The Bottle Gourd Experiment, Day 1

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After two years of harvesting a handful of tiny carrots/kohlrabi/potatoes and bitter lettuce I decided to try something different in 2015: bottle gourds. The seeds arrived a few days ago; today I put three of them in some water to prepare them for germination. Tomorrow I’ll let them dry and plant them into some moist soil on Monday.

I have not yet decided whether I’ll try to keep them all inside our kitchen or whether I’ll get the courage to ask our landlords aka church people if I may use the handrail of the side entrance stairs as a ranking aid.  At the moment I’m thinking about keeping one or two inside and the other one or two outside next to the stairs. As I want them to produce nice, round calabashes they’ll need a ranking aid. So for the one(s) in the kitchen I’ll have to sacrifice the old loft-bed ladder I’m using to air (or store) once-worn but still clean outer wear like skirts in our small bedroom.  With some tweaking and pushing it should fit between the wall and the kitchen counter (the side with all the other plants) so the gourds will be able to grow next to the window. It’s just an east window, but our kitchen is pretty warm in summer and should provide the right climate!

As for a planter, I own a plastic basket which became jobless today (it used to be our waste paper receptacle, but we found a bigger cardboard box at the grocery store); lined with a plastic bag or something similar it should be a suitable home for at least one of the plants. For outside … there is a seemingly abandoned crate I might nick for that purpose.

Yay for bottle gourds! If this experiment succeeds it might make some people very happy. 180 days of waiting …

 

your apple tree

Today I took a seed from the apple you were eating and promised I would plant it so a tree will grow. It’s sleeping in a pot of soil right now. I hope to see the day when you’ll be all grown up and pluck the first fruit off your apple tree. I hope you will grow strong.

Favourite Friday: moment of today

I came home from university where I had been tutoring a small group of younger students (nice part-time job – although I had to deal with the odd guy who decided he won’t believe me that [u] is a high vowel …), on my way had I stopped to get some groceries, and when I came home, I felt exhausted despite having had lunch and the day not being advanced beyond 2pm. Somehow I ended up tending to my tiny window sill garden, watering and planting some more, and then I just sat there on my old stool, looking at the green sprouts and leafs, looking out of the window at the departing rain clouds, and thinking. It felt so nice, so peaceful. I like my tiny garden and the earthbound joy it brings. I won’t be able to feed us for more than a few days just on what I grow, but still it makes me feel better and more alive to see the seeds become tiny plants and hopefully tasty vegetables later.