Whirlwind Days

What happened to this week???

It has been raining and raining a lot here in St. Louis.  Last Saturday (I think), Phil and Terry from Home Eco came over to film some B-roll for the show Green Time on local channel 24.  I’m helping organize this year’s Sustainable Living Tour on June 24th.  Terry and Phil started it out and they are some of the quality people that have come into my life since I put my house on that tour last year.  It’s been a tremendously fun thing to be involved with.

Anyway, Terry asked for volunteers to be on the show and I was thinking like a three minute informational blurb, but I’m always up for an adventure and I don’t mind public speaking so I volunteered.  Really, let me show you around my yard!  I can talk to you all day about it.  I like my yard.  I want to see your yard, I can totally geek out on yards.  So Phil and Terry came over and we filmed a bunch of stuff and Phil said he would splice it and get it ready for the interview part on Thursday night.  Awesome.

While getting ready for them to come over I took a ton of seeds out to work on starting flats and transplanting.  It started raining off and on all day.  During one rainstorm, I went in to put my hair up in curls so I wouldn’t look like my usually bedraggled self for when they got here.  We were pushing it to the line to get the yard together but thanks to my dear wonderful husband, we did it.  Somehow we managed to fit the filming in the yard in between rain storms and I went inside and sat down to play some Everquest I hate to admit.

The next morning I got up and remembered that container of seeds I took outside.  Now sitting in a couple inches of water, they were soaked.  It’s amazing how water soluble glue can be.  I kept them together as best as I could and laid them out to dry.  It took all week because of the rain and humidity.  They seem to be ok,   I’ve been trying to get them in flats all week.  Didn’t happen though.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday….  what happened there?  Who even knows?  Sometime in there I went to Heather’s house and we planted dozens of native shrubs and worked on yard clean up.  I even found a fountain and cleaned it and fixed it in her backyard.  Pretty cute little thing.  Serious sense of accomplishment.  Working over there reminded me of when I used to be a boss at landscaping.  So funny.  I had a crew of teenage boys helping me out and trying to aggravate each other at the same time.  We planted plum, filberts, blackberries, golden currants, and elderberries.  Her yard is going to look amazing once it fills out.  She got a great deal on bare root plants from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Leftover plants went to Dittmer, MO and home with me.  I took some over to my garden C and planted their yard with all five.  They just got a new vinyl fence which has completely changed the face of their yard.  The shrubs are just the right thing to really make the yard look lush now.  I decided to subject my poor neighbor to my gardening and planted blackberries and one plum in her yard.  Then decided to force them to take tomato, cucumber and who knows what else starts for their garden.  Oh, I also found a ground cover that I think will do really well in her front yard and planted some to test it out.  I’m rearranging the universe.

Sometime in here I had a garden hose explode, got a grant and went to spend the money.  Perfect timing is amazing.  I was able to replace the blown hose and get all the straw I needed to mulch the garden across the street.

Wednesday, I went to garden B and started it up.  It has been so hot and humid, I started on it about 6PM so that I wouldn’t get heat sick.  She has three raised beds that are basically FULL of lemon balm.  Before I headed out I forced a flat of vegetables on some of my favorite vegetarians and grabbed another to take with me to garden B.  I also took a plum and two elderberries.  No one was home there so I set to work tearing out lemon balm.  It’s kind of like trying to suffocate yourself on lemon scented household cleaners.  Once I got the shovel in and started working it out bit by bit it went pretty well.  Justin, the teenager that lives there came out and pleasantly surprised me by helping out.  We had a great conversation and I had a ton of fun working with him.  His mom got home by the second bed and we pulled lemon balm and dug up Mulberries until it was too dark to see.  We managed to get the middle bed planted with patty pan squash.  Hopefully we can get those grown up without having to worry about chemicals.  Squash bugs are really bad here.  I’ve read you can inject Bt into the stems to control it as an organic solution, but I’m on the fence about Bt being ok.

Somehow I ended up staying up until 1 am talking to friends of friends on Ventrilo about all sorts of sustainability, political and educational issues.  Wow!  Such a stimulating and inspiring conversation.  I got to know a guy who lives on Vancouver Island who has successfully done many of the things I have only done on small scale like Aquaponics.  He doesn’t live to far from Compassion Farm either.  Dirk Becker at Compassion Farms has proven to be an invaluable source of information on sustainability issues to me through Facebook.

Thursday morning was breakfast with the girls.  We have gotten together for probably 15 years and had breakfast together.  We’ve done it more often and less often, but it’s always fun and relaxing.

After breakfast I took my friend Cynthia grocery shopping at Sappington Market and found a new sign they had up that I dearly love.  Great idea!  If you live in St. Louis, shop here, it’s a wonderful resource that we have and needs all the support it can get.

I got home just in time to again set my hair for finishing up the filming on the show.  I had no idea what to wear so I decided to err on the side of over dressed.  How often do people get a chance to be on TV, even if it is a small local channel?  I went over and caught a ride with Terry.  I love spending time with her and can talk to her for hours.  She is a wonderful muse for my gardening obsession.  We got to the station and found a parking place.  For those of you who don’t know, KNLC is run by and housed in the same building as a homeless shelter.  You have to walk through the shelter to get to the studio.  I’ve never been in a studio or a homeless shelter so this was a wonderful adventure for me.  It’s a very welcoming and comfortable place.  Such nice people.  We met the host, Don Fitz, and I found him to be very charming and interesting to talk to.  He asked great questions that really made me think and look at things in new ways.  Amazingly, we weren’t doing an informational blurb but about 20 minutes of interview that will not get edited.  He doesn’t want to know answers ahead of time and doesn’t like to edit anything.  It was so much fun.  I got nervous at the last minute, but I’m so grateful to have had the experience.  It was a wonderful opportunity.  When filming was over, the camera lady came over and started asking me all sorts of questions that she had about sustainable living topic.  It was a pleasure to answer such a nice lady.  I could have talked to her a lot longer but they had to film the next show.

Terry took me to see City Garden after the filming and it’s amazing.  Beautifully landscaped, and all I can say is that any place with giant bunny sculptures is ok by me.  After that we went to Mei Kong on Grand for supper.  I love Vietnamese food.  We sat there way too late talking about everything and having a wonderful evening.  I thought we left about 8PM, but as I was getting in my car to come home, my husband called to find out if I was dead.  It was 10PM, I can’t believe how quickly time will fly with good conversation.    I have had so many good talks with people this week!  What a fantastic week.  Where the heck did it get to so fast???

Oh, this morning I got up and ran out to get my groceries and look up a couple of gardens I had heard about.  After I left the Mexican grocery I spied these beauties in a store window.    All I can say is have a fantastic Cinco de Mayo!

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