Saturday, March 5, 2011

Off the Cuff, 3/5/2011

It's been an interesting day. Slept in …  till 8:45. Thats, like, FOREVER for me. Did my reading, and sallied off to Hutch and Spoon Cafe, 31st and Larimer, catch a cup of coffee and a light breakfast sandwich before a seed exchange. I'd found out about the seed exchange early Friday after barreling around town trying to suss out a greenhouse that would put up my flats of starts for a month or so. I'm growing a LOT of peppers this year, and peppers are real finicky about germination. For instance, best to whet them with hot water, and let them thoroughly dry before a second watering. Who knew? And, they need to be started in plastic starter cups; the paper varieties holds moisture too long, and peppers are prone to root rot. Got to keep them warm, and somewhat under-watered after that. Planting is best "on a cloudy day, right before a rain".

So. Peppers are fussy. This year I'm growing Assam Bhut Jolokia  --reputed to be hottest in Asia. Also Caribbean Devil's tongue, and sweet varieties include Chervena Chushka, Tollies, some NuMex, Jimmy Nardellos, and one or two others I can't quite recall. That should be enough, right?

Where was I? Oh yeah, coffee.

At 11, I make a dash up north, for 65th and Washington, where Denver Post noted  Rocky Mtn Seeds was having a liquidation sale. But Denver Post had the date wrong --sort of. This skinny wisp of an octogenarian-ette barred us all entry, shouting that "Denver Post didn't contact them about the sale article" and that it was NEXT weekend. The crowd, and there was a crowd, and it's a bit of a hump to get to 65th and Washington, was verbally cranky about this, not the least of which was we could all see people INSIDE buying stuff. We never did get the story straight but this lady wasn't budging. I looked for a way to sneak in but …  she was having none of it. I hovered about for a bit (would she change her mind? Would she turn her back?) but after 15 minutes I shrugged, and took off for the seed exchange, which I'd discovered the day before (I knew I'd circle back on this). The folks at DUG headquarters (Denver Urban Gardens) had illuminated me to this, because after I'd panned out looking for rack-space at two greenhouses it occurred to me to ask DUG leadership where the hell I might glomm a bit of greenhouse space for all the dang pepper starts I'll be putting in next week, just as soon as the seeds arrive in the mail from

The seed exchange was at 'Grow Haus', which *sounds* like a marijuana grow house operation, which Denver is AWASH in (you have no idea) but it ain't. Really. Its a DIY (do it yourself) band of kids who BOUGHT a huge old greenhouse in Denver's Swansea neighborhood. Swansea is NOT pretty. It sits north of I-70, and a bit east of Globeville, reputed to be one of the most heavily polluted neighborhoods in Denver. Eh. Whatever. YES, there was a colossal smelting plant there till the '50's. Now, its a bit of  dive, what with I-70, the Ralston Purina dog food processing plant (what's that smell? Beef stew? NOT!), and a LOT of blight.

These plucky kids bought an old marigold nursery gone to seed, and Grow Haus is more on the food-as-politics fringe, housing nascent aqua-ponics pools (already got one pool of fish, which gets filtered back to plant beds), hydroponics (small bit of that already too) and a bleeding ACRE of just empty greenhouse. They envision a lot of grass roots community involvement; they'll supply local families and soup kitchens w/ free produce, and their whole deal is extraordinarily refreshing. Heck, I even saw Tracy Weil in there today potting tomatoes (local and notorious RINO artist, and web designer-cum-tomato farmer).

Seed exchange? I went BANANAS. So many seeds. I brought all my last years remnants, and stuff I'd bought I'll never use, to the tables (cilantro? HATE the stuff), and in turn scarfed up collards, okra, amaranth, bizarre squash varieties, weird this and that and a BUNCH of flower seeds I'll distribute around to various dirt corners in Denver, just for kicks. I met a BUNCH of people (I don't get out much) and it just jazzed my day.

I had a BLAST, And you'd think this Grow Haus seed exchange, my day just can't get any better than THAT right? Think again. On a whim, I dashed out to Silver Quarter Acres horse stables in Golden, and snarfled up a hundred pounds of  HORSE HOCKEY. Ooooh, baby. The GOOD stuff too. Owner Marcy said "take all you want --how much you need? I got a FRONT-LOADER". I confessed I had 'ought but two 5-gallon buckets, and two gigantic plastic trash bags I snagged from my building's trash (and Internet) room on the way out the door (it was an afterthought). Silver Acre boards dozens of horses, so lots of women training horses, a gymkhana pen, paddocks and even a small Shetland pony, who near licked me clean. The Shetland was such a sweetheart. I love horses ….. anyhoo, owner Marcy pointed out the good "sort of older" mounds, which I loaded up into my containers and in short order was turning  into my garden beds mid-afternoon. My garden is gonna ROCK.

"Eric", you might ask, "why you be writing all this stuff tonight?" Good question. Just got back from "Adjustment Bureau", the Philip K. Dick-derived movie w/ Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (she's on my laminate-list). Later on I'll try and dash off a quick list of movies I've seen in the past month or so (HUGE props to "Carlos" by the way; I made it thru 4 of 5 hours, then I flaked. HEY, I made it all the way to 'Glasnost', and I know how the story ends).

Adjustment Bureau inspired me.

All I can say about Adjustment Bureau was IT TOTALLY ROCKED, and I'll see it once a year for the rest of my life. This list includes Coen Bros 'True Grit' seen a week ago, 'Strictly Ballroom' years ago, same with 'Tripletts of Belleville', Micmacs' and even 'The Illusionist'. Man! What a great year for film.

Adjustment Bureau is simple, rich, and a feast for the eyes and mind. People tend to wait till stuff comes out on DVD or streaming online but you know? Some stuff deserves to be seen on the big screen. What a treat. Go see it. Take-away: one door closes, another door opens. LITERALLY. Blew my mind. Which, admittedly, isn't that hard. I'm pretty easily entertained.

I'm doing a bit of laundry before I start my work-week as I write; I live in one of Denver's oldest apartment buildings (, right smack dab in the middle of downtown. I'm a block from the capitol. You've seen the views in my Facebook albums; I have a spectacular view and I *love* my little slice of heaven (and it is small). When the wind flows thru the building just right, I got to ask myself just how many REAL reefer grow-operations are in my building? The whole place REEKS of weed tonight. Unbelievable.