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Monday, April 29, 2013


So the Tomatosaurus Rex is fixing to be bigger, better and more Lobsterfied than ever before.

Last summer at the Greater Kansas City Tomato Tasting, I was complaining to an old friend (we went to high school together back when the plains were black with buffalo) that I couldn't get good compost delivered. Missouri Organic is close enough we can afford delivery, but their 'compost' is still composting, and the time I used it, it killed everything I planted in it. The next year we got their top soil 'mix,' and while it didn't murder my plants I wasn't really impressed with it. Suburban Lawn & Garden sells the real thing, finished out, cured composted yard waste that's rich and cool and black and smells good. It reminds me of a line from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath about soil so rich you could make a broth out of it.

But Suburban is so far from where I live I either have to buy ten yards of compost (that's a lot, folks), or I pay $140 for delivery. My friend said, 'So all you're really needing is access to a dump truck to get the compost you want?'

In a nutshell, yeah. 'Consider it done,' he said. He said it so casually I wasn't sure whether to take him seriously. We've all known people who make promises easily but don't keep them much. And borrowing a dump truck, that's not a small favor.

But he came through, all I ended up having to pay was gas (and for the five yards of compost). Five is a lot of yards, but those yards go pretty fast and when you've got ultra-cheap access to a dump truck... The truck technically holds 16 yards, and the temptation is to fill it to the rim but if I wanted to buy a five year supply, I'd let Suburban deliver it for free, right?

Then came the hard part. Moving all this stuff into beds, putting down the SRM film over the tomato beds and driving in the tree stakes I brought home Thursday thanks to the generosity of another guy I went to high school with and his minivan. These are two guys who will not want for fresh tomatoes this summer if I can help it. And with the 36 plants I'm getting next week, I should be able to throw them a few.

I came in when it got dark, but not because it was dark. We have a pretty good light out back, but I couldn't lift the driving sleeve high enough. I got 12 of the 36 stakes in, but these are eight foot steel rods, and the driver I borrowed is good and heavy (very effective but hard to lift at about 35 lbs I'm guessing). I'll have to finish driving the tree stakes in later this week.

Then I had a hot bath and a sexy massage and went to sleep and didn't get up until the next day when I rode my bike 47 miles for kicks...

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