A New Book
Last week I tossed out a book idea on Facebook to see what people thought.
The proposed title was “How to Germinate Anything.”
The response was great; however, when I ran the idea past Rachel she said “why not make it a “Good Guide to Propagation” and include roots and cuttings and all that?”
At first I thought that might be too wide-ranging a scope but I’ve reconsidered. I don’t have to teach everything. We’re rough-and-ready backyard gardener types, looking for simple and cheap and effective gardening ideas. I’ve done everything from stratifying seeds to inter-species grafting, so a book on propagation is well within my competency. Plus, most books aren’t interested in topics like sprouting pecans or apples, or scavenging sea beans and germinating them.
So I started writing. My goal is to have the book out by mid-spring.
It’s tentatively titled “Free Plants for Everyone: The Good Guide to Propagation.”
I’m 9,000 words into it already. This will be a good one.
And then there’s Jack Broccoli!
My gardening spy adventure thriller Turned Earth: A Jack Broccoli Novel is now with the editor and illustrators. The cover artist is Jeremiah Humphries, who did this cover:
And this great illustration:
And the interior pen and ink artist will be Eric Towers:
Turned Earth is just the first entry in a planned series of gardening thriller novels.
Before I go today, I’ll leave you with an excerpt:
It was almost midnight. Even though Jack was fascinated by the soil mineralization .pdf he was reading on his phone, his eyelids were drooping. After his workout he’d done some weeding, then decided to hunt some new seeds on the ‘net for his later season garden. He wanted awesome heirloom types and the local joints didn’t carry much. He’d gotten lost in the online catalogs and ended up impulse-buying three varieties of dent corn, lemon cucumbers, purple carrots and a stainless-steel spade. He wasn’t sure why, but the pictures compelled him.
He pushed the button on his phone, then went to the almost dark kitchen. He was vaguely hungry, so he opened the fridge. Inside was a half-pound of raw bacon, two Celery Stouts, a cabbage and a slightly moldy block of cheddar entombed in greasy plastic wrap.
He selected a stout, the cabbage and the cheese. He thought about frying the bacon but decided it would take too long. Should I nuke it? No, it‘s just not the same.
He hacked the cabbage in half, then cut one of the halves in half. Then he scraped the cheese with the same knife. Grabbing the stout, he popped the top off on the edge of the counter with a swift blow of his fist – and promptly shot fizzing green foam all over the tiles.
Rapidly he sucked at top of the bottle, consuming the still-emerging foam, not willing to see any more precious stout wasted.
Reaching for the paper towel dispenser on the counter, he accidentally knocked the three-quarters of a cabbage onto the floor. It was followed by a bottle of sriracha which had failed to be put away after a previous meal. It had also failed to be closed, as evidenced by the spurting stream of bright red pepper sauce skittering across the floor to mingle with the now-less-fizzy brown puddle on the floor.
Jack was now angry. This was not how he envisioned his midnight snack. Grabbing a fistful of paper towels, he got down on the floor by the cabinets and started angrily wiping up his mess.
As he did, a voice came from nowhere.
“Jack – we need to make tea!”
Jack stood up, banging his head on the edge of the counter and simultaneously knocking down both the paper towel roll and the rest of his beer, which shattered magnificently.
He spun around, ready to fight, and saw Pak Choi looking out of the cabinet beneath the sink.
Pak made a low whistle, looking at the floor. “Wow, Jack – you are a slob!”
Jack said something unprintable, then threw the now-soiled roll of paper towels at Pak. Pak dodged gracefully and winked.
“Tea time, Jack!” he said, pulling a black box from under the sink. It had tubes and a wire extending from it. “Look – I also brought some pantyhose!” he continued, holding up a soiled pair of extra-large hose.
“What in the name of gardening guru Steve Solomon are you doing in my house?” Jack exploded.
“Shh, Jack. Don’t say anything. Go get some compost.”
“Pak, it’s midnight. You’re in my house at midnight. With pantyhose and – is that an aquarium pump?”
“I said don’t say anything. Compost, now! And a bucket. And molasses. You have molasses?”