Broccoli Wars 2011

I’ll admit it: When I saw/heard that Beth, Seedsower had planted X-thousand broccoli I was overcome with competitive spirit. I dropped everything else on my daily schedule to rush home and plant, oh, a hundred of my own.
It might have been Ben Gurion, I’m not sure, who suggested that Israel would be wise to declare war on the United States, to quickly lose, and thence to benefit from a ‘Marshall Plan’ rehabilitation effort. Said in jest, of course, but still. I am in competition with my friend in the Promised Land of Democracy. In the end we should both benefit from the agronomy data: yield per acre/ optimum temperature for germination, etc.
The good news may even filter down to our Muslim neighbors, who are all, as we go to press, currently engaged in bitter and murderous street battles over the question on plant-spacing. Mohammed, with the advice of his nine-year-old wife, specified 1/3 cubit (31.403 cm.) on pain of public stoning. We are carefully watching as the awakening hordes in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya,etc, fight for their right to determine their own separation between seedlings.  Muslim Xangans , many comfortably ex-pats, may be expected to toe the party line but let’s check their sites for a fairer evaluation.
Of cource I’m being facetious. The political situation here is turbulent and critical, with a positive outcome in no way guaranteed. Democracy and respectful self-rule doesn’t come with one’s mother’s milk, and needs to be re-discovered’ by every culture, as it sadly tries ‘all the alternatives.
Anyway, back to Beth, the sweetheart, with her vacuum-assisted planting automaton neck-and-neck with my old-fashioned one seed at a time, between thumb and index finger, each seed receiving its personalized Hebrew blessing, ‘Go thou, be fruitful, and multiply’. Time will tell.
I need, today, to finally test the tired soil here, to use my kit I bought in 2004 at Frey’s Greenhouses in Manheim, PA, and to know, after a fashion, how much Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus to add to the mix. My efforts to recover Phosphorous from piss, in the form of Struvite (Ammonium Magnesium Phosphate) have so far come to naught. Perhaps the excess of ethanol in the raw material is critical?
Whatever, here is my horsie, in the first leg of the race. The babies are about two weeks old. In ‘dog years’, that’s the equivalent of pre-pubescence. Let’s hope, with ballet lessons and soccer practice, I can make them into productive adults. JS/ Tel Aviv

PS: As an added plus(?) I’ll include my adopted pussy-cat, who decided, on the strength of a few days of cat-food, to be my ‘friend’. He takes no stand on the issue. Must be Swiss…

And this is my alarm-clock, a fortuitous ‘camera-obscura’ result of a hole high up in the East wall of my window-less shed. The sun-ray tracks through the picture on the far  wall each day on a somewhat different path, reflecting the fact that the earth is moving around the sun such that the Northern hemisphere gets a 2-minute longer day every day. Yeah spring.



18 thoughts on “Broccoli Wars 2011

  1. MelFamy

    Wahoo! First comment bragging rights are mine! I had a friend whose nickname was Shark-tooth Tom. I learned quickly not to argue shark facts with the fellow. You get my drift, Yoni. I just hope you did not sow more than you can reap, contest-wise.

  2. Roadkill_Spatula

    I’m not surprised that you’re a cat-lover. Broccoli and the other winter vegetables have long fascinated me. Amazing how the kohls [SP?] can hold up to freezing temperatures, and how cultures in the northern climes from Germany to Thailand have developed their own varieties of sauerkraut. (I much prefer the Asian varieties, especially kimchi.)

  3. elgan

    I do like broccoli. Of all the cruciform vegetables, I do believe it’s my favourite. You can send some my way when it’s ripe, or maybe I’ll just pop by to sauter some in olive oil with minced garlic and salt for our supper. I’m looking at June as an ETA. Think you’ll have any left?

