Friday, May 27, 2011

Sad Eyed Lady with Chickens

The sweet peas keep putting out new blooms. The trellises are heavy with vines and we spend half our time propping them up and trimming the excess. But we found a wholesale buyer for all those blossoms, so let 'er rip.

Meanwhile we are planting dahlias, several thousand of them and 150 varieties, in rows between the sweet peas. The dahlias will benefit from the nitrogen-fixing quality of the sweet pea, which is a legume.

When the sweet peas are done blooming, we will pull them out from between the dahlias -- without crushing or damaging the dahlias of course. It could get complicated, but we are hoping to have a continuous progression of flowers to sell.

The Gap. The gap is what happens if the sweet peas stop blooming before the dahlias begin their season -- then we won't have much on the table at the farmers market, so we are hoping some annuals we planted will fill the bill -- amaranth, lisianthus and zinnias and a few other varieties

Calm. It's calm around here. We filled our first wholesale order and that seemed to go well. Now the sweet peas are showing signs of powdery mildew -- but it's always something. We're going to order more seeds of the black radish "nero tondo" -- it has a beautiful black matte color and a nutty, peppery flavor when grated into salads and soups.

We're sticking with the cut flower business, but it won't hurt to grow a few vegetables on the side if we can make it work. This black Italian radish might be a good specialty -- and they're easy to grow too.

Nothing is easy to grow. It won't be easy to grow radishes. With the summer heat coming on, they're going to bolt. Maybe if we put them in a shady spot, or erect a shade house -- something like that might work.

Sad Eyed Lady with Chickens. I made a video of the chickens and me singing "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands."

It's just wonderful. You see the camera holding steady on the old wooden chair, on which sits a pot of cilantro, with the breeze moving the grass, and me singing off-camera. Then I pan over to the chickens and some special painted rocks.

But the video is over four minutes long, and my cranky old laptop cannot handle the uploading process. Six years old is this wonderful machine, but I have about run it into the ground.

A Computer Expert. I am a computer expert. I only know what I need to know in order to get done the things I want to get done. That's rule number one. Rule number two is that computers cost money. Rule number three is Internet Karma. Never waste anyone's time with unwanted posts and email. If you send Spam, you will get it back in spades.

Anyway, I drove over to Fry's Electronics in Oxnard. I spent $650, including sales tax and a new carrying case, for a 17-inch HP laptop, 4 GB Ram. and lots of room in the hard drive -- enough to download and upload my stupid videos.

Stupid Videos. I say that with affection. They are quite good. This one is in homage to Bob Dylan. You probably could have written the song yourself, if Bob Dylan had not -- isn't that how it seems when it's really good?

Bob Dylan is a great songwriter and musician, but he does not have much of a voice. And here, many of us can truly say, "I can sing as good as Bob Dylan."

"Sad Eyed Lady with Chickens" is from my heart and for many years and for the many places I've been.

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Fred Owens
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