Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where Has MeanMesa Been, Anyway?

The only folks around who don't know that the world is gradually -- in fact, rather rapidly -- falling apart must be Kentucky hill billies hiding in their fall out shelters or bigots who are too busy baking cookies for the annual John Birch picnic.  But, in the midst of all this, where has MeanMesa been hiding out?

The wonderfully agrarian answer is simple and refreshing.

(image source)
It's spring time in New Mexico.  That means that it's time to stop everything else and make sure that the vegetable garden in ready for the great summer growing season rushing toward us.

This year the garden is getting a mountain of great winter compost to boost the amount of organic material in the generally bad New Mexico soil.  However, good compost is not an effortless task.  All through the winter every possible vegetable scrap in the MeanMesa kitchen has been carefully added, buried and wetted with a few buckets of water.  It had to be buckets because New Mexico had such a cold winter that a garden hose was out of the question.  Every leaf, twig and root was carefully cut into "bite sized" pieces for the wonderful bacteria down there in the pile, too.

Now that spring has arrived with great 70 degree afternoons, the compost pile could be divided into smaller batches and carried to the various plots of garden. The smell was exciting and very reassuring!

With the help of strong, young Greg, we rented a roto tiller, loaded it into the trusty '92 Plymouth van and hauled it across town to the waiting garden.  With Greg at the helm the gasoline burning monster ground up everything, leaving a rich, dark, loamy pile of dirt so alive that it seemed to be screaming for seeds! (He's hardly a born farmer like the Kansas born MeanMesa. Greg thinks cucumbers are a root vegetable.)

The garden has been expanded to roughly twice the area of last year's effort.  It has now captured most of the area with both morning and afternoon sun.  A troublesome tree has been removed, opening up even more room for the wonderful summertime New Mexico sun to reach the vegetables.

Given the flow of current events, MeanMesa is considering the purchase of a couple of radiation film packs to be placed strategically around, too.  These are bits of film packaged for workers to carry when they are around radiation sources.  The film turns cloudy when levels get too high.

With the La Nina drought going on,  most of the rain storms are moving along North of the state these days, leaving those of us South of the weather with winds from the West -- and, by the way, no rain.  This means that the radioactive plume from the Fukushima Daiichi plant problems will be drifting this way all throughout the summer.

MeanMesa is old enough to remember both Chernoble and Three Mile Island.

Still, we are expecting a great crop of home grown food if we don't have that problem too severely.

So, with most of the "heavy lifting" well in hand, Short Current Essays is back on line!  Please visit us regularly to stay prepared for the water cooler wars!

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