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Grow a seed, change a law.

I am livid. This isn’t my normal “rant for five minutes” anger, this is full blown, make-an-activist-look-sane rage. I can’t even explain to you how absolutely, mind-blowingly angry I am at some recent information I found. I will probably rant for weeks about this.

As some of you may know, I decided to plant a vegetable garden. Spring is basically here, with maybe one more frost before the state warms to its usually balmy 90+ degrees, and I’ve already gotten my garden underway. Currently, I’ve already planted mint, bush beans, parsley, strawberries, tomatoes (being kept indoors), an apple tree sprout, and I’ve still got basil, cucumbers, lettuce and celery left waiting to be nestled in a dirt bed. Since I don’t have sufficient sunlight in my back yard, everything’s being grown in pots in the front yard. Mobile, compact, and easy.

Anyway, I had planned, if all goes well this growing season, to transform half of my front yard into a wondrous Eden of edible foliage. I wanted a dozen or so of each plant, resting comfortable in raised beds in full sunlight by May of 2014. According to the city, this can’t happen.

“Why not” you ask? “Vegetable gardens are lovely” you say? Of course they are. However, according to city ordinances in countless cities across the country, vegetable gardens just aren’t “suitable”, and since they aren’t “suitable”, this means the city can levy a fine of $500 a day against you until you rip up what you worked hard to put down.

$500 because we, the public, don’t want to pay out the nose for mass-produced, nearly-rotten food. They don’t care if you pay thousands of dollars a year for plush green grass. They don’t care if you want twenty-three rose bushes. They DO care if you’ve got half a dozen crops. This has got to stop.

If you want to help make a difference, help homeowners have the right to grow their own food, sign this and let your voice be heard.


Winter not-so-down time

Hello, dear readers! I know I’ve been away again, and my posts have been slacking profusely. But I’m back! Yay!

This past fall, I made a decision that I’m hoping I’ll stick with. I’m very excited about it, and, since it’s inception, has grown to become a monstrous project.

I want to plant a vegetable garden in my back yard.

Now, for most people, this would be pretty simple. Decide on where to put it, plant the seeds/baby plants, and maintain. However, my life can never be that simple. My back yard is, for lack of a better term, trashed. We’ve got a nice dead branch collection along the back fence, massively overgrown weeds around the shed, and some various trees, including that pesky palm, have made themselves comfortable all the way around the back porch. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have the slightest idea where my septic tank is, and there’s a sturdy, though slightly decrepit picnic table smack dab in the middle of my yard.

So, since I have until mid-February before I have to start planting and taking care of itty bitty green things, I’ve decided that this winter, I’ll fix up the backyard and the back porch, and seriously take some time to rethink my life.

Let’s just take a quick little look-see at my to-do list before Valentine’s day.

First and foremost, I need to dispose of the dead tree limbs, which, I should note, didn’t even come from the tree in my yard. No, the neighbors behind me couldn’t be bothered to haul the branches out to the street before the city switched over to automated trash pick-up, so they just casually dumped them over the fence into out yard. Wasn’t that sweet of them?

Once those are out, I have to cut down/dig up/poison the volunteer trees and weeds cropping up all over the place. I swear, we started with two little palm trees, one in the front, and one in the back, and now, suddenly, we’re up to our noses in them. Their reign of annoyance is coming to a close, though. I’m sorry, Lorax, but these trees have got to go. I’ll also be trimming back a lot of the wanted trees that are blocking out my precious sunlight.

Next goes the “salvaged” trash piled up against the shed; screen doors, half-rotten sawhorses, planks of wood that were going to be used, but that just never managed to happen, and a bird cage that’s a quiet, though sharp reminder of the little feathered friend my brother and I had once upon a time. I might fix that up and make it a decorative plant hanger, or something.

Moving on to the picnic table. I’m actually not totally opposed to keeping it in the yard. While carefully inspecting the wholly disheartening space, I tested the table, and it’s still in semi-decent shape. I will have to scrub it down and sand it smooth, and invest in some carpenter’s putty and varnish, though. I’ll get it all spruced up, and probably leave it right where it is, since it’s directly between where I wanted to plant a couple of apple trees. Just to keep myself from turning my yard completely into a stereotypical housewife garden thing, I think I’ll paint it black. Maybe put some studs in it.

Or a giant devil face in the middle of the table.

No, I’ll probably just see if I can stain it really dark.

Kinda liking the studs, though.

Anyway, I also have to figure out the cheapest way to kill a large patch of grass/weeds without putting a load of chemicals into the soil sand. (Because this is Florida, and we don’t have soil.) I don’t want my garden choked out before I get a chance to test my gardening skills, and honestly, our lawn could use a resent anyway.

And by reset, I of course mean “kill everything and pretend I didn’t feel like a god.”

Sometime during all of this, I’ll figure out where the septic tank is, and rope that off, and then it’s on to the back porch!

That should be less of a time suck, as all I really have to do to prepare it is get rid of all of the junk that’s been sitting there for ten years and clean it up a bit. Granted, me being me, I’ll find a way to make this considerably more complicated than it has to be, such as making an attempt to turn it into a dual-purpose gardening/social area, and I’ll end up running myself ragged before the end of January.

I’m so excited.

Do you any of, my darling readers, have any tips or suggestions for my upcoming projects?

Have any of you had any experience with gardening, or restoring a neglected yard?

Leave me a comment and let me know!