Kitchen Garden

Blustery Day in the County

Waiting for better weather to install the boat docks on the lake.

Some parts of the county reported wind gusts of 60 miles per hour yesterday. The National Weather Service counted eight tornadoes in Iowa. The wind lifted my greenhouse from its base and rolled it along behind my neighbor’s home. The main outdoors work was dealing with the wind.

Wind is expected to die down today. After my conference call I should be able to work in the garden. I plan to continue deconstructing a plot for peas and greens. I’ll transplant tomato seedlings from the channel tray where they germinated to soil blocks. This is Good Friday, the traditional day to plant potatoes. The potato seeds are cut, seasoned and ready to go into the ground. Four packets of seeds arrived from the seed company which need to get planted in blocks and placed on the heating pad to germinate. It will be a busy day.

In addition to dealing with wind, I had my annual diabetes screening with my ophthalmologist. The good news is there is no evidence of diabetes in images of my retina. Cataracts are progressing toward needing surgery in five or more years. For now I can see clearly and if I use the new eyeglasses prescription things will be in focus. He dilated my pupils and I was disorientated most of the day. Not wanting to drive home immediately after dilation, I went to a nearby retail store and walked around until my eyesight recovered enough to drive. I brought home a load of mostly organic fruit and vegetables.

I’m reading The Wizard and the Prophet by Charles C. Mann. I had not known much about either of its main subjects, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt. This is a good time to take up this study because how civilization interacts with the environment is a key modern consideration. The book outlines two main approaches. I lean toward Vogt’s “carrying capacity” approach, with some caution. While Borlaug won a Nobel Prize for his work with plant genetics, hybrid seeds and industrial-scale agriculture are part of our current environmental problems.

I’d like to get back to normal yet I don’t know what that means any longer. Spring, while blustery, has sprung.