Slouching Toward Minnesota


Up at five this morning with a desperate need to stretch and move my body.  All the packing and canning and harvesting and cleaning are making me a little stiff.  So I threw on my sweats and headed out for an early walk.

Coming around the corner onto Main Street, I saw a man duck into an alleyway, and I promptly crossed the street.  When he emerged, I saw he was a police officer, and he regarded me with some interest.  I said, “good morning,” and kept on my way.

I don’t think cops ever have the idea that what they’re doing looks suspicious.

But, of course, he was just checking the doors on all the businesses.  In my short downtown walk, I saw two police and a garbage truck.  Fischer’s Disposal is always out earlier than anyone else–I often see them making their rounds when I’m loading up for an early harvest.

Slowly, slowly, I am getting everything together.  Box-packing tends to be in fits and spurts–I think I’m averaging about a box a day.  But more than that I am dispersing things to good homes, to the Civ, to the dump.

At thirty-seven, and having mostly lived in the same place since 2003, it seems a kind of insurmountable task to move all my possessions to a new place–but I know many people who have many more possessions and live in much bigger houses than I do, so I figure if they can do it, so can I.

Produce keeps coming in the door (OK, I keep bringing it in the door), so I keep trying to figure out ways to preserve what I’m not delivering.  The last regular CSA delivery was yesterday, and I had to use liquor boxes to contain the bounty (that, and I am trying to collect back all the reusable winged-tomato bags to wrap glassware in).

Last regular CSA delivery of the 2010 season

I may end up selling at the farmers market tomorrow, though I said last week was it for me.  What else to do with all that basil–all those summer squash–all those cherry tomatoes?

I feel pretty deeply that it’s a sin to waste food–especially good, wholesome food.  So, like my Pike Place Market bag proclaims, I’m gonna try to get that “Produce to the People!”

But some of it stays with me: I canned seven quarts of a chutney of yellow squash, green tomato, onion, and lemon yesterday that I’d made the day before–it didn’t turn out as well as I’d envisioned, but it’s edible enough.  While the chutney and the canner were coming up to a simmer, I worked on cleaning out the vermicomposter.

Part of the produce containment strategy

Not sure how my new landlord will feel about have a colony of worms in his house, but they are pretty much the ultimate pets–they stay in their little home and eat scraps (and their bedding, if there’s nothing else) and try to stay out of the light.

That makes the process of emptying out the castings simple–as you gently scrape away the layers of digested soil and compost, they dive ever deeper toward the bottom. In the end, you have a little wriggling pile of worms that can be dumped back into the composter.

Once the castings were out and fresh bedding replaced it (using up the last of an old bag of peat–one more thing out of the house), I got to work outside.

The herb garden is now weeded out, and all the plants save the monster sage-bush got a dose of castings.  Two of the plants I “saved” a couple of months ago from the Jones’ greenhouse (and proceeded to leave on my front step for way too long) also got in the ground, their planting-holes amended with generous scoops of the richness.  Maybe they’ll make it.

And then I burned brush in my little fire pit–everything in the pile by the cottonwood in my backyard save three big logs that will have to wait for a chainsaw to section them.  I emptied the wheelbarrow, too.

Today is about inside projects again, though the weather has turned autumn-glorious–H’s daughter is coming to do some measurements and then we’re off to Sioux City to find a new tub surround and fixtures.

That’s a project that’s been needed for years, and now it won’t be me who gets to enjoy it.  Oh, well.  Maybe I’ll get to have a couple of baths in the newly mildew-and-stain-free tub area before I go.

Meanwhile, the dog is watching me closely and sniffing at the boxes and moving into her skin allergy time of year (as well as perhaps being a bit nervous about getting left behind), which means she’s licking and chewing at herself and will probably look mangy and awful by the time I get her up to Minnesota.

But, I still have a bar of Irish Twins doggie soap hanging in my utility closet, so before the tub gets its new hardware and surround, I should probably get her cleaned up and hopefully soothed a bit and maybe even get some of that loose fur out of her coat.

Otherwise, it’s a slow process of packing and cleaning and canning and slouching toward this move with all deliberate speed and forethought.  We’ll see if I make it to market tomorrow, but I figure a little more produce out the door and a little more cash in my pocket can’t hurt.

Produce out of bounds

Hope to see you there!

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One response to this post.

  1. Moving always stresses me out… although during college moves, I did enjoy the practical application of the packing problem, devising the optimum geometrical arrangement of boxes and furniture to make it all in one trip!

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