Archive for October, 2008

Just got forwarded an exciting press release from a thoughtful friend. (Thanks Mr. Viles!)

Here’s a quote: “According to reports of American seed companies, seed sales are up 30% in just the last two weeks.”

The press release came from (and was promoting) a  Mr. Jay North, author of the books “Getting Started in Oragnic Farming for Fun and Profit” and “Grow Yourself Rich.”

his website is www.goingorganic.com

I’ll see if he’d like to get on the phone later.


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Let’s start with the good news first:

I have plants!! To be specific, lots of lettuce plants, 2 sugar snap pea plants, 3 bamboo sticks for the peas to climb, 6 cauliflower plants, 6 primroses and 6 arugula plants (my very favorite green!) I also have 7 bags of dirt, 2 boxes of fertilizer, 3 EarthBoxes, 1 wooden box, 2 basil plants, 1 chive plant, 2 thyme plants (my cooking mentor the Barefoot Contessa LOVES thyme) and 1 baby oregano plant. The patio farm is on its way!

Was there bad news? Well, there was a hysterical crying fit mid-day. Here’s what went down:

Around 1:30, after making breakfast, cleaning the house and feeding the baby I headed off to Sunset Nursery in Silver Lake where I used to buy my plants and dirt and gardening supplies when I lived in Echo Park. (I’ve never grown vegetables, but more on that another time). I had my trusty EarthBox pamphlet with me which stated very clearly: “Do not confuse potting soil with potting mix. You want potting mix.”

I recently noticed that the Sunset nursery has received some not so nice reviews on Yelp, but I’ve always had great experiences there. Everyone had been super helpful, knowledgeable, willing to answer my zillions of questions (I like to be informed!). So I selected my plants (the arugula, a mix of lettuce seedlings, the sugar snap peas and the herbs) and headed inside to purchase the fertilizer and potting MIX.

I guess they don’t sell potting mix at Sunset Nursery, although the guy behind the counter didn’t say that. He just told me there really wasn’t any difference between potting mix and potting soil. I explained I had bought an EarthBox and that the instructions made it clear there was a difference. Then the guy standing next to him suggested that if I wanted to get exactly what the EarthBox people said, then go to Home Depot or Osh or something or just buy it from EarthBox directly.  (It was said dismissively, not helpfully).

What?? First of all, those places don’t sell EarthBoxes, and second of all, I thought supporting small businesses was good. And then, to top it off he told me EarthBoxes don’t work. They tried it with tomatoes apparently. They didn’t like it.

All this garden stuff has been making me feel really elated, but suddenly I was totally deflated. Was he insinuating that I was stupid for buying these things? Or that I’m retarded for trying to follow the instructions? Why was he being so mean? And like an idiot I bought the potting SOIL from them anyway. Ugh.

So I came home and I didn’t know what to do. I’m sure it would be fine to use potting soil instead of potting mix, but you know, what if it isn’t? And then came the crying part, because when you have a baby and you work full time, you don’t have a lot of time to run around to nurseries and look for potting MIX. UGH!

But here is where the day gets better: I decided to go to the San Gabriel Nursery to see if they might have what I need. It’s further away, but bigger. I got there, and was helped by a very nice young man named Ian and guess what?! He is interested in pursuing a career as an organic edible landscape designer! (I too sort of want to be an organic edible landscape designer, although I think I should see how growing some vegetables goes for me first.) He helped me find the potting MIX, he suggested the bamboo poles, he helped me find cauliflower.  After he helped me load the bags into my car we shook hands. I’m going to try to stay in touch!

Unfortunately, it was dusk by the time I got home so I didn’t get to plant. I’m not sure there will be time tomorrow, but if there is, you’ll be reading about it.

Jonah is exhausted after reading about potting mix vs. soil.

Even Jonah is exhausted after reading about potting mix vs. potting soil.

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