Why a Girl Like Me Can’t Take Herself Too Seriously

Every once in a while I have a day where I get so worked up that I’m just like Bill the Cat at the end of it.  And not in the “Finds herself president or in Billy and the Boingers” way.

And then I look at my blog stats and I realize that, no matter what all else I write, the window most of the internet has to Tiny Cat Pants is either some post I wrote on hermaphrodite porn or the post I wrote on the exorcism on Paranormal State.

I don’t know.  It puts it all in perspective somehow.

Yesterday, I came home, planted poppies, zinnia, and alyssum and then hung out in the hammock.  It feels smart to me to plant right before days of rain, like free water!  The Butcher has a friend with a truck, so, after it stops raining, they’re going to go rent a tiller.  Since that might not be until Sunday, I was a little stressed that the lines that the Professor and I mapped out to plot the beds would be gone.  But the Butcher went out and dug holes at each corner of the beds.  So, even if the rain takes care of the paint, he’ll still know where to till.

I also got him all excited about the mushroom compost.  Or at least for my sake, he pretended to me.  He also spent a good part of yesterday clearing more brush in where we put our poor lone raspberry.  But holy shit!  I can’t remember.  Did I inflict a picture of the raspberry on you on Sunday?  Anyway, since we planted it, it has twice as many leaves and appears to me to be taller.  In other words, it’s really taken to that spot.  No reason it shouldn’t though.  We looked for where the privet was growing the best, dug the privet up and stuck it right there. If it’s a good spot for privet, it’s a good spot for other growing things (or often visa versa, of course).  Still, it’s really satisfying to see it thrive.

And the other satisfying thing, about seeing the holes at the ends of the beds, is that it reconfirmed that that’s much better soil on that side of the creek.  Good dark brown stuff that does not behave so much like it’s about ready to become a clay pot.  So, it’s not just where we put the raspberry, but all over.

Here’s a question I have for you, internets.  What constitutes organic gardening?  Is it just not using chemical pesticides or what?  And should this be something I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know?

Also, in tiny cat news, yesterday, she hid under my bed and jumped out and grabbed my toes and then skampered off, kind of terrified and pleased with herself that she had the guts to do that.

Never, folks, never in the history of the tiny cat has she ever, ever done something like that.

15 thoughts on “Why a Girl Like Me Can’t Take Herself Too Seriously

  1. As far as I know, organic gardening in it’s simplest sense is simply gardening without using any synthetic materials (like synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, etc). But there’s a wide range of exactly how you do that and still have a successful garden.

  2. Every once in a while I have a day where I get so worked up that I’m just like Bill the Cat at the end of it. And not in the “Finds herself president or in Billy and the Boingers” way.

    That sentence made me laugh out loud – you have no idea how much I relate to that.

  3. In our city, there is the community garden association and there is the organic gardening association. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m part of the community gardens, which permits the use of synthetics for soil amendment and pest/weed control, when necessary.

    For soil improvement, the organic gardens eschew the use of anything synthetic. We both use blood meal, compost and cover crops for soil improvement, but the organic gardens do not permit the use of synthetic fertilizers like ammonium phosphate. The community gardens do use these fertilizers.

    For pest control, the community garden discourages the use of synthetic pesticides because of their effect on beneficial insects and because non-chemical solutions (BT, soapy water, companion planting, beneficials) are just as effective, but we don’t have bylaws that prevent their use. The organic gardens do prevent their gardeners from using these kinds of pesticides.

    For weed control, the community gardens sometimes use Roundup to kill a bad patch of Bermuda grass (it’s a problem here). The organic gardens don’t permit any synthetic herbicide use.

    It’s probably easier to garden organically in a wetter climate, where composting occurs faster. In my experience, good soil nutrition decreases pest problems and regular, thick compost applications enhance the soil best. I think most gardening can be successful using organic methods.

    If someone is reaching for a chemical bag or bottle to “fix” something every time he or she heads into the garden, then I think that person’s assumptions and methodologies may need to be re-evaluated.

  4. Dianne, could you say a little more about companion planting? Otherwise, it looks like I’m an accidental organic gardener. I like to be able to walk out to my garden, pull something off the vine, wipe it off and eat it, so I’m not that excited about pesticides other than soapy water. But I do have a plan to plant marigolds in an among everything to try to deter pests.

    But I’m not depending on my garden for food, so it’s not the end of the world if someone else eats them. On the other hand, I am extremely unhappy that someone is already into my parsley.

  5. You’ve asked a dangerous and loaded question in “What constitutes organic gardening”. This can be more opinionated and controversial than some of your political posts.

    At one point or another all gardens are/have been organic and the use of manufactured or natural chemical controls is usually the tipping point. Don’t be an organic label snob. It’s more like retro gardening with a snappy marketing label applied to it. Natural chemical controls can be just as unbalanced and broad spectrum killers as manufactured, the trick is finding a balance. Biodynamics.

    A balanced garden will not always be pretty and shiny. Bugs live there, they eat things, veggies will not be picture perfect and sometimes mold and disease show up and you will give up a certain amount of quantity for quality. That’s what makes it tastier than what’s in the grocery store.

  6. I think what saraclark says in her last paragraph is key, and reflects on my statement about reassessing assumptions.

    As far as companion planting goes, I think messy is best. Shoot for the widest variety you can manage in a square-foot area. Attempt to include produce, herbs and flowers each. The variety ensures that you don’t lose an entire monocrop row to a single pest, and by including flowers that attract insects you’ll also be inviting the beneficials that can mitigate any eventual infestation.

    Your parsley (and the earlier suggestion of fennel) are good examples of companion planting not to deter pests, but to give them something besides your produce to eat. This is a good approach. At the end of the day you can still clip some of the remaining parsley, pull the fennel and eat them.

    Mother Earth News has a pretty good list of companion plants and the reasons they work. The list is actually an image online, so magnify it to read.
    Original article: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1975-05-01/Companion-Planting.aspx
    List Image #1: http://www.motherearthnews.com/multimedia/image-gallery.aspx?id=64958&seq=1
    List image #2: http://www.motherearthnews.com/multimedia/image-gallery.aspx?id=64958&seq=2

  7. jim, “them” wasn’t meant to be all-inclusive, but is probably more accurate when read that way. At a certain point in my gardening experience, I recognized that bugs would find their way into my mouth. I realize that those with a heightened tactile imagination (me included) are already squicked by the idea. Here’s my solution: rinse real good and afterwards don’t look too closely.

  8. You may not be too disappopinted when it turns out your parsley eater is the larva of the beautiful black swallowtail butterfly. I ALWAYs lost 3/4 of my parsley to the butterflys, but could never bring myself to kill the horrible looking larvae. I just planted more parsley.

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