Adventures in Ethics and Science

Garden update: day 8.

For those of you following the chronicle of my raised garden beds, here’s the first update.


I planted the seeds in the garden beds on July 20.

As of today, July 28, a bunch of the seeds I planted have sprouted.

First up, as expected, were the radishes. Those of us who get impatient should always plant radishes. Not only can they be counted on to sprout in about 5 days, but they also grow to maturity in about a month.

Pictured here are the daikon radish sprouts. Assuming that vermin do not get to them, we’ll probably use some of the daikons we harvest in salads and we’ll probably pickle some. (We may also share some with our neighbors.)

Luckily, the denizens of Casa Free-Ride are radish fans.

Especially seeing as how, in addition to daikon radishes, we also planted French breakfast radishes and Easter egg radishes. All of them have sprouted.


Some of the leafy greens have also sprouted: the rainbow chard (pictured here), the mustard greens, a few kinds of lettuce (oak leaf, romaine, and red sails).

A couple of the cole crops also have sprouted (cauliflower and kohlrabi).

So far, of the root vegetables that are not radishes, only the turnips have sprouted, but they have done so very enthusiastically.


The soybeans (pictured above) have also started making an appearance. We’re trying to see if we can grow enough soybeans to make our own tofu and/or tempeh. If not, I’m happy to serve edamame several nights a week.

A couple of the bush beans have also started sprouting.

We’re still waiting for signs of life from the carrots, parsnips, beets, cabbage, onions, and nasturtiums. But as of today, I’m feeling pretty good about the prospects that we’ll be getting some food out of this experiment in backyard agriculture.


  1. #1 Coturnix
    July 28, 2008

    I relish radishes!

  2. #2 Tree
    July 29, 2008

    Oh fine, I think this confirms that my brain is headed in odd directions tonight, because while trying to explain to myself why the humanities/science debate seems particularly engaging, it occured to me that many concepts in the humanities seems to be artificially constructed, unnatural, sealed off from real life, as if the post-modern lit major had never set foot in a garden (indeed, the non-fiction social theory writer two doors down expressed amazement last week that a person can put seed into the ground and have sunflowers later).

    But here’s a garden, with radishes. And no post-anything theory needed to elaborate beyond observe, hypothesize and test to explain why radishes here, and beans over there.

    Why is it that science, the reality-based tool we use to describe experience, is considered more difficult to learn than an artifical system that depends on the consensual hallucination of Culture? Isn’t the reality of the rose easier to grasp than the poem for it?

    O Rose, thou art sick!
    The Invisible worm,
    That flies in the night,
    In the howling storm,

    Has found out thy bed
    Of Crimson joy;
    And his dark secret love
    Does thy life destroy.

    Hmm, seems more constructed than ‘oh bugger, moth larvae are chewing on my roses’.

    Tree, might be running a fever

  3. #3 Tree
    July 29, 2008

    Noooo! I had to Google the durn poem, and yeah, the Theory is thick:

    Another interpretation is that the poem uses a garden as a metaphor for life and relationships. Throughout the poem there is the sense that a relationship that was once full of love and joy is now ‘sick’ and the ‘worm’ is an excellent metaphor to express this.

    A garden is a symbol of beauty and peace, much like a loving relationship. However there will always be the worms in the garden that seek to destroy it and sadly, sometimes do. Using this metaphor in terms of the relationship it can be interpreted that this poem revolves around the heartbreak that is caused by one person in the relationship taking that step of betrayal and cheating on the one they are with. The poem metaphorically expresses the feelings that arise in a situation like that.

    Easily the most dominant consideration of thematic content of the poem revolves around typical literary symbology of the rose as an icon for the female genitalia. Ultimately, the poem surfaces as a metaphorical commentary of the rape of a probably young girl. Blake discusses the secrecy of sexuality in his time period, and how the privacy attached to all matters romantic and sexual was, in its way, societal rape of the young female mindframe.

    Whut? Wa? Huh?

    Forget Math, Poetry is Hard. Or maybe poetry theory is just senseless.

    Tree, off to have symbolic, feverish dreams

  4. #4 chezjake
    July 29, 2008

    Hurrah for the unsung kohlrabi! In my family, none of them ever survive to be cooked. Raw kohlrabi, sliced thin and with a wee bit of salt, is one of the best beer munchies ever.

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