I have a day with nothing on the horizon but bread baking, laundry and straightening the house. It seems like the perfect time to tackle a project. I think sorting my seeds sounds good. I have a lot of them, some saved seeds and many I bought on clearance at summer’s end. There are some holes. I have no haricot verde green beans and I know I need a few varieties of winter squash. I will most certainly need several tomatoes varieties although I do have several packages of heirloom seeds I am anxious to try.

I may also try to do some plot plans. I am going to do a new type of planting next year called keyhole plots. The idea is to minimize the amount of space devoted to paths by planting in a circle with a small path in the middle. This is done with companion planting and a lot of mulch which I would do in any case. I am thinking of tomatoes with basil and marigolds. We have had to move the bed completely because of the blight . We usually just rotate but this time we are going far from any of the other garden beds and we will use only certified blight free seed. This new bed is a bit lower in elevation than our usual plot and I suspect we will need to use row covers to protect from early and late frost. The upside is that the soil is gorgeous down there. Still, I may bring down a truck full of compost and a few bags of leaves to sit over the winter. That, along with some shredded newspaper, is a combination the worms love.

Just a couple of side notes here. I went out last night to speak at a foster parent training and saw 5 people pulled over by police officers and a couple of other police cars lying in wait. I never see this kind of action and I wonder if budget shortfalls are being addressed by ticket writing. At least this is a tax you can chose to pay or not by driving under the speed limit.

The second thing is a meatloaf note. I mentioned to someone that I was making meatloaf for dinner and they confessed they had never made one although it was a meal this woman had enjoyed as a child. She said that she rarely had time to actually cook as she worked full time. I consider meatloaf fast food. How long does it take to mix 1/2 pound of ground pork, 1/2 pound ground beef, some chopped onion, celery, peppers, garlic, an egg, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl, shape it in a loaf and pop it in the oven? I keep a bag of the chopped vegetables in the freezer so I don’t have to chop every time I need them for a recipe. You could easily make up a meatloaf and get it in a loaf pan the night before of first thing in the morning. I’ll bet it would take less time than stopping for fried chicken or pizza on the way home. The real time is spent in cooking as it does take an hour and half or so but kids or spouse could put it in the oven for you. I am probably being unnecessarily critical here. It’s too easy for me to judge when I am not the one facing meal preparation after a hard day but it does seem that the making of a meal is a kind of sacrament. Food, family, the soil, our daily bread as it were, deserve a reverence and relevance in our lives that a box of pizza is just can’t provide. When Leni and I gather apples we always give the trees a shout out when we leave. It may seem silly on the surface, these two middle aged ladies yelling out thank you to the trees for giving so generously of themselves but it doesn’t feel silly. It feels right. It feels like saying a joyful grace.

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