By LYNNE IRONS
As you know, I have been complaining of late about hauling water to my new vegetable plot while waiting for the well to be completed. Meanwhile I have attempted to stay grateful for my water at home. Well, don’t you know, last Wednesday (the icing on the cake of my week) the pump gave out at my house. One could begin to take this chain of events personally. It is remarkable how many times I turned on the faucet in vain. Being exhausted and a bit too anti-social by nightfall to take advantage of my friends, I actually took a shower in a gallon of water.
For years, I have filled empty bleach jugs and stored them in the pantry. The residue left in the bottle from bleach keeps the water fresh if you will. I suppose it would be drinkable in a pinch. No matter, I have jars sealed for drinking ever since the nuclear power plant meltdown at Chernobyl in 1986 but that’s another story.
At any rate I heated a gallon in a shallow pan and with soup ladle in hand gave the body a decent once-over. I managed to save what poured down my legs for flushing. The good news, besides excellent column writing fodder, is I’m sure there is some social message in here. I was wondering about the number of people worldwide for whom this is a common occurrence. We Americans do tend to take our good fortune for granted. We’re talking basic human rights here. Thanks to the plumber all is well and now I have no excuse for the sink full of dirty dishes.
I made a commitment this week to free the rest of my vegetable and annual flower seedlings from their confinement in six-packs and flats. I have thrown caution to the wind and am no longer dividing into individuals. I just rip off clumps of plants and get them into soil. Survival of the fittest.
Last week’s column had a typographical error. The Pro-gro fertilizer I mentioned is manufactured by North Country Organics, not Coventry. I dosed my neglected brussels sprouts seedlings with it and within days they perked up. The fertilizer can be used throughout the growing season whenever a plant shows signs of stress. Yellowing leaves usually signal some sort of deficiency.
My turnips are flowering already, wanting to go to seed. They are bigger than golf balls and the greens are still delicious. The other day in the garden I decided to snip off the flowers so the turnips could keep growing. Those flowers were so beautiful I ate them. They were way better than nasturtiums with a mild cabbage flavor. I didn’t have my reading glasses with me so I didn’t know if I ingested any bugs but I didn’t die.
I am so sad for my customers who have yet to arrive. The bearded irises were gorgeous but last Friday’s rain beat them to death. They are strewn all over the beds. I did enjoy them for a nanosecond. They smell like the color they are — who knew? Tangerine is citrus-scented; purple — grape; and white — vanilla. What a kick. I am fond of Caesar’s brother, a tall Siberian iris. It looks good way into July, and the foliage gives a lot of structure to a bed.
I don’t even bother to tie my political opinions into my gardening world any longer. Sorry folks! Allow me to quote Eric Barren of the North Star Writer’s Group: “Only the Democratic party could see to it that prosecuting torture is made politically unfeasible.” The Obama administration has earned part of that black mark. Once the president declared waterboarding to be torture — an opinion consistent with both domestic legal precedence and international law — it should have started the machinery of the criminal justice system working. That is, a nation that hauls its chief executive before a public tribunal for lying about an affair unearthed during a political witch-hunt has no excuse in not taking to trial people who have violated every basic concept of humane and decent treatment of others.
That didn’t happen, providing the opening through which Nancy Pelosi could be exploited as if she were as guilty as the administration officials who ordered it to happen.
How can a nation that treats torture in such a way ever again expect the world to take it seriously as a champion of human rights?