The Giving Tree

Since we humans have pulled our lumbering and flipper-legged mass out of the primordial ooze we have been hard-wired to fear the darkness. The setting sun would have us scurrying under rock, climbing into canopy or slithering into backs of caves. Huddled and shaking we clung to each other waiting for the warmth and relative safety of the morning light. For in the darkness lies danger. Danger known and danger barely perceived. For it was a night such as this that brings me to your internet doorsteps today.

In the darkness outside of my (slightly more modern) cave a great terror arose from over the Pacific Ocean. The great storm. Dark and terrible it rained down it’s icy droplets and howled through my village (of San Diego) with apparently powerful winds. All of which I slept through without stirring a titch. I didn’t even wake up when my beloved coastal coral tree was split in three and came crashing down on my roof, my fence, and the street respectively.

All my regular readers will know that this tree was my absolute favorite tree of all. I have written about it so often. The way I propagated it from a measly branch cutting, how it magically grew faster and bigger than any other plant I’ve ever planted, and how I prune it so thoughtfully and thoroughly.

The last link there being one I should have revisited last winter. The winter I decided to not do my annual pruning because I was “too busy” to tend to it. Too busy to remove the great mass of branches and leaves that is likely the very reason why she couldn’t withstand the night terror of a storm that did her in. Mostly.

Friday morning found me doing the normal routine. Butt scratching, a shower, bask my glorious facial hair in the sun of a hundred gods, and then walk the dog. I left the house and began the walk when I realized there was a giant mass blocking our path. In my morning haze, it took a few ticks before I realized what had occurred. This was what I walked right into…

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The Easter Horde.

Happy Zombie Jesus day everyone! Nothing screams (or peeps) Easter morning quite like the sound of a pack of newly hatched chicks. I tried to time their hatching for this morning for significant spiritual impact. They arrived a bit early though. Despite my efforts to stuff them back into crumbling shells. Tenacious and screaming for life, play, and a bit of fresh air they rose a little bit before the Jesus did. Timing is everything.

So no meaningful #Easterjesuschicks without a modicum of revisionist history. So it goes.

It is time for the MYD farms to renew the flock. I now have a small pack of freeloaders that produce fewer and fewer eggs. If any at all. More troops have been deployed to the cozy and warm depths of a darkened incubator via my good friend Aaron over at the East County Zoo. The hens I’ve gotten from him have always been happy and healthy beasts. He was also so very kind to have hand delivered the fertile eggs to the MYD Estates and Luxury Center on his way into town. Well played East County Zoo!

I selected Easter Eggers to help bring some splashes of color to my egg cartons. Aaron also brought over a breed he’s working on which is a mix between a Ayam Cemani rooster and a Black Australorp hen. He asked if I was interested in hatching it. You don’t have to try too hard to talk me into hatching any experimental breeds of any creature. As illustrated below.

So I said yes and loaded up the butt nugget oven. set the knob to Uber Cute Fluff Butt and waited.

There is something within us all. Deep in the gooey center. Lurking and slumbering as we walk this world of coarseness and slander. There in the depth dwells a dim light of hope and pure joy. One of the choicest ways to summon this light is to gaze upon the perfectly round and poofy backside of a fuzzy little baby chick. Then, POW! All the feelings!

Side note: You can really intensify this feeling if you stuff seven baby chicks into your stupid beard-face while they wiggle tiny beaks into neck fat warm cuddle pockets. Try to make your stupid beard face look like a hens ass if you’re able. Wash afterwards of course. Followed by the anointing of the oils. Performed by vestal virgins obviously. I’m no slouch.

Well folks, as you can probably gather with your sexy huge brains, I’m about to show you a bunch of baby chickens. On Easter Morning. No charge at all! So go ahead kids and release that warm light from the cockles of your inner nethers. For I present to you…The Horde!

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Piper is a Cover Girl!


If you’re local to the San Diego area, you may have seen this week’s reader with a rather odd cover photo. A beautiful and majestic fuzzy-butted silkie hen that my regular readers have come to love and admire. Alongside some random mustachioed schlubb that as no business being on the front of anything.

Photo by Matthew Suárez

as to the former, you are quite welcome. For the latter, my humble apologies, it will all be over in a week’s time so hang in there. If you plan on using it as a liner to your birdcage, or are getting creative with a Sharpie, I’d love to see photos! If you are not one of my local readers, you can see the story on The San Diego Reader’s website.I won’t attempt to re-writing the article here as it is already done by a far better writer than I, but it talks about the neighborhood community garden that I helped set up and all the amazing work they’re doing for the community. Something I’m so proud to have been a part of.

Although I am historically hell-bent on being a giant goofball, there are a few things that I’m serious about. Quality of food is one of them. In this article I talk a lot about this “fast food” society we’re living in and how destructive food deserts are to communities and the health of its populace.

This attention from The San Diego Reader is such a welcome shot in the arm for communities like mine that are surrounded by so many awful food choices. I truly hope that this resonates with everyone so that together we can fight these patterns and continue to find ways to keep our family happy and healthy no matter your income. That’s been my driving force in the last five years of writing Mind Your Dirt. To show that you don’t need to spend money to bring back a natural balance to your surroundings and the food on your table. Mostly because I’m broke as hell and necessity is the mother of invention.

Our community garden not only provides fresh and healthy free produce, it also teaches anyone who visits how to bring these techniques into your home gardens. Between Mind Your Dirt and the Ocean View Growing Grounds (as well as all community gardens), we will always be here to help you keep your family healthy and loaded with nutrients.

So a huge big Thank You to The San Diego Reader, Barbarella Fokos (writer), and Matthew Suárez (photographer) for taking the time to help this noble cause! To everyone else, get busy with that Sharpie!