Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Luxury of the Bubble

crab apple blossoms
As I was writing yesterday about the Cherry Blossom Pink Bubble, I kept thinking that I was so privileged to be be able to have a bubble at all. I live in a bucolic setting, far enough away from urban centers to shelter me from much of the violence in the world.  I had one reader privately comment on how we as a nation have a big bubble.  Sure, there are urban spots in this country that have higher body counts than some war zones, but those are by far the exception.  We live in a bubble, sheltered by our physical isolation from the rest of the world by two enormous oceans.  Most of the people who slip over our borders on the north and south are looking for a way to feed their families, not for a way to blow us up.

Crab apple
The people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, and the Central African Republic do not have the luxury of a bubble. They face violence regularly, they face bombs and gunfire on their way to buy their groceries or worse, while sleeping.  I just have to keep my kid out of the woods during deer hunting season and face an occasional pan handler working the parking lot of the supermarket, a luxury.

Now it is time to stop peering out through the walls of my bubble and turn inward, the vegetable garden needs water, the seedlings need potting up, weeds need pulling, the mowers need gas and belts, the dishes need washing, the hole for the gooseberry (due within 24 hours) needs digging and the newly opened crab apple blossoms need admiring. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Cherry Blossom Pink Bubble

Spring has arrived in full here, the weeping cherry is in full bloom, the crab apple is just a few rays of sunshine off of blooming, the dogwood has and the quince, the early riser has peaked.  The seeds have germinated (except the cantaloupe and eggplant) and some seedlings have their second set of leaves.  The cold frame is full to protect them all on chilly nights, all is quiet and growing.

After yesterday's event in Boston, it makes me feel like I'm living in a bubble.  The closest thing to violence around here yesterday was when the cats decided that the dog had done something horribly wrong, just standing there in the kitchen, then on some cue they growled, hissed and chased her to the living room.  The only things that make the bubble tremble are the military aircraft from a nearby base that fly overhead from time to time and the groups of Harley's headed for the beach..

I've walked through Copley Square along Boylston Street, I've taken the T from Kenmore to Park, many times, it is a place with shiny buildings and Copley Plaza with goods so expensive that I was afraid to even look because I felt like I had "poor college student, raised in the woods, quite clueless" written on my forehead..  Those memories are many years ago (mostly the 80's), almost a different lifetime it seems.  I'm sure that many others would prefer to remember Boylston Street that way.

Far from Boston in my little bubble, we know that there is a man with a bad haircut in Korea posturing about nuclear war, we know that the son of a friend finished the marathon well before the blast and left, we know about all the earthquakes and crooked politicians, but we are in our bubble and we also know that the local feed supply store will be receiving a shipment of Buff Orpington chicks and maybe some Barred rocks on May 10th and we think that temporary quarters could be established for a few little pullet puff balls. We also know that a box with a gooseberry plant is due any day and that the apples and the rest of the blackberries should be here mid-next week.  There is much darkness in the world, but here in the bubble it is cherry blossom pink.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shoveling the Manure and Other Social Dilemmas

I recently was confronted with a dilemma, I went to the local horse rescue to collect horse manure (completely decomposed, smelled like soil) in Rubbermaid tubs to put in the gardens and around all the new fruit trees and plants.   I looked like I had rolled in the pile not shoveled from it, I was doing my little fertility rite, I guess, for Easter Sunday.  I stopped my little, weighed down XB at a light, and hearing a friendly horn toot I looked into the car next to me, it was filled with the family of my daughter's friend, all coiffed and dressed up for Easter Mass. They waved.  I moved to wave back, but I froze half-way. I stared at the manure smeared hand in front of me.  I rolled down the window and wished them a happy Easter instead, laughing at myself.
 # 1 Who totes manure in a little box car? 
#2 How obsessed can I be with gardening to do this several times a week? 
#3 There I am in the small-town, upper-middle class burbs,  looking like I just rolled in poop. (We're the bitty'70's house in amongst the housing bubble McMansions.)

 I figure that if they know me, they understand, and if they don't, I provide some interesting stories, my service to the community.  I figure when the yard in producing all sorts of home grown fruits and veggies in a few years they might stop shaking their heads for a few minutes.

In the ground so far:
1 peach tree (came with the house-seriously diseased, but the Plant Doctor has put his studies to work, now we wait)
1 plum tree (also seriously diseased, may or may not make it, it is looking a bit better this spring)
1 apple tree, unknown variety with golden apples, came with the house, planted in the wrong spot too close   to the woods, produced 2 apples last year which we guess the deer ate.
1 crab apple serious fireblight issues, no fruit last year, but it is beautiful in bloom, which should happen  very soon.
Many, Many raspberry plants along the woods, very yummy and prolific
1 Lapins dwarf sweet cherry, planted right after we moved in last year
1 Stella sweet cherry planted about a week ago.
1 Montmorency pie cherry planted about three weeks ago
2 Nova Spy apples, planted about two weeks ago
2 Chicago figs planted in the fall, 1 still in a pot, negotiating with spouse as to its final location

Due any moment:
1 Hinomaki gooseberry
2 Apache blackberries (thornless)
3 Triple Crown blackberries (thornless)
1 Five in One apple tree
1 William's Pride apple
1 Enterprise apple
1 Liberty apple

We tried to focus on trees that would take the longest to mature first, but threw in a couple of things that will give us a little bit of instant gratification. As you can see, I have a few more holes to dig and more poop to spread.  In about three or four years, we should be buried in fruit from June to October.