Yeah, I speak Parseltongue.  Team Slytherin. What of it?

Just kidding, Gryffindor all the way.  Except Bellatrix is totally my favorite character from the movies. She’s horrid in the books but all la-la-la, skipping around tossing out unforgivable curses in the movies.  In the books, it’s Hermione 4 lyfe.
Either way, I clearly slept through Professor Sprouts classes because I cannot keep succulents alive.  Remember my cool hanging succulent terrariums from LA?  Yeah, they aren’t doing so great.
And I tried again with some potted ones recently.  Two out of three are already dying/dead and I don’t expect the third to make it much longer.
I suppose it makes sense.  They thrive on low water and lots of light.  I have to keep them inside to keep them from being saturated with rain (east coast problems) and I have barely any natural light in my home (condo problems).

I found some succulents that work in my house though.  In the basement no less!  They will never die.


Eee Eye Eee Eye Oh

I have a lot of variations of this conversation in my life.

“Hi, I’m Darlene, nice to meet you.”

“Hi Darlene, my name is Random Person, nice to meet you too.  So, what do you do for a living?”

“I’m a travel agent.”

“Oh, wow, so you fly for free and get more free trips than game show contestants and you work from a cruise ship all day and sit around looking at all the pictures you took on all of your free trips?”

Um, no.

But I completely understand the tendency to glamorize the job of a travel agent.  TRAVEL is right there in the name.

I do the same thing with farmers. I want to live on a farm and feed the animals and eat fresh eggs and smell the country air and cook hearty breakfasts for the farm hands and tend the gardens in boots and ride a horse to go check on the fields and see the stars at night.

I know in my head that farming is actually hard work.  There used to be a dairy farm in my extended family in western Pennsylvania, always with milking cows but also random goats, turkeys, ducks, chickens, and horses.  I spent many days as a girl  with my cousins wandering the grounds, talking to the animals, climbing in the barns, and chasing the chickens. The rose-colored portion of my brain imagines a farmer’s life as just like that.

Now I live in a condo with a tiny patio, and idealize Farm Life. Grass is greener, et cetera.

However, I’ve managed to grow some food on that patio, and tonight I harvested chard and thyme, two expensive ingredients in tonight’s dinner that I didn’t have to add to the grocery list.  Eating food from just outside my back door is extremely satisfying and extra delicious.

Kitchen Garden

Not IN the kitchen…FOR the kitchen. I ventured out to a nursery (the plant kind) this morning.  All by myself.  Alone.  It was lovely, if slightly overwhelming.  Do you know they sell all sorts of plants in little pots?  Small ones, that you can conceivably make bigger.  With water, and sunlight, and, um…..photosynthesis? I’ve been cooking a bunch this past year, and I find myself using fresh herbs in lots of recipes.  Dude, fresh herbs are expensive.  And wilty. So….I thought I’d grow my own and have super fresh herbs for cooking any time I want.  This morning’s adventure was originally just a recon mission until I realized that each plant cost the same or less than buying a package of that same cut herb at the grocers.  I decided to just jump right in. I came home with parsely, sage, cilantro, thyme, terragon, oregano, basil, and chives.  Also fennel, a beautiful feathery plant that I have never actually cooked with but clearly should try because it is just too pretty. Oh, and two pepper plants and one strawberry plant, you know, for extra credit.  And some pots, fertilized soil, and rocks for drainage.  (The nice garden-store lady told me about the rocks.)  And that’s pretty much it.  I hope I didn’t forget anything;  I already have water and sunlight. It seemed my sad, rusty, empty little plant stand was not going to cut it.

I had some cinder blocks and plywood in the basement and was able to quickly put together some dorm-style plant shelves.  I moved the plants into bigger pots and now I have an herb garden!

See the tiny little pots up there?  Those are all the little pots that the herbs came in.  I wanted to use them for something so I asked Google how to propogate rosemary and mint.  Google said I just take a cutting, strip half the leaves off, and plant it.  I have a hardy impossible to kill rosemary plant and so so much mint already growing on the patio.  We’ll see if it works.