Anybody else think the Masters of the Universe appeared a little flummoxed* this week? You know, those guys in loosened ties and flapping white collars, who rule the world these days? Whose every wince and quiver is taken as augury? Hey, stay with me – Wall Street!

Buy! Sell! No, buy! Greek debt – sell! Debt deal – buy! Debate produces no clear winners – sell! Crop failure – buy! Profit taking! Sell! Eurostates ban short sales – buy! London riots – Uh – Buy? Sell?Prompting the heartfelt question – Do any of those people know WTF they are doing?

 Here’s an insight: why they call mine a “Simple Life.”
Sunday: haul water RAIN! Fill stock tanks troughs
Monday: M-7, rake & sow Fall greens move rock
Tuesday: bushhog – buck’s pen
Wednesday : mulch Marzanos: sow Fall greens
Thursday: weed and re-sow radishes
Friday: Market prep

This list simplified from the real envelope, shows decisions in high relief.  July’s searing heat was rough on garden, pastures and stock. Without Sunday’s blessed rain (and more, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday) I would have hauled, at a minimum, 3 tank loads from the country water tap, a 6-mile drive and $3 apiece in quarters. And got nothing else done, that day.

Plot 7 of the Main garden was tilled a few weeks back. Two days of raking to re-contour: as each row was smoothed, another crop of seed went in: Bok Choy, Tatsoi, Tronchuda, Broccoli Raab, Escarole, Endive, Radicchio, Mustards, Collards, Arugula. 

The tendency of cool-weather vegetables to bolt (set seed)  often frustrates us in getting a leafy crop to harvest. 50 years of gardening (the last 16 for Market), and coaxing 2 or 3 seasons of crops from the same soil, led to an observation: not so much heat or sunshine, but daylength, triggers this change in the plant’s chemistry. (Of course it’s chemical. Just taste a leaf of any of the above, first at the basal rosette stage and then after bolting.)

So, rain favoring, once the year has turned (early August, as the days barely decrease from June 21 till then) any number of Fall seeds can be sown, to sprout and get their growth before the bitter cold.

Tuesday I laid out to get on the tractor and get mowing the big hayfield. With my right arm Steve unavailable (thru a richly-deserved surge of photographic work – see pasztphoto link in Blogroll) my aim shifted to setting the other corner post for Nobel’s pen, then unclipping the sloppily strung fence from last year, to move the crooked-set T-posts and reclip a new, straight line. Breeding season is soon upon us, and there will be a stout pen with plenty of browse for Nobel and each doe as she cycles.

A phrase I like: “Pick your poverty: no time, no money, no soul.” Think it thru. If you have both time and money, it’s at the expense of your soul (example, drug dealers.) If you make money, and hang onto your soul, you lack time to live the kind of life money would allow (example. a conscientious physician or surgeon). Or you can have time and your soul, but no money (me). Of course, a lot of that time is going to be spent doing what the first category might consider work. Years ago a customer opined that I wasn’t charging enough for fresh shelled beans. I said “How much do you make for sitting on a shady porch on a hot day?”

I can’t control weather. I can suggest but not dictate customer tastes, as the “crackhead economy” does thru television. Given soil and rain, I can plant, weed, gather and sell. Given animal health & fertility, I can breed, deliver, process and sell. Given a large rock, I move it. On a given day, I know what to do.

So I’m keeping my investment where it is.

 *Flummoxed – perplexed, dumbfounded: from OE “flume ox,” the animal harnessed to a turnstile which lifts the gates of a water mill. If left untended, it would speed or slacken its pace by what it heard of the water in the millrace. The phrase came to mean beset by conflicting information in a manner that forestalled rational choice.