Monday, August 9, 2010



One afternoon during loquat season, I sat out back with my prep scenario: decent music, cat for company, bag of just-picked loquats I'd hit with the hose by way of washing, big bowl of acidulated water, knife, and an empty planter for the culls and pith and stems and seeds. When I was finished, that planter was nearly full, mostly of seeds but with the odd bit of more easily compostable matter. Seemed kind of silly to carry the planter out to the apartment compost bin, and it would have overflowed a worm-tower tray, so I tossed some worms into the planter instead. Added an inch or so of soil to keep out bugs, and stuck it on top of the current pre-composting worm-food unit.

A few months later, I had a young thicket of loquats outgrowing their birthplace. A coworker mentioned a need for some saplings, so I harvested a handful for her, then more for another woman who saw me delivering the first set. That didn't go nearly enough toward thinning the planter, so I sat down the other day with a bunch of homemade container mix and seedling pots. An embarassment of riches—I ended up with three dozen individually potted loquat saplings, plus several clumps too intertwined to separate into singletons. Keeping them watered is something of a challenge! They take up much more room this way, and I don't have a single place suitable to put them all even temporarily. Some friends with land have offered to take many of them off my hands, as they don't like their privacy fence and would be happier with plants to obscure it. I just have to figure out how to keep them watered in situ. Lots of organic matter would help, but I'm running short again. Suppose I could buy some compost from the local organic garden center, but I was really trying not to do that. Of course, I didn't have three dozen trees in mind when I was figuring how much I'd need this year.

Note to self: the answer to that question is always "more." 'Nuff said.

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