Kitchen Garden Writing

Next Shoe to Drop

Seedlings waiting to be planted

One of the largest employers in Cedar Rapids, Collins Aerospace, announced salary cuts and furloughs in response to the coronavirus pandemic. They aren’t the first big company to do it.

Last night the Walt Disney Company, where our daughter works, announced furloughs beginning April 19 for union-represented cast members. There is a long list of corporations with furlough plans.

A month ago corporations were aware of the potential business risks of a pandemic. They froze things in place with some adjustments to see how the pandemic evolved. Next, they are taking steps to ensure longer-term financial survival and recovery. We’re a month into broad recognition of the pandemic which suggests business management believes, and we should as well, we are a long distance from exiting the restrictions imposed on our lives and returning to things like grocery shopping, buying gasoline, flying, visiting theme parks, and going to church without anxiety.

A team of Harvard researchers said models project social distancing may need to continue into 2022 to prevent medical systems from being overwhelmed by a resurgence of the novel coronavirus. The happy talk about “opening up the economy” rings hollow right now.

We go on living.

Yesterday I finished planting the main onion patch. That there is an onion patch is a change from previous years. By noon there were eight rows with seven varieties:

Red, yellow and white from the home, farm and auto supply store, varieties unknown but likely a July harvest.
Matador Shallots, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 90 days from transplant.
Ailsa Craig Onion Plants, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 95 days from transplant.
Patterson Onion Plants, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 86 days from transplant.
Red Wing Onion Plants, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 103 days from transplant.

All of the onion work is an experiment in being more successful in growing them. Red, white and yellow unknown varieties were from bulbs, the shallots from seeds, and three varieties of onions from Johnny’s are storage onions. Weeding and proper watering will be needed now and for the next three months until harvest.

It snowed last night. The temperature inside the portable greenhouse was 48 degrees this morning because of the space heater used overnight. The plants looked fine, although the cooler temperature will slow germination of recently planted seeds. Snowfall will delay planting in the garden as the soil was already too wet yesterday when I spaded a strip. We’ll see what the day brings, however, the snow should melt and if the lawn dries enough I could get some mowing done and use the clippings to mulch the garlic and onions. Lot of “ifs.”

On the tenth day of my unpaid leave of absence from the home, farm and auto supply store I’m waiting for the next shoe to drop so I can figure out how to manage our lives on the prairie.

I know gardening will be part of it yet there’s more to come.

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