068 Hands in soil

068 Hands in soil

I finally got my hands into soil. It’s been a long winter. But spring is coming. In the meantime, let’s re-pot some plants. Some of my indoor plants have been pretty unhappy. Spring will bring more sunshine. I can’t do anything about that. But I could give them better soil to work with in the meantime.

I’d been meaning to do this for weeks. I’ll be mixing coco coir with perlite and my leftover potting soil. As so often, I have no idea what I’m doing.

First, I had to rescue this dracanea. They’ve been in this pot since they were bought more than a year ago.

Yep, pretty root-bound. Sorry, little plant friends. I forgot you existed. Out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, way too true for me. Time to give them some attention and care. They deserve it.

I took an environmental ethics class this semester. When we learned about indigenous ideas of nature, the teacher told us it is hard to grasp statements like “the river is my sister.”

For me, it is different. I can’t even call this plant an “it” without thinking about it. Some serious thought went into what pronoun to use for a plant. So, yes, absolutely, the river is my sister!

Ahem, now that I have dealt with the perlite dust this professionally, let me mix some soil.

For me, the basic frameworks of our artificial society are much harder to grasp.

I study nature conservation, but even there, most classes are extremely anthropocentric. Saving species and habitats is about so much more than helping us save money… Though, it would probably already help a lot if people knew how expensive it is to ignore the climate crisis.

When the first plant was finally repotted, I realized I’d been at it for much longer than expected. Easy to lose track of time with hands in the soil and a good book playing in the background.

The pepper plants had been on the balcony for the endless rain of last summer. There was little of anything left in the soil, and the soil had gotten really compacted. But the roots were looking good. Yay!

So, I mixed more potting mix, and gave them a new home. I am still not 100% sure I did any of this right. But I had to start somewhere to adjust from. I guess time will tell.

The water used to soak the coco coir is from the aquariums for a bit of a nutrient boost. When the peppers were repotted, I decided to continue the next day. No way I’d finish it all.

Excited, I unwrapped my sharpened knives. I gave my knives a good rinse, and opened up the final candle from last episode.

Our local produce box had arrived that day. Time to use my hopefully sharp knives.

I love carrots. I really do. But I’ll be so glad when winter is over and there’s more than root vegetables again.

But I also had some of last week’s produce left because I’d minimal-efforted dinners. Yes, that’s a word… ahem.

So, I got it all out on the counter to deal with. Yes, yes, there are more carrots. The fresh carrots went into the fridge–and actually would not stay there for a full week, yay!

And then I used just about every knife we own. I’ve missed these things.

I have been so used to dull knives that I had to remind myself all the time to cut, not push. Some of you must have been going insane watching me chop things with those dull blades.

I set aside the onion peels for broth, and chopped up what I’d need for dinner and the next day.

I let Marvin, my no longer behated food processor, chop the zucchini, and dried the slices.

I used yet another knife to slice the bread for dinner. Yes, we’re having stuffing/dressing again. It’s become a staple. I even bake larger breads just to have some left over.

What exactly goes in with the bread changes every time. This time, we had some bok choi to use up. I had more bread than fit the bowl, so I could look forward to some french-toast bake the next morning.

The next day was another wet one. Technically, it didn’t rain. But the fog was dense enough for droplets.

But it didn’t matter: I had plants to repot indoors anyway. It was another really dark day. Good thing, I was working under full-spectrum grow lights…

Look at this sad little plant. I hope I didn’t kill them. Northern German winter, even with grow lights, is tough for a young plant like this.

This toilet paper plant was nothing but a stick when I got them last fall. Look at all that green and those roots. So much growth, little friend. I hope they’ll do better in some soil with better drainage. I don’t know.

Soon, I’ll start digging around the soil outside. It’s almost time to start the first seeds.

Now, it just needs to stop raining non-stop. Currently, the soil in the garden is drenched and overflowing.

I can’t wait to fail and succeed there, as well. I am not sure any of these plants will survive. But I did my best. So long, and thanks for being here.