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March 1, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

A lot for veggies

Vegetable plants cringe when I turn down their aisle.

Out of the corner of my eye, I’ve seen trembling leaves shrink back trying to appear unhealthy.

Their roots desperately stuffing themselves through those drain hole in the bottom of plastic containers – urgently grabbing onto the store’s plant tray or shelf.

“Take that one over there! We’re root bound and sure to die. But not quickly enough if we go with you…”

Vintage picture. Farm women pushing wheeled plows. 1917-18. NARA (USPD: by gov. employee,

Maybe it was the outfits. Enough to scare crows and plants. (USPD/

Plants talk. They know.

Limited in space and realistic about the gumbo soil, I tried container vegetable gardening.

We had over 22 days of above 100°F temps that summer.

The cost per tomato would have paid for a semester of college textbooks.

So in recent years I just did my part to support the local small farms. Win-win!


Seeing this, I’m thinking I should have added something to my list for Santa.

Open source. Improves efficiency and productivity. Can be operated by solar. Can work with a rain barrel. Direct it from computer or smart phone. They say if you can put Ikea furniture together, you can do this (I may need a bit of help, then.)

And it kills weeds!


When will Santa be accepting requests again?

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Blooming dandelions and weeds in yard. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

No problem growing these.©


  1. easyweimaraner / Mar 1 2017 6:36 am

    want it….and someone who can manage that thingy via my phone :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 11:37 am

      RC Cat looked at said the contraption is obviously a dog aerobic exercise machine. She has requested one immediately for her amusement, not for Molly’s waist line HA HA
      Thanks for chasing a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres / Mar 1 2017 6:46 am

    But.. but… isn’t part of the fun getting down and dirty? Learning how to watch the growing plants, to see what they need? Seeing the sun backlight the leaves, or smelling the rich, earthy tang of soil? I suppose I’m a throwback, or a dinosaur, or just a stick-in-the-mud. (Actually, I was a stuck-in-the-mud, but that’s a different story.)

    I just can’t get with the AI business. I tried on of those robotic floor cleaners once, but it creeped me out as much as the cat, and I tossed it. And did I feel a brief moment of satisfaction yesterday when Amazon Web Services’ S3 system went down, and people who use the internet of things were going bonkers because they couldn’t change their thermostat with their phone, or figure out how to turn off their over. No matter how smart the system, it appears that GIGO still applies. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 11:41 am

      AH the textures and smells of spring in the dirt. Good for immune system, and mental heath ( unless that darn dollar weed keeps coming baaaaack.)
      I thought those automatic vacs were thinly disguised dog entertainment. Doubt one would last long here..choke on hair tumbleweeds if the giant paw and gnaw didn’t top it first.
      (Have you heard any update on the eagle egg in Webster? Their FB/Cameras are down. Last week they were worried that the egg wasn’t going to hatch 😦 )
      Thanks for raking in a comment for this leave pile!


  3. Kate Crimmins / Mar 1 2017 7:06 am

    I can see the cost of my veggies would go up even more with this thing. My tomatoes already cost close to $30 each as I had to install a barrier fence for deer (groundhogs have figured out how to manage it), then landscape around it so the neighbors wouldn’t complain. Then of course there are special foods just for tomatoes (no Miracle Grow for them!), special cages for their outrageous growth, green string to tie them up (because you don’t want gawky white string showing), I could go on and on. It’s more of a hobby than true gardening.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 11:45 am

      Free string – you found green string? (I must search more…)
      I gave up last on even tomatoes last year. Too much rain then too much baking sun ( yes, we did drape shade cloth…just bend down to mow the grass over there – no problem…
      Hobby and challenge is right. Only way to look at it ( and boy, that 1 tomato taste good…according to the squirrel…)
      Thanks for planting a comment here

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Roxie / Mar 1 2017 7:12 am

    robots?! like Ikea furniture, we can’t follow the directions, lol.
    getting down and dirty with live food is good for the body. go play in the yard, reap the fresh flavors, people!
    this reminds me of what my daughter, as a toddler, used to believe about plants, they scream when we pluck them from the ground! she was convinced she could even hear them, and it didn’t help that an uncle suggested if we snapped them in two, we broke their backs quickly and they felt less pain! :-/

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 3:35 pm

      OMG Maybe she’s ultra sensitive – bio-behavior research has proven some do give distress sounds and that they recoil from dangers they have encountered before. Seriously. (Makes me feel like being kind to lettuce and berries on the vine. Shiver…we have to eat something…reverently…)
      That tomato gave it’s life for you – don’t let it rot under the carrots in the fridge. Its’ sacrifice would be for nothing……boy, that could really guilt trip young kids…we thought :”Eat your dinner, kids are starving in China” was disturbing.
      Enjoyed the toddler tale. Can so see having to deal with that! Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

