Gonna Plant Me a Carrot Patch
First, I’d like to talk about this graphic. This is probably my favorite portrait of myself. It was created by talented artist and friend Paul Kjelland, who has collaborated with me several times.
This portrait was created 5 or 6 years ago. I spent 30 days living and learning about a vegan lifestyle and was trying to sell an article I wrote on the experience titled “Vegan in a Black Leather Jacket.” The article didn’t sell, and reflecting on it I can see why– it was a rambling, directionless 5,000 word piece that could probably be condensed to a single sentence…
“Vegan cooking is pretty damn tasty when done correctly, if not, not so much.”
I bought those carrots from the Riverwest Co-op. This season, I’m growing my own. This summer has had a lot of new experiences for me, I’ve gotten into a few things I’ve been meaning to try.
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“Many people may wonder if it is worth growing carrots when they are so cheap to buy,” reads How to Grow Root Vegetables by Richard Bird and Christine Ingram. “The answer must be an emphatic ‘yes.’ Fresh carrots that are taken straight from the ground before being cooked taste infinitely better than shop- bought ones: there is no comparison.”
So there you go. Emphasis mine, by the way.
Here is a pic of Plot A, which is a small corner of my downstairs neighbor’s garden. It’s about two foot by three foot. Five rows of Scarlet Nantes. I planted the seeds about a month ago, and as you can see they are starting to spring up.
I also got a plot in the community Victory Garden at Kilbourn Park and planted 6 rows of Scarlet Nantes, two rows of Long Imperator #58s, and two rows of Danvers #126.
I was amused to see what number lot I drew for the garden- Plot #42. If you’ve read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, you’ll know the significance and why carrots might be the meaning of life. If you haven’t, well, you should. You’ll learn why Douglas Adams fans celebrated Towel Day yesterday among other secrets of the universe.
I was also glad I got to keep all shopping for the gardens in the neighborhood. I pulled the wood to build Plot A from a construction dumpster down the street and bought the seeds, soil, and sand from Bliffert Lumber & Hardware, a great addition to my neighborhood. I also stopped by Fischberger’s Variety Store and picked up these hot mamas:
The tall one on the left is Xena, a cayenne pepper plant and the other is Zelda, a Jalapeno pepper plant. I’m going to transfer them to larger pots and keep them by my desk here awhile and see how they grow. They were only about two bucks each. I hate to keep telling you what to do, but if you live in Milwaukee you should really check out Fischberger’s.
Plot A and Plot #42 should yield close to 100 carrots. I got no big plans, I’ll eat a bunch and give some to friends. Or maybe try a carrot cake.