Sunday, July 24, 2011

I drive a hard bargain

This cart showed up in a local front yard a few weeks ago.  Isn't that cute? I thought to myself.  I wonder if it is for sale?  There was no sign on it, so I assumed not.  A few days later, a "For Sale" sign did appear, with the price set at $150.  I was tempted, but not enough to knock on their door.  This past weekend, the household had a garage sale.  Surely someone will buy that cart, I thought, but when I walked past yesterday morning, I saw the sign now said "$150 OBO" - or best offer.  As I rounded the block on my final lap, I stopped to further inspect the cart, lingering long enough that the man of the house spotted me.

"I'll let you have that trailer for $125," said he.  I was going to offer you $100, I countered.  "It's yours!"  Now all I have to do is install the brake lights, transfer the title, register and insure it, AND get a hitch for my CRV.  THEN I can use it to haul manure.  My neighbor said I could use his pickup truck for manure, but I was reluctant because 1) I would feel compelled to get a whole truckload at a time and that is a lot of shit to shovel, and 2) I would also feel compelled to not just wash the truck but try to remove every molecule of odor from it - I happen to like the smell of horse manure, but some people find it offensive, and it does tend to linger.

The need for manure for the garden has become paramount.  After the soil tests I did this spring revealed my soil was low in nitrogen, I tried to amend that by adding blood meal and bone meal to some of the beds.  The paste tomatoes now look leggy and seem less productive than last year.  The Irish potatoes grew awfully tall as well.  So I am returning to my root (heh) philosophy that one should feed the soil and then the soil will feed the plants.  Hence, the manure.  I found a free source of it, too.  All I have to do is shovel it.  Sounds like a good job for my SO to help with.  I will turn that river rat into a farmer yet.

Speaking of tomatoes, the only ones ripening are the paste ones, and they are suffering from blossom end rot.  As I recall, BER was a problem with this variety last year.  I thought maybe I overwatered them, so this year I was trying to be more moderate with the hose.  Apparently that is not the key to success.  The tomato plants growing in sacks of MiracleGro look wonderful, are loaded with fruit, but the 'maters just won't ripen. Yesterday I did the unthinkable:  I PURCHASED tomatoes, albeit home grown ones that were grown in someone else's garden.  I did get a handful of green beans from my garden yesterday, though, and I am enjoying some garlic and peppers and overgrown scallions in my omelets these days.

Friday we received a blessed half-inch of rain, but it is still hot and humid.  There is supposed to be a break tomorrow, though, and while the hot will return later in the week, it is supposed to be drier.  I, for one, am tired of feeling trapped indoors.

No comments: