Just muckin’ around

There’s a big disconnect between all the talk of a bad economy and my observations in Central Florida. Drove down to Altamonte yesterday to have lunch with some old friends and hit Costco for the big buy – load up the freezer with meat etc and to pick up a couple of fire extinguishers which we saw in the sale brochure. This was mid day on a Thursday when you would expect lower traffic and lower crowds. The biggest problem we had was finding parking spaces at the restaurant and at Costco. That’s if you don’t count a line at the restaurant that reached outside the building and into the parking lot – 11:15am; that’s if you don’t count having to wait in the checkout line at Costco for 20 minutes – all cash registers open. The roads were jammed at every turn. We find this same situation any time we hit that area – day, night, week day, weekend.
Economy vs traffic, crowds, costco, restaurant. On Saturday we went to Sam’s in Daytona – same experience. This is a giant Sam’s with an enormous parking lot and we the only parking was in the far forty. It was so busy, there were no shopping carts available. Can you imagine that? That wasn’t too big a deal because we were there for a one item purchase – another freezer. The few other necessary items we were able to just carry around the store. Probably not having a cart saved some money for sure.

We decided we needed a second freezer because freezer #1 is full and usually full. And there are more veggies coming out of the garden than we can eat for sure, even counting the loads we give away throughout the week. For example, right now there are 5 cauliflowers that need picking and loads of broccolli. We could eat spinach every night, lettuce three times a day and still have plenty to give away. So we decided it makes sense to freeze the overflow. Last tomato season we could have made quite a bit more spaghetti sauce but ran out of storage space long before we ran out of ingredients. The level of productivity has crept up on us, no doubt due to the soil improvements, so that no matter how good a job I do at staggering the plantings, our cup runneth over. Anyway, we’re in the food freezing business again.

I found the motherlode of muck – by accident. I was looking for a spot to land the poke boat and pulled onto the shore on my neighbors property. It’s better access there and I’ve always used it during low water conditions but since it’s lower than ever, I can’t drive the boat up as far onto shore. I stepped out of the boat, thinking that I was on nice firm, albeit grassy, shoreline. Wrong, I went knee deep into muck with one leg while the other was still in the boat. I attempted an olympic move to get onto hard shore which turned into a Special Olympic move but still did somehow manage to get the top half of my body and one leg onto stable shore. I worked the other leg out but the shoe was a casualty. The good news is that this should be an incredible source of muck for the garden. I started the harvest and interestingly, I can stand on hard, firm shoreline and just a foot further out, is the soft stuff. I dug/scooped out one wheel barrow full and up to the garden where I plan to let it sit a couple of days to dry out before assessing exactly what I’ve got. In addition to having a potential soil additive, I’m also getting a nice place to land the boat, deep enough to float the boat right up to hard shore to launch from.

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