Water Walls

My neighbor George is in the hospital to get a heart valve. He’s known that the valve would eventually need attention for quite some time but his cardiologist gave him reason to think that was a few years off in the future. A few weeks ago he came down with a bad chest cold or something that sounded like a chest cold that knocked him for a loop and left him very short of breath and stamina. Last Friday he consulted over the phone with his family doc who advised him to head right for the emergency room. At that point another cardiologist got in the loop and said he had experienced a mini heart attack and that the condition of his valve was such that it needed immediate attention. The original heart guy practices out of the hospital in Daytona Beach so on Monday, they took George, by ambulance, over to the hospital there. That’s probably a good thing since that’s a brand new, state of the art facility. Personally I’d probably opt to go to Shands or Mayo because this is likely to be more complicated than normal. George had Hodgkins as a young guy and was treated, successfully, with radiation. It killed the cancer, but it did damage to much of the tissue in the area, maybe the source of the heart valve problems. The irradiated tissue makes healing a tough issue so this surgery is not likely to be your garden variety event. Fingers crossed.

We’re freezing veggies at a good clip with a dozen or so bags of cauliflower and broccoli already done. The next candidate is spinach and chard. It’s clear that we just can’t keep up with it and it’s likely to start bolting within the next couple of weeks.

Got the first of this year’s tomatoes in. Normally this would be at least a month too early but this year has been exceptionally warm and I have protective covers that are supposed to protect down to 27 degrees. It’s possible but not very likely that we’d see anything near that cold. The photo is the first two plants protected by walls of water. The large green plant is the last lettuce left in that row and will be picked and converted into a salad for somebody by the end of the week. If you look really, really closely just to the right of the milk bottle, you might see a bit of green. That’s an anti-nematode marigold, a Golden Guardian. They grow wild now so I just pick out the ones popping up where I don’t need them and transfer them to where they can do some good. If all goes well, these should be producing by April. I have 10 more plants at the same state in the green house but I’m going to hold back planting for a few days to make sure these first two don’t crash. I have a 95% confidence factor but why take the chance.
Those patio tomatoes I put in last December have blossoms so we should actually be adding a little red to the salads in March. This is the same container where I planted carrots all around the tomatoes. Obviously the tomatoes don’t mind the company and the carrot tops sure look good so this companion planting seems to be performing as advertised.

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