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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Zed's Manly Zone of Agriculture

When Zed brought his little (half-)brother over from his dad's house - Zed was on babysitting duty - I considered the little brother's energy level and said: "I think you two need an outdoor project. Would you like to move rocks?"

I sent them to my neglected blueberry patch, which needed some terracing done, and they spent a happy afternoon getting filthy and exhausted.

Zed became so enthused he enlarged the area and wanted some plants for it. "Nothing sissy," he warned, "I want produce."

It's a little late in the year (!) to start a garden, but we went to Southern States and got some tomatoes, some basil, some peppers, and then Zed relented and we got a galliardia.

The next thing, of course, was to mark his territory.

Here are some of Zed's own initial musings on the subject...

"Let's tackle war. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, huh! Now if only everybody would take up a peaceful hobby like, say, gardening?

Or as I like to call it in an extension of my running joke about making growing stuff seem more manly, cultivating flora.

Can you imagine how many peas you could grow if every soldier in the world was assigned a patch of ground? That would be totally sweet. And I mean it.

Maybe we could even settle conflicts between nations with country-fair style agricultural showdowns, and the side with the hugest pumpkin would win! Or a showdown where both sides race to produce the most tomatoes (although the media coverage might get a little dull – watching it would closely approximate watching grass grow, I'm sure).

Of course, this wouldn't sit too well with the arms manufacturers, but we can't forget big agribusiness also has a bunch of senators in its pockets! They'd probably wheel and deal and before we knew it they'd have pushed the arms manufacturers out of the running for taxpayer's dollars and moved on to shady business of their own!

What if the next huge government scandal was when everybody found out that their tax money went to buy the United States Agricultural Forces golden trowels? Heh. . . Multibillion dollar berry-picking contracts, what about that?

My grandmother always told me that instead of fighting enemy tanks with reciprocal fire, the army should take up really big planes and drop enormous flowerpots, upside down, onto the enemy tanks, thereby immobilizing them for the duration of combat.

Would spies be tried for treason for selling seeds to the enemy? The department of homeland defense would have strike teams at the ready in helicopters all the time, ready to leap in and start a garden wherever there is danger. I like this idea. Then the aggressive "I want you" Uncle Sam would probably instead be thrusting a green thumb at the potential recruit

Zed ended up liking the galliardia best - so he dug a deep hole for it in our impermeable clay, put nice soft dirt in the hole, and lovingly watered, thereby creating a mini-bog for this desert-loving plant. Next day it was wilted and suffocating so he pulled it out, moved it somewhere dry, and we have high hopes...

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