Kitchen Garden

Heading Toward Derby Day

Photo Credit: Quad City Times
Photo Credit: Quad City Times

That yesterday was opening day in Major League Baseball, and day after tomorrow begins the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, were inescapable sports facts on social media.

Spring is about Derby Day for me. It’s a race to get the early garden work done by then so once the risk of frost is minimal the main seedling crops of tomatoes, peppers and the like can go into the ground.

Most years I have been able to take a break from gardening to watch the two-minute Kentucky Derby, taking in just enough of the pageantry to feel a bit queasy. The old saw is horse racing is the sport of kings and who wants or needs it? It’s just there.

Iowa political class member Jerry Crawford asserted last year he had two goals: delivering Iowa for Hillary Clinton and winning the Kentucky Derby. Hillary won the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, just barely, and his team Donegal Racing’s 2015 entry in the Kentucky Derby placed fifth. That’s about as close as my life gets to so-called kingmakers.

I’ve been hobbled in gardening by my hand injury. Yesterday I limited my work to planting seeds in trays and transplanting those grown ā€” celery, broccoli and basil ā€” into larger pots. No digging for me… yet.

It was 71 degrees in Alaska in late March, almost 80 degrees in Iowa yesterday. The Alaska temperature was highest in recorded history and not a good sign for the thawing tundra and its release of long banked methane gas.

While sports distracts many, for those of us listening to a different narrative such distraction puts many more at risk of stopping Earth’s engine of sustainability.

That matters even on this small plot in Iowa removed from much of the turbulence in society.