/intense’ than here in the South, because they have just survived a winter that you really have to be a part of before you can actually believe it, OK? Then suddenly you’re fishing ON the water….IN a boat….NOT through FOUR ft of ice! The thing is, Rotzy never was in a rush Opening Weekend as there were a number of people among our friends that we’d get a dozen or more ‘eyes’ dropped off for us Sat and Sunday….cleaned, filleted (Nakina-style) and Zip-Loc’d*tm. Bingo! I don’t want to complain about Lake Erie’s fish…walleye and perch…..but….sorry….the walleyes don’t compare to the northern variety….in taste and appearance, plus they leave the skin on one side of the fillet, and EAT IT (like a salmon tail)down here….and….they’re over $20 /lb at Loblaws Fish Dept. Truth is, if Miz. Jo and Rotzy are looking for a good fish fry it’ll likely be Arkansas farm-raised catfish, with Rocky Madsen Cajun Fish Coating. MMmmm! To our old friends up north, I trust you’re into a platter of fried walleye! MMmmmm!! Enjoy.

*Thought Of The Day…Ukrainians telling a Russian warship (who were demanding fuel) ”Go f— yourselves” is braver than some trucker bobtailing in his Kenworth along through Peterboro enroute to Ottawa, hanging off his air horn cord whilst crying about vaccines and mandates. (Amen!!)

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