  4. jsolberg

    @MelFamy – Yeah, I’m for now a modest gardener/farmer (and with plenty to be ‘modest’ about, as the joke goes.) Bothers me the vast difference between individual plants in a row. some with heads already, but some acting like their goal is to keep a low profile. The soil test might shed light on it. Thanks for reading, and pleasant sailing, Mel

  5. jsolberg

    @elgan – Oh my, that’d be a serious treat! Sure, June’ll be busting out all over in your honour, and I have about 100 kinds of plants at last count, most of ’em edible. All you’ll need to bring is a plastic spoon/fork from the flight dinner, ha. Can’t wait

  6. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Yes, life without at least one happy/felice Felix domestica is probably not worth living.Now to figure out why my cauliflower are turning purple. I have lots of Chernobyl-looking specimens; there’s got to be a good reason. Probably radionucleides/isotopes. Or airborne pollens from the Thai varieties which now grow wild here courtesy of the thousands of foreign workers. Thanks for stopping by, Spatsky

  7. transvestite_rabbit

    Beautiful, those hopeful rows of seedlings. I sowed my peas on Presidents Day, and it promptly started snowing. I am researching Pagan fertility rituals now and would be dancing naked around the garden beds if it weren’t so damnably cold.

  8. seedsower

    I sent you pix of seedlings but I did not send broccoli,did I ,I will tomorrow if I remember. I will send photos when we transplant them too. befroe you know it it will be in the freezer! So glad to see you posted!

  9. jsolberg

    @seedsower – So glad you saw this; the cross-town rivalry may yet lead to at least an interesting Xanga ‘food-fight’. We’re planting, probably, the same seeds, maybe even from the same mother-plant, by co-incidence. My main curiosity is why, in the same row, some plants are big and happy, and others grupsich and depressed-looking.look forward to your comparison photos/ 🙂 JS

  10. frtnr_mama

    Well, hello!  Good to see you here again!  You know, it has often chafed me to think that if something should ever happen to my cyber friends, I would never know whether that was the case or whether they had simply been playing Xanga hookie.  I’m immeasurably glad to know that you are well–for I know that it is indeed you and not an imposter.  No one could duplicate your style and voice, I’m convinced!PS “grupsich”  That’s one I haven’t heard for a while…  🙂

  11. jsolberg

    @frtnr_mama – Ah, your comment made me smile out loud (SOL) for several reasons: Didn’t know I had a ‘style’, but I’ll gladly embrace your recognition of it as a new compliment. Grupsich, ha, it’s a word I actually had to find out *wasn’t* english. My whole life seems to be an attempt to slowly extricate myself from all things grupsich, with mixed results so far. Start with my car/jalopy for example…when it starts.Anyway, I know what you mean about folks ceasing to post, and the attendant mystery. There’s no ‘obits’ page to check. I’ve temporarily reduced my involvement dramatically; from 5 hours a day average(!) to about ten minutes. Someday I’ll understand why. So nice to hear from you:) / Js

  12. frtnr_mama

    Oh, it’s a very definate style and I love it!  🙂  Very dry and witty.  I think an obit page would be a very useful idea but tough to go about implementing, nu?  Sounds as though we’ll have to resign ourselves to adjust from word feasts to nibbles here, I suppose, since you’re cutting back.I like to use SOL, although I usually mean ‘snort out loud.’  I also had to discover several not-so-English words–strubblich and statz come immidiately to mind.  I usually relied on the blank, confused looks on the faces of my friends for a signal that I’d stumbled upon another one.Hope your broccoli grows to a respectable size.  It just wouldn’t do to have hobbit broccoli. 

  13. jsolberg

    @frtnr_mama – Duncan was precisely the quintessential ‘Dear Departed?’ I had in mind. I’m assuming he’s busy with his bride and professional work.And we could go on at enjoyable and exquisite length on ‘mystery’ words. I eventually adopted the rule that if the word’s pejoratve, it’s probably PA Dutch, ha. Hesslich, doppich, and grupsich are all safely in that category. One of the last coinages to fall was ‘redd-up’ (to clean, organize, as in a room.) I was shocked to learn it wasn’t standard Eng.Btw, part of the fun of ‘hanging-out’ with Beth (Seedsower) for a couple hours was that every third word was ‘Dutch’.So nice to hear from you, thanks.

  14. rubys_garden

    oh delightful to regard someone farming food for humans.  May I suggest you call your feline visitor Alfie…Be kind to him; a visitor from a different realm. He’s watching you.

  15. jsolberg

    @rubys_garden – beautiful. Alfie it is. I’d ran out of food, but he stopped by none-the-less every morning. This morning, Saturday, I was able once again to give him a treat. let’s just see how my crops do when the bugs, plagues, nematodes attack in a few weeks/ js


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