      • Roxie / Mar 7 2017 7:08 am

        there’s an idea, “eat your veggies, kids, they’ve given their life just so you can grow!” although, as a grandma, I provide cookies, ice cream and candy, lol. all natural, of course. 😉


  5. pensitivity101 / Mar 1 2017 7:20 am

    Our veg in pots didn’t work either, but we think we used the wrong soil and also the wrong strain of veg to grow. Will be trying again this year but with those we had success with in the cottage. We shall see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 3:37 pm

      Picking the right plant is critical. Some tomatoes grow in this climate better than others. (I have given up on seeds completely) My dad said he always planted twice as many veggies as he needed in order to have some left after the birds and animals stopped by.
      Hope your crop this year goes better. Thanks for planting a comment in this box

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Amy / Mar 1 2017 7:26 am

    I put way too much effort into getting 3 tomatoes and 2 inedible eggplants last summer. But oh how our front yard dandelions are already beginning to thrive. Thank God I am much better with animals.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 3:40 pm

      I decided it was better to support the local pick it yourself farms than the big potting soil/plant food companies …not to mention making the local squirrels, raccoons, and birds chubby – they seem to know exactly when the best time to harvest veggie is. Sigh. Hey animals need attention, too! Thanks for shoveling in a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  7. roughseasinthemed / Mar 1 2017 7:32 am

    Lol at all the comments! Makes my meagre pea harvest look like a bonanza.

    My philosophy for gardening: throw seeds in soil. If they germinate, great. If they don’t, I’ve spent a euro. Given my self-seeding basil, parsley, cilantro, acelgas, nasturtiums (eat the leaves), lettuce, I think I’m in the black. Latest sowings are white turnip, cabbage, radish.

    And hey, I made a dress that looked a bit like that sophosticated outfit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 3:47 pm

      Now you see why people are so envious of your garden/photos. The rest of us struggle.
      You manage to grow from seed – I’m always impressed. At our other houses, we have lovely gardens, but here? Gumbo soil, too much spring rains, then baked to death along with scorching (we even slung shade cloth- another expense- in hope…we’ll just duck under to mow grass…the squirrels, raccoons, and birds certainly appreciated our efforts. Herbs, on the other hand, grow easily even if ignored – the trick is keeping the dog from munching them. Nice plants; smell good; useful. So I’ll be starting more of those now that it looks like winter is over.
      You know something to think about with farm robots, can you see them scaling up to giant size and swooping like weird demented cranes across fields? No doubt there would be tales of kids being injured trying to ride them or bunnies and deer caught in the arms. UGH. (Scripts being written as we speak?)
      Thanks for cultivating a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean / Mar 1 2017 7:55 am

    You know I’d enjoy veggie & herb gardening so much more if I had FarmBot’s dramatic, inspiring music playing around me as I did my thing. Good gracious, with that kind of background music no wonder FarmBot does things so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 3:53 pm

      A good theme song is so important! And viewing the Farmbot working from a hammock. The machines might actually make sense to a family where everyone works/goes to school.
      Thanks for envisioning the garden ballet


  9. Anne Mehrling / Mar 1 2017 8:26 am

    I adore gadgets, and the farmbot seems fantastic. However, I’m absolutely sure it is better for my mental health to buy mature vegetables from experts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 4:13 pm

      And best thing is that expert produced veggie are exactly ready when you are! Great plan.
      Thanks for building a comment to leave in this garden

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Littlesundog / Mar 1 2017 2:59 pm

    That could be doable here… but I wonder how often I’ll be replacing the watering mechanism? We have sand in our water despite having a sand separator at the well house. I have to replace sprinklers and soaker hoses every two years at least. And what of the robotics?? Can the mechanics of it all handle the OK and TX wind that carries all sorts of debris? It looks to me like it could be a lot of maintenance… and I have enough irons in my fire! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 4:15 pm

      We have brackish water that eats through anything. Might be an issue here, too. Looks like something that might work intern for households where everyone works, but they like fresh veggies? SO unless it comes with a free “pool guy”/robot manager, I’ll leave it to them. (beside it might scare the deer…squirrels however might consider it an amusement ride…)
      Thanks for swooping by to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  11. PiedType / Mar 1 2017 8:08 pm

    I sent the link to my son. He and my DIL are very much into all the “smart home” gadgets, plus she likes to grow veggies. Me, I can do withit it unless it also harvests, washes, and cooks.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 5:42 pm

      They probably have rain barrels and have improved the rock soil? It might really work well for those who are very busy/work a lot, but still want fresh food. Quite a gadget – let us know if he actually builds one.
      (I have no doubt one of those would become a squirrel/raccoon amusement park here. No need to encourage the curious ones.)
      Thanks for building a comment for this garden


  12. The Amusing Muse / Mar 2 2017 7:06 am

    Our soil here is sand – superfine, limestone sand. It gets into EVERYTHING inside the house destroying vacuums sooner than they would normally die and turning lawnmower blades into butter knives in a couple months.

