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4 responses to “She’s a Cutter

  1. Ralph ⋅

    My back yard has been left untouched for some time now. Most things are at or past the end of this year’s growth, but a few things are hanging in there. A few store bought potatoes were starting to grow in the basement, so I cut off the small stems, put them in water for a couple days, then put them in a shallow pot with soil. I never grew potatoes so I figured I would give them a try.
    The inside plant’s struggle for winter sunlight is worse this year than before. A few red ti plants have been added, and with some Christmas decorations in the east facing window blocking the sill those pots had to be relocated as well.
    One of the small bananas died, but it’s 2 siblings in the same pot are doing well. The original plant lost a few leaves. I suspect not enough water may have helped that, but overall it still looks pretty good and is still growing new leaves. I had to use a couple strings to hold it up in the pot. Come summer I’ll have to transplant it so it can stay upright on it’s own.

    Sandy almost seems like history by now, except for those still dealing with it’s aftermath. Looking back over what was and wasn’t done right, one of the podcasts I listen to started an interesting project. They are still organizing, but they put out a call to their audience and anyone they know to form a volunteer group of emergency responders spread around the country. Professional responders will head it. The idea is to respond to areas that FEMA, the Red Cross, and other organizations out of necessity have to give lower priority when something large happens. For now there has been some discussion of the project scattered across a few podcasts. You can scroll down a list of episodes at to find out more.

    • Revel

      If you recall, I inadvertently ended up with a tomato farm, with more than 40 tomato plants. I spent most of the season taking care of them, trying to keep up with their fast growth. When I didn’t have gardening twine, I used Christmas ribbon, which always seems to be in overabundance (except now, of course, since I used this summer). Anyway, it was too big a task to cut down all the plants at once and collect and toss the “twine,” so now whenever I take scraps to the compost bin, which is about once a week, I cut down one of the remains of a tomato plant, along with the ribbon. I still have a long way to go, but the process gives me time to think about the garden and what might go there next season.

      I wanted to plant garlic, and even got some tips from my friend, Steve, who planted some for the first time this fall. I think it probably would still be possible, since we’ve had fairly mild weather for it being this late in the year. My understanding is that if you get it in the ground before it’s frozen, you should be fine. I haven’t checked to see how hard the soil is right now though. I may still try it, time permitting.

      My plants inside, also, are competing for space and light, especially now that a good-sized Christmas tree is taking the light from one of two south-east facing windows. One of my bigger banana plants also died off but left a baby in the same pot. The other one seems to have mostly healthy leaves but some of the larger leaves are brownish on the end. It’s hard to gauge how much water these need.

      Separately, I planted some small spiky plants that are supposed to purify their air but they seem a little too small to be doing much at all. I am recognizing that I really don’t have space for all the indoor plants I have right now, and am going to have to make some tough decisions about which can stay, and which I have to let go (and how). I have a hard time just “dumping” a plant. But it’s also hard to find someone to adopt an indoor plant in December (and of course the logistics of getting the plant to them at this busy time of year).

      On another note, I like the description you gave of some innovative ways people are addressing weaknesses exposed by Sandy. I’m going to reprint it in the next post. It may be passe to say but it definitely seems like the more we are working together as a society to help each other and make our communities stronger, the less opportunity there may be to hurt each other.

  2. Ralph ⋅

    If you work at a fixed location maybe a couple small plants could be relocated there. I’ve been thinking of bringing a cactus into work. Starting them from seeds a few years ago and knowing they are a protected species in Arizona (not to mention I always liked cacti) I feel kind of protective about them.

    The banana that died on me left 2 plants behind that look very healthy. The big original plant has brown edges on a number of leaves. It may be from the dry warm air that comes from the duct nearby, but I’ve been trying to water a little more. It’s a bit of a guessing game since too much water may rot the roots. I haven’t seen the leaves drip water in quite a while which makes me think dry air is at fault. That’s one thing about cacti, even though I periodically forget to water them they are probably better off for it.

  3. Ralph ⋅

    Another point I heard about being prepared and helping each other is that the more people can provide for themselves and neighbors in an emergency, that many more responders and resources are available for those that really need help. I heard a story where after only 2 days people were ‘dumpster diving’ for food in parts of Manhattan. No matter how well prepared anyone is they can still loose everything. In any large event it will take a few days for help to arrive- maybe longer for some. To do nothing to be prepared thinking the government will solve everything is foolish. We have seen time and time again where it takes days for help to arrive. Sometimes it is simply not safe to react sooner, sometimes the system fails. Either way people are on their own for a while. I wonder how many people have done anything after Sandy to prepare for next time? It was very fortunate it was not very cold when Sandy hit, things could have been a lot worse.

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