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Day #13 – Shopping

We spent most of “today’s” 20 minutes shopping even though it took us a total of an hour start to finish. We left our house at 1 PM and strolled up to Downtown Home & Garden, our local garden store where we picked up a pound of full sun grass-seed, a pound of plow-down rye and a big bag of dried blood (also known as blood meal.)

Don’t let the sound of “dried blood” scare you off — I find it absolutely necessary. For one thing it’s great source of nitrogen that’s also organic but that’s not it’s major attraction. Blood meal TERRIFIES squirrels. I love all of God’s creatures but I admit few of them make me angrier than the common red squirrel. I suppose it doesn’t help matters that someone up the street from us feeds them peanuts and English walnuts like they were fluffy-tailed songbirds. More than a little of that squirrel-chow ends up buried in our yard, often in holes dug right dangerously close to garden plants. Furthermore, our neighborhood squirrels do things that seem either mean-spirited or just dumb. For instance, every year, we’ll lose a couple Italian eggplants just when they’re getting plump enough to make a nice parmesan. The little furry critters will pull them off the stem, take maybe three bites and and discard the ruined remains. I’d mind it far less if the squirrel just ate the whole thing; I certainly don’t mind sharing. I know this all sounds petty and, in my heart, I know it is. But a good sprinkling of blood meal every couple weeks will keep the squirrels and their hijinx out of my yard.

We also wandered up to the Farmer’s Market and got a few more seedlings:

  • jalapeños (four for $1.50)
  • Asian eggplant (four for $1.50)
  • Italian eggplant (four for $1.50)
  • acorn squash (four for $2)
  • yellow crookneck squash (four for $2)
  • an “Early Girl” tomato for our neighbor ($2)

And we also did a little browsing in a nice used bookstore that’s also on the way. We picked up a copy of Uprisings: the Whole Grain Baker’s Book. It’s a 20 year old collection of recipes from various collective bakeries, mostly in the Midwest. One of those bakeries was located here in Ann Arbor, right down the street from the Farmer’s Market we frequent and in fact, right next door to the place where this bookstore now is. Jan and I remember stopping in the bakery on Saturday mornings, not to buy bread because we made that ourselves at home, but for a slice of this incredible vegetable pizza they’d make every week. It was piled high with things that we didn’t normally expect to see on a pizza, like broccoli, sweet potato, zuccini… and was delicious! The book reminded us of the Wildflour Bakery and our smiles grew deeper when we noticed that one of the recipes in the book was for this wonderful pizza.

Posted in • Growing.