December 16th, 2020


Come Together Secret Mixter (health, garden, eating notes, observe, listening notes)

I've had Christine's composition for CC Mixter as part of my sound track for the past weekend: -- hers is the remix of Briareus “Alone Together.” I'm delighted to see and listen to [personal profile] gurdonark's remix and remixed piece, too.

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Monday lunch featured chickweed. I finally ate some of this winter weedy growth as garnish on a sandwich. I picked through the bundle i had ripped off of a rampant carpet, selecting the last couple inches of the tips. That reduced the numbers of stems that i find unappealing. It wasn't bad: it had a grassy note. I've not been excited about eating it as i pull it as a weed -- it seems cleaning it and selecting tips might be too much fuss for the reward. And perhaps the early season flavor is better.

Worked late on Monday night. Tuesday night was a terrible headache.

Tuesday lunch was leftovers plus a salad made up of things found in the garden -- more chickweed. A little diced sunchoke from a root i missed in the harvest. A little chicory that is rebounding from the misery of summer, plus depredation of rabbits, plus rotten leaves from rain. So far the rabbits -- who left calling cards -- haven't mown down anything, but their presence is clear. If i can get the soil fertility up, maybe i'll have plenty to share. The celery got their attention this time.

The salad burnet is looking lovely, but i'm not sure i'm finding it that interesting to eat. Plants for a future describes a taste difference between acid and basic soils, with my acid soils ending up on the bitter side of flavors. I'm more pleased with sorrel. (So are the rabbits.)

Speaking of soil fertility, best i can tell sunchokes like sweet (alkaline) soil, like tomatoes. My grumbles about sunchoke productivity and the wimpy response of my tomatoes could be that i didn't lime the garden well enough. I've also learned that "mineral soils" (clay) don't need to be deacidified as much as "organic soils." Using numbers for a few staples (tomatoes) i can now translate requirements for more diverse plants (like sunchokes) to find the right pH. I'm going off an old soil test and i am a little frustrated about soil testing as i can see big differences in the soil in my garden in different beds due to different available amendments at different times, then growing different things.

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This year i'll be giving mushroom grow kits to my aunt and my sister. I am pondering investing in the tools needed to place plugs in logs: there's some sweetgum that needs to come down and Shiitake and oyster mushrooms will grow in the logs. We've been stacking cultivation sized logs as zig zag fences where they are colonized by wild fungi and decay. Stacking mushroom plan
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