Happy Pineapple, and the First Summer Squash

The banana crown that I removed from the pineapple of our last pineapple plant is happy and has become a burly plant of its own

The patchouli plants given to me yesterday are now in my version of the hospital. I’m giving them a 50/50 chance of making it. They were insanely rootbound and acutely stressed, so both were potted up in individual containers of clay, with basic commercial potting soil, given a fast-acting, water-soluble 10-10-10 feed, and placed in a sheltered spot where they’ll get only dappled sun. If they strengthen up, I’ll move them to a sunnier spot. Right now, I don’t want to stress them at all.

While I was tending the patchouli yesterday, I noticed that the banana crown that I removed from the pineapple of our last pineapple plant is really happy and has become a burly plant of its own. I think it’s going to need a larger pot. The lesson learned there is that trying to root a crown from a store-bought pineapple is nearly impossible, but a fresh crown from your own much-loved plant will root quickly and easily.

This is another testimony to the vast difference between the fruit we find at the market – which travels thousands of miles, is always past its prime, has been assaulted by chemicals of all kinds, has been grown under who-knows-what conditions, gassed, waxed, and place on display - and the fresh organic fruit we grow ourselves.

The longer I live, the more disenchanted I become with any fruit I find at any market – even the best markets. Fruit is meant to be harvested and eaten within minutes, while its vitality, nutrition, and flavor are at their peak. Hours are OK. But days is not. And weeks is definitely not. And yet, weeks is the norm when you we buy commercial produce, even the organic kind.

My husband and I are not holding a tag sale this summer. Last year’s sale was our last. Neither of us felt comfortable with the people who came to last summer’s sale. We didn’t like having strangers roaming around our home, the haggling, the shoppers’ aggression, the hyperactive children reaching for our dogs (which freaked out us and the dogs), and we definitely didn’t like the set up and clean up. After it was over, we both felt as if we’d been trespassed on.

My husband and I looked at each other and asked why we were holding this sale at all. When the answer came – that we were accumulating useless things that we now wanted to get rid of – we decided to stop accumulating useless things. That was the beginning of big changes for both of us.

We’ve streamlined our lives to the point where we’re not burdened with so much stuff that we must give people we don’t know access to our home, gardens, time, and peace on a Saturday afternoon. Tag sales are not necessary when we live simply and smartly. Just saying.

In the gardens, we have summer squash one or two days away from harvesting and a new crop of cucumbers planted. We're succession planting cucumbers this summer. We have more greens than we can even give away to friends, so there will be a trip to the Granby food bank this weekend. I noticed flowers on the tomato plants. Looking forward to some garden tomatoes to add to a mild yellow Thai curry of garden veggies. Simple, fresh food. Love every little bit of it.

Live in peace.

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