Sunday, March 27, 2011

You Plant Your Fields

My little seedlings are finally starting to get a move on in the growth department. These are mostly varieties that I ordered from Southern Exposure. I am very impressed with their seed quality. These just busted forth quite exuberantly only a few days after I planted them and soon outgrew the smaller starter holes in the tray below. My seeds from Baker Creek and a few others have sprouted but took much longer and just haven't shown the life, I guess you'd say, of these others. Now, some of these other seeds are from a couple of years ago and a couple I messed up by planting too deep but the Southern Exposure seeds just seem much more robust.
We are still getting a few frosts now and again and our traditional planting dates for hot weather crops are not until mid-April. Many of the older folks here plant right after Good Friday. So, knowing these would never make it in the teeny starter slots I transferred these to individual peat pots until I can get them in the ground. I have started zucchini, crookneck yellow squash, 2 types of cucumber, Amish Paste, Black Cherry, Moneymaker and Yellow Pear tomatoes, Black Diamond watermelons, Edisto 57 melons (cantaloupe), a Santa Claus melon, eggplant and pepperocini peppers. I also started some dill and some little mini, decorative pumpkins, just for fun. I will direct sow green beans, corn, okra, purple hull peas and probably some other stuff that escapes my memory at the time.

I hope I did not sound presumptuous or holier-than-thou in that last post/rant. I don't mean to appear to think I'm all that and a bag of chips too. Compared to some other folks doing 'green', I'm a horrible slacker. I know I have a long way to go but I'm working on it. What bothers me is not that people don't live like I do. Everybody is different and everybody has the right to live as they choose. What pains me is when I see friends and family, or even people that are not close friends, who are obviously unhappy and unhealthy but do not seem to realize the source of their trouble. They work long hours on sometimes 2 jobs to uphold a standard of living that basically amounts to eating, sleeping, watching TV and shopping for worthless crap on their few off days. Or, they work long hours to avoid their spouse. They feel bad physically and bad about themselves because they can't seem to lose weight but they don't seem to realize that melted cheese is not a vegetable and that cases of diet soda won't cancel out all the other crap you eat. In fact, many studies done have shown they will actually make you gain weight, not to mention wreck your blood sugar levels. They complain about having to take so many prescription meds and will believe anything a doctor tells them but make fun of me because I use baking soda instead of chemical laden toothpaste. And what astounds me most of all is they will question me and see how I live, that I don't take drugs, that I don't need to lose 50-60 lbs. or more (although I admit I could lose 10), that I'm not burdened by untold amounts of debt and then STILL smugly scoff at me for planting my own food or not having the latest Crackberry or Ipod or whatever the shit they have.
And most painful of all is that they are teaching their children the exact same habits and lifestyles, almost guaranteeing their future unhappiness also. They claim they have no time for outdoors or planting or anything of that sort and I suppose if they are at the mall all the time or chauffeuring their children to way too many activities, they don't. I don't buy that however. When I was a kid we grew a large garden and raised much of our own meat and we, the kids, had to do a lot of the work. But we still had time for extracurricular activities and fun time with friends. In high school my sister was in the band and my two brothers and I were all the annual staff photographer. I got to go swimming at the fancy city pool with girlfriends. However, I had to finish weeding and watering sometimes before I could go. But we were not secluded farm children that never socialized with society. Hell, we even dated some! Well, my siblings did; for the most part I couldn't buy a date in high school. But anyway...the idea of not having time or kids not having any other life is ridiculous, but I guess what it boils down to is that people make time for what they want.
On the rare occasions that I see my family they all look tired and wore out. Other people and friends seem stressed and upset and it just makes me feel bad for them. To live a more simple life is just that,... simple. It's not rocket science. But I guess the lure and habit of rampant consumerism is more than a lot of people can avoid. And, as some of you pointed out, most people just don't stop and think. They don't realize they don't have to live that way. As one of the boys I worked with told me once, 'it's not debt unless you can't make the payment'. That is their way of thinking. But you can't really say anything to people about stuff like that. It's their choice. But I do feel bad knowing that people I care about are going to continue to suffer ill health, work related stress and rising debt and they won't look around and see what is going on.
But ya'll don't worry about me, seriously. I like being different; always have. In fact, I have a overwhelming urge to dread my hair or pierce my nose in defiance of normalcy and to proclaim my hippidom!!. Tattoos are cliche' now but I could come up with something different. Wear bones in my hair? lol!!! Maybe Jack and I could start running around the homestead in little grass skirts and nothing else!! Ha!!


Ed said...

This post and the last one with 'rants' are my favorite posts of yours second only to the home building posts. These posts along with the one of that huge bicep remind me that if I ever meet you in person, I'll not get on your bad side!

P.S. I've never had anyone get made at me for not shopping at Walmart but I have had people seem incredulous and wonder how I can survive without going there.

Deb said...

Keep it up Annie, you're on a roll and I could use all the inspiration I can get to defy society and live a life that matters!

And yes, you don't have to deny kids the "normal" activities and social life in order to live rurally. Just being out where they can encounter nature as part of normal life makes a huge difference, at least I think it has with my kids.

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! LOL!! now, Ed, I'm a real softie! my bark is much worse than my bite I promise!
I usually get the incredulous reaction also but have had a couple get pissed and tell me I thought I was better than everyone else for not shopping there. lol!! excuse me???

Hey Deb! thanks so much!! you can do it Deb! If you can hold your ground working around mostly men I know you can give the rest of society the finger! lol! so to speak!
I think it makes a great difference too for kids.

HermitJim said...

I truly think you are one of the most entertaining and original folks I know!

Even though I have never met you, I feel I can say I know ya!

I don't think that any of us are ever going to misunderstand what you say, because you are very honest about saying what you think! That's a good thing!

I'm thinking that the grass skirts thing might need some re-thinking...especially for the Captain!

Good post, my friend!

Anonymous said...

The best thing you can do when faced with a harried, stressed out, drowning in debt, late getting their brats to whatever, is look them straight in the eye with the calmest, most surene expression and say "Well, bless your little heart." And walk away.
Quakers believe that all humans are created equal (notice i didn't say 'all men')and we should respect each others right to believe and live as we want. BUT we don't have to follow them. SOOOO Just keep going the way you are and forget them. Folks here still can't believe we can exist without cable or dish tv.Your not alone.
Your plants are looking good. Ours are just starting to poke out.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Actually this post and the previous ones about doing stuff thought-provoking and also insightful in telling more about yourself. I like that. Personally, my life is a work in progress; sometimes the progress is a little slower than other times.

edifice rex said...

Hey Jim! Ha!! yeah, Jack might tend to have some "wardrobe malfunctions" with his grass skirt! lmao!
Thanks man!

Hey Grenville! lol! yeah, that's a good idea! thanks!

Hey Beatrice! thanks! yeah, we are all works in progress, or try to be anyway. :)