Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice....not a health update, or is it???

The shortest day of the year. A train just passed by and as the sun was setting there was the mournful sound of its horn. "Dark comes quickly, dark comes quickly, dark comes quickly" the wheels of the train clacked into the oncoming night.

Last year, after the Christmas rush and into the quiet of January, I got all caught up in reading stuff on Garden Web about soil, composting, vermiculture (worm farming---y'all I swear, I wanted to be a worm farmer for a while. Jonathan's eyes were just rolling in his head at this....) and other garden related stuff.

There are some great forums over there. My favorite forum is the Soil, Composting, and Mulch forum, with the Vermicomposting coming in for a close second. Fun reading if you're into de-composition!

I won't bore you with all I've learned but will just leave it to you to click on and chase links if you have half an interest in doing things more organically in your yard. When the seed catalogs come in, maybe you'll remember this post.

But I do have to link back to one of the most fun times I had in the Garden Web forums when a bunch of us started talking about what kinds of organic inputs you could create from nothing, but would fertilize and feed your soil better than anything Dow Chemical could make.

When you've got time (and only if you're interested) just start reading "Why I Love the Internet"
where you will meet an interesting group of gardeners and lovers of the soil. You have to want to read about bacteria (good) and making weird brews to feed your plants with, and you'll meet an interesting Russian guy who does cool experiments and shares info from Russian books with cool illustrations. Remember, this is only for those of you who want to spend a lot of time thinking about dirt, I mean, soil.

Which brings me back to the Winter Solstice.

Have you ever thought about getting your tomato plants or flowers ready for the garden on the shortest day of the year? I never had until I stumbled into yet another forum at Garden Web, the Winter Sowing forum. People all over have sown seeds today, in milk cartons and other things they've collected all year.

These seeds will sit in corners of yards, be covered by snow, protected by their new little incubators and they will know when it is safe to sprout (sooner than you think) and they will be acting on what nature intends. I know, it sounds crazy, but just read the FAQ section of that forum. You'll learn lots.

I know this is a really weird post for most of you. And I'm going to end it with some really weird music.

In 1979, the GENIUS Stevie Wonder wrote a score for an obscure documentary called The Secret Life of Plants. (note: this link will take you to the google movie of the documentary, 96 minutes long, just so you'll know.)

The accompanying album (for it was a double album at the time) is truly one of my favorite of Stevie's. (Said like I know him real well....ha ha ha, I wish.) I will leave you with a funkified video of something to think about.... A seed's a star, a star's a seed's a star.

If the big star gives us rain and warmth to grow the seeds, is it the seed of life?

Does Stevie answer in this song? Do yourself a favor, though, and order the double CD and listen to it, in order, from beginning to end. FABULOUS. Simply FABULOUS.

Thank you, Jonathan, for really introducing me to Mr. Wonder. You are MY Mr. Wonder.

I love you.


  1. I always learn so much, and still have one package of vanilla marigolds..... My thumb was brown with just a hint of chartruese, as only one Marigold bloomed... Heck...I didn't mind... It was a glorious marigold! Love you! Christy

  2. Penny,
    I just wanted you to know that I am keeping up with you on your blog and praying for you.
    Beth Duncan

  3. Susan Carter DickeyDecember 23, 2009 at 7:46 AM

    Another talent of yours I never knew about--this gardening side. Have you heard about the worm poop producer TerraCycle? Founded by a Princeton drop-out, uses recycled Coke (or as some would say, soda) bottles for his packaging and became so successful that he was sued by the big boys who said his yellow and green labels were too much like theirs. I think it's a wonderful story. Now you can buy it at Home Depot! Here's an article you might enjoy from CNN:
    If you want to go the chicken XXXX route, forget calling your product "Cockadoodle DOO." It's taken!


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