Saturday, May 16, 2015

Incense Days

The wee one and I started another batch of incense, and this time we're using the itty bitty gingerbread man cookie cutter to shape the incense. I haven't the foggiest notion how many little incense people we will get from this batch, but it's a great project to initiate the wee one into ceremonial-type incense creation. She was very excited and kept grabbing the cookie cutter during the grinding and singing part. I really had to reel her in a time or two. Once, while she was using the electric grinder to powder gum leaf, she pulled the cap off too soon, while the rotors were still moving, and slung gum leaf dust all over the counter. She's gone off with mum to have lunch so I have a moment or two alone to add the finishing touches to the incense powder -- vetyver essential oil and loads of oakmoss absolute -- before adding the water and creating the incense paste. Since the wee one is so in tune with nature and growing things, I think the bent on this incense batch will be toward honoring the earth spirits, particularly the Green Man.

On the gardening front, over the winter I read up on growing the best tomatoes possible and found a site, which I have since lost the link, stating that tomatoes can be grown very effectively in containers, for which I was thrilled to learn. Last year my container tomatoes were pathetically small and produced minimal fruit. As per the instructions on this website, I went to the local pot shop where they sell goods to grow ganja and picked up a 20-gallon bag container, a box of fish bone meal, and worm castings. Then I hit up my daughter's employer, a sushi chef, for a container of fish parts, heads, skin, bones and whatnot, and then I bought a bottle of children's aspirin and located the bucket of egg shells I save for the garden and went to work. The final ingredient was the tomato plant, which to my surprise voluntarily sprouted from heirloom seeds I planted last season, so I have no clue what type of tomato I'm going to get once the plant throws fruit. I also got a big bag of gardening soil. Here's what I did: First, I filled the 20-gallon bag container about a quarter full with garden soil, then I began dumping all the 'goodies' in -- the fish parts went in first (I actually let these set outside for three days to get rotty and gross before using them), then five baby aspirin on top of that, then worm castings, then a fair sprinkling of fish bone meal, and lastly the crumbled egg shell. I then poured in more garden soil to about halfway and planted the tomato plant at that level, then filled the bag to the top, which covered the plant by about half of its height -- that meant half the foliage was now  underground. It's been about a month now and that plant is looking so healthy and gorgeous. It's grown about six times its original size, and already has tomatoes on the lower branches. I'm so impressed with this technique for growing tomatoes, and I can't wait for the harvest.


  1. Anonymous9:24 AM

    I like the pot-luck approach to planting seeds too: any really ripe fruit that has seeds, I put some in a flowerpot in the window and let them take their chance to grow.
    I'm intrigued by the inclusion of baby aspirin in your growing medium, so I'll have to look that up and find out how it benefits the plant.
    Good luck with your tomato plant - you gave it a great start!

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

    1. I think the website I looked at for the growing information stated the baby aspirin jump starts the plant's natural immune system, but I can't vouch for the validity of that statement. I just know that whatever I did, it's working. I don't think I've seen a healthier, livelier, more robust tomato plant in my garden EVER. I'm always getting volunteer plants popping up, though technically they're not really volunteer because at some point in the past I did actually plant them on purpose, they just took a few years to get going. Thank heavens I don't rely on my gardening abilities to feed myself :)

    2. Anonymous2:56 PM

      Yes, I found a few blogs that suggested the use of baby aspirin or aspirin itself as a means of boosting the plant's defences - I wonder if it works for citrus plants? (I usually get ripe citrus pips to sprout, grow to a modest height, and then they drop their leaves and fail. I should keep them drier, it seems, but I might try the baby aspirin too, so thank you for this idea.)

      cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh



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