Sorry to have vanished. Work has been extremely busy. While most newspapers are going belly up, we're growing and doing better and better. Although I'd like to take the credit, it's actually the result of lots of hard work on everyone's part and the fact that we do a kind of journalism that fewer places are doing. But the bottom line is that between ghostwriting and working at the paper, I've been putting in very long days and getting very little sleep.
This weekend, I'm putting the ghostwriting down for a few days and spending my Labor Day putting the final polish on Naked Edge, which I will ship off to New York on Tuesday morning. Then next week, I'll go back to the ghostwriting, which will probably take me another month to finish. And then I start my next book...
In the meantime, it somehow became September. And the veggie garden that my son Benjamin planted this past spring is feeding me quite nicely. We planted a variety of tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash, bush beans, cucumbers, green peppers, Anaheim peppers, celery and broccoli. The weather here has been a bit funky — June was unnaturally chilly — but I have been getting lots of cukes, tomatoes (particularly romas and cherry tomatoes), and green beans, as well as some Anaheims and a green pepper or two. And I'm about to get a bunch of broccoli.
Too bad Benjy's not here to share the yummy results of his hard work.
Next year, we're going to go all out and plant the entire south side of the house, in addition to putting some beds in the shade for greens and herbs. I want to add a lot of things to what we're growing, including acorn squash, cantaloupe, more beans and more broccoli. The next step will be to plant a small orchard — apples, sweet cherries, plums and pears — and then we'll be supplying the lion's share of our own fruits and veggies.
I'm very drawn to the idea of "urban homesteading," i.e., using your yard to have a mini-farm that sustains your household. Where I live, I can have up to six hens in my backyard for eggs, as well as a hive of honey bees. Imagine how much my garden would love its own bee supply.
Of course, all of this means learning a lot about growing things, as well as learning to can. But the benefit is an enormous savings year to year in fruits, veggies and, eventually, eggs and honey. Plus I never have to wonder where the plants grew or what was sprayed on them. And if Y2K actually ever hits — remember the hype around that? — I'll have food to each.
Though we'll probably spend more than we save at first, long-term it will enable us to be more self-sufficient. And who doesn't get excited about the idea of being a beekeeper?
Did anyone else plant a veggie garden this year? If so, how is it going?
Coming soon: Interview the I-Team heroes
Reece, Julian, and Marc will make themselves available to answer your most penetrating questions. Please send the questions to me via email, Facebook message or by posting them below so that I can get the questions to them. What have you always wanted to ask them. Indulge yourself!
And a happy Labor Day to everyone!