Monday, August 22, 2011

Fertilizer


Now that I have a house with a yard and, you know, dirt, I decided to plant things.  Flowers seem pointless to me, so I grow plants for food.  Mostly, I have herbs for cooking, but all children like flavorless foods, so I’ve stopped growing them.  Instead I let my kids pick what I grew, figuring they’d be more likely to eat something they chose.
"Grow these, daddy!  Grow these!"
We ended up with artichoke plants, which eventually grew to enormous size and produced dozens of flowers.  When I took a few inside to cook, however, I found they were covered with insect eggs and hidden slugs.  I threw them out and decided to just let the flowers bloom instead of eating them.  The artichokes turned into beautiful, purple, fuzzy things.  When they died I had to look up what to do with them on the internet.  Artichokes are a perennial (I don’t believe in annuals; who has the time to replant every year?) and I didn’t want to harm my chances of harvesting a new crop of slugs.
If you're too lazy to shell your own escargot, grow some artichokes.
It turns out you just cut the plants to the ground and cover them with mulch.  The website I found suggested fertilizing them with, get this, dried blood.  No, seriously, dried blood.  Go look for yourself.  Growing up in farm country, I always thought that fertilizer was poop (it sure smelled like it; but maybe that’s just Illinois).  But dried blood?  So, I went and did a search on other organic fertilizers and you know what else they use?

Bone meal.
"Feeeertiliiiiiizeeeeerrrr!"
Yep, ground up bones.  Fascinated, I did more research.  It turns out organic growing practices use a lot of dead parts from the slaughter of animals.  Horse livers are considered best for growing begonias.  One woman suggested using the brains of veal calves to get the prettiest roses.

I had to dig a bit, but on one of the organic gardening message boards, I found a whole discussion thread about using primate corpses to grow plants, to feed pets, and as vitamin supplements.  There were only about ten posts, but when one person asked where you would get dead primates in the United States (zoos charge exorbitant fees), a few people said they knew doctors and nurses who bagged spare parts for them before disposal.
A handy chart I found on goorganicforlife.com
So, for those of you who believe in organic food and support the organic lifestyle, just remember: you’re taking part in cannibalism.

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