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Dig, dig, dig and your muscles will get big!

June 7, 2007

I haven’t been doing much digging lately, instead I’ve been scraping, sanding and painting. We’ve been helping my sister with her house and she bought these poppies as a gift. My muscles are indeed larger and consequently, I’ve dubbed my sister’s house “The Gym”. I love poppies and have tried growing them but without much success. My sister and I mixed some old Shirley Poppy seeds, plus some saved Love-in-the-Mist (Nigella something?) and some cornflower seeds she’d bought and tossed them around in her front yard. Even though her house needs a good deal of work, we always manage some garden activity – to this point it has mainly consisted of heavy weeding, pruning, chopping etc. so the raking, scattering and watering seemed novel. I hope that seeds germinate and she gets a nice spring wildflower-esque display. Next it’s the raised no-dig vegetable bed and some more scraping, sanding and painting.

I read Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal,Vegetable,Miracle” – it was in fact, one half of my last hurrah purchase before embarking on the 90% reduction jaunt. Some people were buying or debating about buying things like solar ovens and such – me I bought this book and ordered my seed potatoes. The book was very encouraging about growing your own food, eating locally grown produce and was an ode to the home-gardener and small farmer. It affirmed to me that there is immense power in these simple gestures and immense benefit to you, your community and everyone’s health.

She talked alot about her local farmers’ market which made me a little sad. It’s one thing we don’t really have here, the Farmers’ Markets movement the US does. I loved going to Farmers’ Market in Kerrytown (Ann Arbor) with one of my sister’s and nephew. The produce was great – really! I thought I was going to die when I saw an entire raspberry and blueberry stall. My nephew apparently has become quite the food shopper not afraid to question the vendors , ” Are you sure that watermelon’s yellow inside?” He knows what he likes.
The “dig, dig” quote was mentioned in the book but in fact was coined by John Raeburn as part of the Victory Garden push in WW2. This site has some old Victory Garden manuals uploaded. In the manuals (c.1945)they still take about soil humus and soil nutrition as being the way to gardening success. That changed after the war and the chemical manufacturers needed to put their factories to some other use.

Something else I learnt from the Kingsolver book, was that what we call a crumble (as in apple and rhubarb etc), the Americans call a crisp. I always thought that a crisp involved toffee but not so.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 9, 2007 9:33 pm

    That is a seriously divine photo. Poppies used to be one of our favourite flowers when we were growing up. I’ve reread your blog this morning and followed all the links …. I can understand why you were tempted to buy Kingsolver’s book – it sounds brilliant.Thanks too for the Victory Garden links … you know where you’ll see those again soon.

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