Monday, April 10, 2006

Carrots and Thoughts of Mom

And so it is the end of Garden #1. The last of the lettuce, onions and carrots were harvested and the broccoli, well, it never produced. That was simply a timing issue, seeds were planted too late. At least we know it'll grow because the broccoli plants themselves were standing at 2' once we fed them to the compost pile.

The leaf lettuce did wonderfully well and I kept many co-workers in stock with a fresh supply. I'll miss not having it. Lesson learned: spread out planting so that a supply will be readily available. This step towards (at least a little) self-reliance is all one huge experiment and learning experience. And so, Garden #2 is planned and a second raised-bed plot is in the works as well. Planting will take place this weekend with mostly seeds but we'll also use a few plants, such as tomato.

While baking a carrot cake from scratch yesterday, it dawned on me how much I don't know and how little the children of today are learning. It's a general observance but I believe parents are raising some really stupid kids these days. So many kids are plopped in front of a TV, even while in transit, or they're being rushed to this activity or that one. When are families together, sharing conversation, skills or knowledge? Fortunately, I DO know some intelligent and caring parents who DO put forth the effort to raise bright kids with hearts so there IS hope for future generations. And it's those parents who limit my time atop a soapbox bitching about the fall of society.

The thing that hit me while grating carrots by hand (yes, I have food processor but choose not to use it and no, I didn't grate a finger which is a hazard of grating by hand) was how much I could have learned from my mother. She wasn't educated by books or classrooms, but by life itself. She knew the traditional things that women learned from their mothers who also learned from their mothers. My mom wasn't a traditional homemaker, not by any stretch of the imagination. She was a single mom who knew how to take care of things without required help of someone else. At any rate, I broke the link in the chain many years ago and I find myself wanting to learn blacksmithing so it can be repaired. It's too late, my mother is gone. In retrospect, I see what a great teacher she was. For one, I learned to treasure nature by the example she set and the exposure she provided. But the homemaking arts she introduced me to just didn't hold my attention. Damn that damn Pong game! I still have the sewing machine she gave me as a high school graduation present. I know enough to plug it into the wall but that's about the extent of my knowledge. Pity and a reason to add sewing to my To-Learn-List.

Like my mother, I will learn by life's tutorial or I'll do my own independent study. At the same time, there are unlimited resources at my fingertips so finding a substitute teacher is always an option, too. I can say for sure that I scored well on cake baking from scratch. Mom would be proud.

PS...did I mentioned gardening was new around here?
This is, I'm assuming, what can happen if you plant seeds just a little too close. Carrot hugs to all!


Anonymous Robert said...

I had no idea just how bad it was until I went back into the classroom. Not only are too many of the students not interested in learning anything, but they're equally uninterested in the fact that without an education, they're dooming themselves to poverty and misery. They're too stupid to care, and the parents are too self-involved to recognize they're wasting their children's futures through apathy. Oh, I told myself I wasn't going to get started.

I'm seriously considering becoming an expatriate I'm so fed up with what I see daily. The problem with that is I don't know where I'd go.

April 10, 2006 7:27 PM  
Blogger Floridacracker said...

Great post, nice mix of gardening and good ideas. Those are spectacular carrots...excellent job. I think your post is making a point about a truly satisfying life and it involves always learning something new and the desire to do so.

It's how we stretch ourselves and grow.

April 15, 2006 9:31 AM  

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