Seed Shopping for Geeks!

We raise three things on this farm: produce, really big horses, and geeks. Geeks and greens, that’s our motto.

Sunday saw all of us in a seed buying frenzy. The sister had her fully annotated list of the current seed inventory, cross-indexed and certified. She and the neighbor had set up and filled all the pods in preparation for sprouting while the brother-in-law and I were luxuriating in ECCC10. (See the previous post.) We were ready. (I’m not sure the Country Store, our local feed and seed, was, though.)

Approaching the seed aisles, I decided to detour into puppy supply land. The dog would have been disappointed without certain pig accoutrements to temper his mope over not being invited to go to the store. That, and I needed to stand back while the sister and the neighbor went to work on the seed inventory. So, how many varieties of pumpkins this year? Atlantic Giant or Big Max? Pak Choi is always necessary. Do we need just the 4 varieties of green beans or do we want to plant a few more? Will the small garden accommodate a full set of Walla Walla Sweet onions? Can you have too many winter
squash? And what about beets?

Then we discovered that with 20 seed packets, you get free cultivation tools. Oooo, farming heaven!

We ran home and planted everything. (Okay, almost everything. Some plants must be sown directly into the soil. They don’t transplant well.)

The CollectiveMeanwhile, the brother-in-law broke out the hedge trimmers (mmm…power tools) and carved the box hedge into a perfect cube. We named it “The Collective”, and were well satisfied.

ECCC10 or How to Attend a Con Unprepared

The first rule of attending a con is: if you’re completely unprepared, go anyway. It’s worth it. I attended the Emerald City ComiCon 2010 on Saturday, completely spontaneously. Usually, proper preparation is crucial to precision deployment of all forces on the Con floor. Here’s what I didn’t do:

  • Bring the big backpack, essential for swag.
  • Load up on cash. Comic artists aren’t known for their merchant credit card accounts.
  • Bring a camera. (See below.) ‘Nuff said
  • Study the exhibition floor plan before walking into the room.
  • Get there early for Wil Wheaton’s Awesome Hour.

Since the brother-in-law and I were headed south on a completely unrelated excursion, we decided to stop by the con and check it out. I’m glad we did. We went by the Scruffy Puppies table, chatted with Brent, and picked up volumes 1 and 2. He said there should eventually be 10 in the series.

We bought T-shirts, of course, wholly appropriate for the geeks that we are. Then I stopped by a booth called Geek Chic. It was not what I suspected it to be. It was full of fine, hardwood furniture for all your gaming and geekified needs. Being the ex-furniture designer that I am, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the workmanship of their pieces: dovetail joins on the full wood drawers, inlaid details, and, I could tell, layers of hand-sanded finishes. Since their shop is close by, I may have to visit.

And this is why you should always take a camera to a Con. How else could you capture the essence of such a monumentous moment, Superman on a Cell phone?

Yep, completely worth it.

Walking the Pasture

As winter loosens its grip, the pastures start to drain of all the season’s rain. The grass is at its shortest height of the year. It is the best time to clear the ground of any detritus that has blown in from the surrounding area. As a group, everyone walks the pastures, back and forth, end to end and side to side. We search for anything that might injure the horses or the land.

It’s amazing what we find. So many plastic shopping bags float into the fields from passing cars and trucks, they end up all over the place. (That makes me even more dedicated to reusable bags for shopping.) We have to watch for even the smallest signs of them since many bags are buried just under the grass. Plastic is bad, but the thin bags used for shopping can really wreak havoc with a horse’s internal systems. You know, they’ll pick up anything that they find interesting.

We’ve found children’s toys, men’s shirts, plastic, glass, and aluminum containers, a grazing muzzle (lost last year), feed bags, cereal boxes, junk mail, and a number of things which used to be something, possibly, at one time. Once in awhile, there will be something wholly inappropriate and fairly unmentionable. Speculation immediately follows as to how said item ended up in the pasture when it should have been housed, discreetly, in someone’s bedroom endtable. We’ll never know.

The brother-in-law was hoping for a trebuchet. “The neighbors have one in their field. It flings pumpkins.”

Walking the pasture is a zen experience, much like meditation. Of course, we had to stop periodically to chat with a neighbor who drove by. That goes without saying. It’s what you do on a farm – walking meditation and chatting with the neighbors. Sometimes, they are exactly the same thing.