Stranger in the Earth

thoughts on the way to zion

Archive for the category “The Dirt Project”


I was kind of biting my nails last night whilst watching the famous Gary Lezak (Kansas City’s “Weather Leader”) sport his goofy shirt and tie combo, but more for the sake of the hail he was projecting than his apparel, though it’s still kind of a toss-up. I was envisioning coming out of my back door this morning to a mutilated garden. Though I took precaution with a garden cover over my entire bed, I know enough about wind to know that my only guarantee of total protection of my delicate plants would be an over-sized lead casing to cover my entire garden. I didn’t have one. So on went the garden cover, accompanied by many prayers.

The only problem with my plan was that poor little plants can get crushed under any kind of cover. To my utter relief this morning, I not only peeled back the cover to find a perfectly intact garden, but an exploding one as well. This is the benefit of thunderstorms. With all of the dangers, thunderstorms provide a far greater amount of nitrogen than a gentle spring rain. (If you didn’t know, gardens LOVE nitrogen… except for peppers, but that’s a different blog post for another time).  Oddly enough, I did not learn that from a garden book, but from a commentary on Zechariah 10:1.

“Ask the LORD for rain n the time of spring rain. From the LORD who makes the storm clouds;  He will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation of the field.”

The first time I read that I was a little bit confused because I associated storms with destruction, and thought “why do storm clouds look like a positive thing in this verse?!” It was then that I discovered the bit about the nitrogen.

This is what I got from the garden this morning! Tons of sage and a nice fat bunch of large parsley. Thankfully the hail we had earlier today did very little damage to the veggies.

And because I can never get sick of Peonies, here are cuttings from a few hours ago. Last year they were white, so I’m enjoying the change!


Rhubarb Lesson of the Day

Last week I learned that there were more things about rhubarb I have never been made aware of it. A few years ago my mother-in-law purchased a “Ruby Red” rhubarb plant. It’s done swimmingly every time it’s been transplanted, but this year was the first year I can actually harvest this lovely plant for food. Only one perplexing problem arose- it was anything but “ruby red”. I’d describe it as sort of red until it gets mature, and then morphs into green stalks with little red tips toward the root.

The problem? I’m not sure, but I suspect the interesting weather patterns we have been experiencing. In fact, after we had a freakish spike in temperatures in the 90’s earlier this spring, I had to chop out the seed heads that were forming (which is something that shouldn’t form early in the year!) Well, the more I read up on rhubarb the more I am confident that I can harvest the stalks without having to worry. So… I’m going to try it. Green rhubarb pie, here I come!

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