so much beauty in dirt


Day 1 of Spring today. I’m experiencing the feelings of restlessness that inevitably accompany any change in season. Restlessness and domesticity actually, a combination that is causing some confusion and mental thumb-twiddling. Plus, the arm is still broken. God! It makes it hard to decide what productive thing to do.

I can’t get out there all active as I’d like unfortunately. I miss the Hash runs, and weekend bicycle excursions to destinations far away.

After breakfast my friend took off an a long bike ride to Horseshoe Bay, packing yummy snacks of apples and some avocado-chocolate loaf made last night (recipe link for the curious). It’s always a little hard to see someone set off on something fun while you stay behind, like the sickly child who just looks out the window and the other kids aren’t allowed to shout and stuff near their house. Well, I can make my own fun …

…just sooo lazy…

Eventually I turned up the tunes and put on my cookin’ sling and baked some stuff. Nothing light or nutritous or salad-y, which the first day of spring seems to call for. Made some cayenne raisin cookies, pumpkin muffins, some chocolate chip cookies… all vegan as I like to point out…and a loaf of whole wheat bread is rising. This is some deep-of-winter baking, at odds with the sunlight flooding in and the sounds of a Saturday soccer game being played in the park across the way.

But plans. Big plans. I plan on taking advantage of my south-facing balcony this next growing season. It’s always bathed in a steady blanket of light.

The only problem I can anticipate is my apartment building is a classic bit of Kits sleaze and I think that balcony is about to fall off. It’s wiggly.

Good thing there’s never any house parties here (or whatever the kids do to entertain themselves) as the inevitable pod of balcony smokers would end up in a heap 3 stories down, in a pile of rubble and Belmonts and the sorry assortment of  half-alive ornamental grasses which is all I have out there now, organic detritus left behind by the last tenant.

But my plan is tomatoes. Lots of em, so I can pursue a schedule of keeping myself stocked with vats of home-made salsa, perfecting an elusive perfect recipe with these balcony specimens as the base. Salsa is my condiment of choice but I’m going through it too quickly; it’s turning from a treat into something I may actually have to factor into my budget due to the sheer damn volume that gets dumped on salad, sandwiches, soup and god help me, sliced fruit. And as with any overindulged taste I am becoming jaded. I can’t find just the right brand to suit my increasingly snobbby palate, that right combination of peppery flavor that rears it’s head before the tsumani of heat rolls in, obliterating such subtleties.

So yeah. Find some good dirt, some pots, make tomatoes happen and maybe some herbs. Keep it simple, reckognizing that I kill things.

And random acts of gardening, out and about. That may be fun. I’m tickled by the notion of beans appearing in the midst of a vacant lot, or cilantro popping its fragrant head up over the edge of a park bench. Carrying packets of cheap seeds and taking advantage of opportune pockets of urban dirt…

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