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Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Gardener's Diary Archive: Amazing events, in inner- and outer- space, July 14, 2015

Today was a blessedly cool, overcast day. We had some drizzle in the morning, after some more last night. All the thunderstorms the TV weathercritters were hyperventilating over last night went somewhere else. Billions of miles away, a plucky satellite, guided by a team of remarkable women, reached the planet Pluto, and revealed amazing images of what, for all my life, has been a little white dot.

Now we see it in its cool, serene solitude. Not for Pluto the roiling storms and raging infernos of his planetary siblings. Pluto just hangs out.

I have read that the satellite carries with it some of the ashes of Pluto's human discoverer, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. He discovered the planet in 1930, when he was 24 years old. In 1992 a NASA guy called Tombaugh to ask if the agency could go visit his planet; Tombaugh gave the trip his blessing, though cautioning that it would be very long and very cold. He died in 1997, at 90; the satellite was sent aloft in 2006 and now, finally, is reaching its goal. As it continues on its way, Tombaugh's will be the first human remains to leave the solar system.

Overall- here on Earth, way closer to the sun, the heat continues to take its toll. I lost another potato plant, and another nandina transplant. Indoors, things go rather better: I got a second generation harvest from my first glass of scallion roots. They are growing back a third time, but more slowly, and I am wondering whether to let them be, or plant them and see what happens outside, on the bright side of Mercury.

I have two more sets growing nicely, and my first head of celery. You just cut the bottom of the stalk off, set it in water, and after a week or so it starts sprouting a new one. When it is established, you plant it. I started the second one today.

Emboldened, I started two rooting two cups of basil and one of cilantro. I have a yen for home-made pesto that never ebbs, and and keen to get some more starts going.

All of this I learned when I got to wondering if, instead of paying nursery premiums for seeds or starts- and eliminating travel and traffic woes- I could start rooting some of what I buy at the grocery. I found an article, now posted on Waldo's brother blog, Cooking With Waldo*, called Food Hacks!, and that is fueling my indoor experiments while all withers and perishes outside on the seared, cloudy surface of Venus.

*This blog was ended September 1, 2016

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