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Progressive Programming, Politics, Electronics, and Gardening.

Posts tagged HG2012

Mar 10 '12

Hacks Garden 2012

Greetings again, Tumblrers and Hipsters who still use Instagram on your site. It’s gardening time!

Garden Time! with MrHacks on Tumblr!

This year marks the fourth year of gardening and a change of how things are done. The Square Foot Garden Method will be used as well as container gardening. It is a plan I’v had ever since I got started with gardening.

The benefits are that I will no longer use any of the soil in my back yard. An unsettling revelation about what’s been going on at the creek behind my house over the the past fifty years involving the Mallinckrodt during the Atomic Age (see FUSRAP), along with the remediation of the dirt near the creek for Uranium, Radium, Thorium, and other This-will-give-you-cancer-ium isotopes has me thinking about where the dirt came from in my own backyard that wasn’t the dirt that I put in.

Now before everyone gets into a panic, ionizing radiation is practically in everything on this planet. Electronics, including cellphones, produce non-ionizing (low energy) radiation, which is harmless. But the high energy (ionizing) is the stuff that can cause cell damage and cancer.

Interesting enough, plants are more used to radiation exposure. After the Chernobyl disaster, Sunflowers were planted by farmers and discovered that sunflowers could absorb the thorium fallout that contaminated the dirt. The stereotype of nuclear goo (which could really just be a rock emitting ionizing radiation) making mutant large plants are only half true. Some plants will grow larger from radiation exposure, but they won’t turn into bizarre mutant monsters.

Since Chernobyl, the evacuated ghost city of Pripyat, Ukraine has been overrun with plant overgrowth. The plants are now the rulers of the city in the former Soviet republic.

However, my problem isn’t even close to a Chernobyl problem. Not even by a long shot. But it still doesn’t feel right to plant the plants I eat in dirt with possible above average radiation levels. I’m not afraid to live where I live. And the majority of cancers that have occurred in the neighborhood were the result of the kids playing in the creek (which they shouldn’t have even without any warning that the water may have been tainted) or coincidental.

Follow this path of Coldwater Creek through North St. Louis County on Google Maps and realize that this map doesn’t show how many people may have been impacted.

So there is really nothing wrong with living here, just don’t play in the creek and help Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider demand the clean up of the Westlake Landfill which could do much worse damage to North County than what’s in Coldwater Creek as it is where some of the materials from FUSRAP were transfered but could seep into the water table or get flooded out and potentially contaminate the water supply throughout North County.

OK, enough with this nuclear crap. (Go green! Buy a solar panel. I know. I’m working on it.) Time for the gardening part.

As always, this Tumblr site is used to upload pictures of my progress with the garden. A new smartphone this year will probably produce some better detailed pictures of my garden and the places I go to look at other people’s gardens.

The magnolias are in bloom as I speak and cheery blossoms and dogwood should soon follow. Expect pictures.

This year’s garden will concentrate more on herbs and flowers rather than long large plants like last year. Seeing how quickly all my zucchini and pumpkin were decimated by pest bugs last year really got me more motivated to do my gardening indoors, at least until late April or May.

On advice by a local gardening expert at my local TrueValue hardware store, indoor seeding should generally start around the March full moon, which has recently passed. I got a little eager and started some of my herbs indoors early. A couple week later I started most of my usual including peppers and tomatoes.

New plants have been added including peas, garlic, green tomatillo, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli of two types regular and romanesco. The latter will look very awesome to take photos of as it produces natural fractal patterns and have an interesting taste to them supposedly.

I’m hoping to share extra seeds with the neighbors if they are interested.

That seems to be everything for today. Stay tuned for more awesome garden photos.

View comments Tags: HacksGarden12 HG2012 gardening square foot gardening container gardening adventure time gardening time html5 Mallinckrodt Tyco Covidien FUSRAP Florissant Missouri Coldwater Creek Westlake Landfill FUSRAP radiation St. Louis peas garlic onions tomatillo spinach lettuce broccoli lavender