    However, I knew that to grow my garden we’d have to “Go up” and build raised beds and become dirt farmers for a few seasons. Tomatoes still don’t grow great unless I build 1-quart or larger transplants – but I keep trying to start them from seed. Persistent optimism??

    The farmbot looks like a neat tool, but I have to agree with others who commented that part of the appeal of gardening is getting in there and getting your hands dirty. Yes, it’s work. Yes, you have to check your plants for water (I recommend mulching). Yes, you have to check for insects and protect from marauding vermin. But, despite all of that, gardens are so much FUN!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 4:27 pm

      This location -even raised beds/large containers – hasn’t matched our previous houses as far as gardens go. Heavy spring rains giving way to oppressive scorching heat that laughs at 3 inch mulch and draped shade cloth. Given up on seed entirely. But herbs seem to grow effortlessly and enthusiastically, so I have plenty of those. Luckily there’s several family owned small pick it yourself when in season farms near by that need to be supported – so I’ll be glad to do my part with that. Although the neighborhood’s squirrels, opossums, and raccoons are a bit sad.
      Thanks for stopping by to plant a comment in this plot


      • The Amusing Muse / Mar 6 2017 6:14 pm

        lol That would definitely make attempts to garden less-than-fun! At least you have locals you can support. And thank you for writing the blog!


  13. sportsattitudes / Mar 2 2017 9:41 am

    Planted way more stuff than I ever harvested and now I know why. Didn’t have FarmBot. But then…what fun would gardening and planting be anyway if I actually had much to show from it…? The joy is in the journey as much – if not more – as the harvest. FarmBot could ruin this for everyone by being perfect at the task. And that’s no fun. No fun at all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 5:31 pm

      The squirrels, raccoons and possums seemed to keep a close eye on our garden and select just the best point of ripeness to steal the veggies. It’s a jungle out there. (FarmBot would likely become a squirrel amusement ride if we installed one. Nuts!)
      With all the rain so far this spring, maybe need life jackets for the tomatoes.
      Thanks for stomping around in the dirt and joining the fun

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Jay E. / Mar 4 2017 8:25 am

    Remember Dwight from The Office? I wonder what he’d think of FarmBot – or exactly how he’d try to destroy it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 5:32 pm

      It does just beg to be messed with…or reprogramed by a cranky neighbor? Gadgets are fun…until they start giving orders about maintenance…
      Thanks for putting together a comment for this plot

      Liked by 1 person

  15. heretherebespiders / Mar 4 2017 12:21 pm

    Nooooo. While I feel the mess outside hanging heavy over my head with all this rain of late, I wouldn’t trade the fun of being the one to make new plant life emerge or keep current plants happy for…well, a lot of things I find useless. First one being a robot to do it for me. Bah.
    Nothing ever goes as planned – can you imagine what a roomba would do with a fresh cat-barf? No, I’ll stay dirty and furry, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 6 2017 5:38 pm

      I’ve seen it. Roomba swears…I mean, smears at cat and dog leavings….(machine will show you why the only good pet is a robot pet…)
      I do wonder if the farmbot might work for a household where everyone works and there’s not time to garden. Anything that gets people eating real food is good.
      But this year we’ll just focus on herbs and plants for monarchs and hummingbirds…it’s too soggy to even think about anything else right now….more storms tomorrow. I have rain boots, but Molly has said, “Nooo, thanks. I’ll just sit it out and get really uncomfortable until dragged outside.”
      But shouldn’t complain as the ground needs to soak up as much as possible before summer hits.
      Thanks for joining this garden and planting a lovely comment

      Liked by 1 person

  16. patriciaruthsusan / Mar 13 2017 4:00 am

    This seems a handy machine to have. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 13 2017 7:37 am

      They way things are these days with everyone working so much, this might actually work to provide fresh produce.
      I can see the squirrels having a great time as they try to steal some veggies. Thanks for swooping in to chat

      Liked by 1 person

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