Prompt Tuesday – Yes I know It’s Thursday
I’ve been a total social media slacker. None of it’s been intentional, but I’ve been sucked deep into the depths of research and development for add-ons to Dapper Snappers. While this Prompt Tuesday is about my passion, I must take a detour and come back around to it to let you in on my world. Bear with me…
We moved to Florida 10 months ago. Before that, I lived in Oregon for 28 years. In all those years, I’ve lived in at least a dozen different places, but I made my home in the Portland-metro area. Because I had moved so many times in my adult life I never bothered to unpack. Boxes were shuffled from dwelling to dwelling. When Hubby and I met, we moved into a house in Hillsboro and I finally settled down. I actually unpacked all my knick-knacks. I painted. I decorated. I gardened.
You know what’s amazing about gardening? Everything. The dirt smells like fresh, nutrient rich earth. There are worms and bugs and weeds, and spiritual and parenting parallels to be made. You water. You fertilize. You kill bugs. You watch your plants grow. You harvest. It’s time consuming and rewarding and my idea of the perfect “me time”.
Imagine my disappointment when I moved to Florida and there were no worms. The soil is sandy and unworkable. The bugs are many and mean, especially the ants. There are plenty of lizards, but apparently they don’t eat the bugs or ants. I’m not sure what they do besides magically appear in my bathroom. But none of that was going to stop me from trying to have a garden. We built a 5 by 5 box (okay, Hubby built it). We filled it in with potting soil. I planted marigolds around the borders to keep the bugs out. I also planted a tomato seedling, sunflowers, peas, radishes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, zucchini, carrots, a jalapeno seedling, and a bell pepper seedling. Yes, it sounds like a lot, but there was room. I call it “strategic planting”.
You know what there wasn’t? Bees. There are no bees! I needed bees to pollenate the flowers to make all these yummy things I wanted to grow. Instead, my sunflowers were infested with red ants from root to flower. My tomato plant didn’t do a darn thing. My peas, carrots, and radishes wilted in the sun. The vined plants flowered, but never grew into anything. I did what I could, but the only plant that produced anything was the jalapeno. I decided early on that this year’s “crop” was going to be a bust, but at least I could compost and try my hand at worm farming for next year’s garden.
Composting is interesting. Bugs like it. Reminding Hubby what could be composted and the kids “please don’t throw the banana peel in the garbage, just set it on the counter and I will take care of it” had it’s challenges. I figured it would all be worth it in garden that was sure to yield a cornucopia of god-like fruits and veggies. And worm farming? It was a breeze! I obtained a 15 quart clear plastic bin with a lid, some of Hubby’s Aunt Terri’s “black gold” compost, and a couple containers of earth worms from the bait shop, and I was in business. I read up on all the wonderful things to feed the little boogers. I delve headlong into vermiculture. We kept the worms cool and dark under the kitchen sink. The kids were thrilled to help feed them.
Even though I had given up on my garden, next year was going to be awesome! Until I got kicked in the gut… I woke up one morning to ants on my counter. Since there was nothing for them to eat, I could only assume that they were scouting. Maybe the kids left something somewhere? Later that day, there were even more ants. What in the world was going on? I noticed they were coming from under the sink. They were everywhere! Of course, they weren’t in the garbage. But I lifted the lid on my bin, lo and behold, the ants had started themselves a habitat whilst feasting on my fattened worms. They. Ate. My. Worms.
Of course, now it makes sense why there were no worms in my yard. And why next years garden is not going to happen. Or any other year’s garden for that matter. Florida is just not the place for gardening. It’s sad. I’m sad. I’ve given up composting, vermiculture, even indoor herb gardening. My heart just isn’t in it anymore. All I can say is that I dislike Florida very much right now and it had better start coming up with some really good reasons why I should stay or I’m moving back home.
So now that I’m done sulking about my dead worms… Back to my passion. Oh, you thought gardening was it? Well, I guess it’s one of many. My real passion is in finding solutions to problems. And if you want to get my blood pumping, let’s have a chat about customer service. But let’s not talk about ants.
Oh, and on the R&D front, while I can’t talk about what I’ve been up to, you will know soon enough. Announcements coming in October. It seems so far away, but there is a LOT of work to be done.