Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Thought

Yes, friends, occasionally I have a brainwave, and yesterday was such a day. My friend Amy and I attended a session on herbs at Sunshine Farm and Garden in Commerce Township. A very nice woman, who was either Jean or Roxanne Riggs*, shared some tips about growing, harvesting, and cooking with herbs in a pleasant outdoor setting among herb beds, a greenhouse, a farm, a number of chickens, and one voicefierous rooster proud to have an audience. We also got to taste all kinds of yummy herb foods including a simply yumalicious sage cream cheese dip. The garlic hit you first (personally, I love garlic; not just a hint of it, not just a trace of it, but a full on, in your face, wrestle you to the ground kind of blast) and then the sage flavor rounded out the mouthful. My, that was good!

I ended up buying two herb plants: lovage as a treat for myself and the hungry bunnies in my yard (and not, incidentally, for any random, wholly irrational reason like the plant name sounding similar to Lene Lovich's surname, nosirree) and rosemary as vindication. I had heard all kinds of things about how hard it is overwintering rosemary inside, and did so for the first time last winter. I was feeling quite smug right through March because everything was going so well. But then it got a moldy white coating and I ended up composting the plant right at the time it could have gone back outside. Well, that'll show me. Jean said that misting can cause this mold because of impurities in the misting can. Instead, I should create the humidity the plant likes by placing stones in the saucer and keeping the saucer filled with water, a trick my friend Carole does with all her houseplants all year long. (Misting is recommended for tropical house plants, but not herbs.)

But the point. Yes, there was one; you know about my great idea, which was really Jean's idea, anyway. She kept saying that our lives are busy enough and why spend more time with something when here's an easy way. The more she repeated "easy," I got to thinking about the two traits I emphasize in my own presentations: being cheap (why spend more than you need to when often the same thing can be accomplished with things already on hand?) and being lazy (why do more than you have to?). At one point, I borrowed my friend Pete's button maker and created buttons with "Cheap!" and "Lazy!" on them, which I planned to hand out to the first four people who answered a question correctly. It turns out, everyone wanted the cheap button, but no one wanted the lazy button. And so I thought (imagine me looking off in the distance lost in rumination) "Huh. Maybe this "easy" tact would be the way to go with my audiences as well. After all, gardeners are a hard-working bunch and without the context of the talk, one is perhaps reluctant to be labeled (literally and figuratively) as lazy. But everyone likes doing things as straight-forwardly as possible, without wasting extra time and resources. Yes, easy is the way to go."

That is, until it hit me that I would then be talking about myself as being (instead of cheap and lazy) cheap and easy.

So that's another idea scrapped then.

*They are mother-daughter co-owners of the farm, but as we arrived the eeniest bit not quite late but not entirely early either due to some unforeseen traffic delays (a string of red lights and a horse trailer on a curvy, hilly, unfamiliar, I'm-not-passing road), we missed the introductions.

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