Mark has been growing vegetables in the basement, hydroponically. Also, he has continued the garden after the frost (back in September) using cloth over bended poles to cover things like broccoli and cabbage (pretty easy) and lettuce (not as easy). I have a potted cherry tomato that I brought in to put under his lights. With all this, I’ve noticed a few things: The lettuce that grows inside is beautiful, but it’s leaves are thinner, not as crunchy as the lettuce grown outside in the cold. It is also cleaner. Mark prefers the outdoor lettuce because he likes the crunch. I prefer the indoor lettuce because I like that it isn’t dirty. It seems the cold hardens them- makes them stronger. We have a number of tomato plants in the basement. Mine that I mentioned, is doing pretty well under regular lighting and is well in the basement where it stays fairly warm. But again, without the winds to strengthen the stalk, it is weaker than summer tomatoes outside. I water it and deadhead the marigolds and pretend I have a garden there (in my little plant pot). There are also some that Mark cloned from my garden favorites, near the window where they only get natural sunlight (such as it currently is). It isn’t cold, but it also isn’t as warm there. These plants are spindly and tall and cannot hold themselves up and the leaves are beginning to get wilty even though they have everything else they need. They also prevent the curtains closing in the master guestroom down there so my apologies to those visitors who have had to sleep with cats or coyotes peering in the window through the tomato leaves. Then there was a tomato plant out in our new greenhouse. The floor heat wasn’t connected in there yet so while there was a bit of sunlight low in the sky, and it wasn’t freezing in there, there was no wind and the floor wasn’t warm. This tomato plant produced quite a few tomatoes just before it died for no apparent reason. It turns out that the roots on a tomato plant need warmth. I keep thinking about that one, along with the hardening of the lettuce. I believe I’ll keep thinking on it because there is a message in there somewhere.
In case you are wondering about pollination for those tomato flowers, Mark uses a toothbrush. We’ve been kept in plenty of salad for a couple of months now. It’s great.
On an even more fun note, Jonathan is home again after over 3 years in Haiti. The first Sunday he was home, he woke the other boys up with a fog horn/siren/revelle medley through a loud speaker. Mark and looked at each other in the kitchen and said “Jon’s home”. Jonathan has a different way of looking at life, or perhaps just way more of how we look at life, but we like him that way. We also like that he listens to us and adjusts. Welcome home Jon!
As we prepare for another family wedding, there is much to do. Between all that though, the children made a snowman and the hunters keep hunting. Normalcy continues and we strive for peace. The fabric of life is woven deep. Life doesn’t have to be perfect, to be wonderful.
Have a great week,
All that is gold does not glitter
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.