Most of Monday afternoon was spent typing Aaron’s Science Fair project research paper for him. (He wrote it; I typed. If I was going to make him type it, we should have started last Monday!) I mentioned before that he was interested in making his project about organic vegetables. Well, he almost got there. He settled on cherry tomatoes, and limited the project to discovering whether organic environment had a positive impact on plant growth. With a mere month of growing time, his organic plants showed no substantial qualifications over the non-organic plants. We even cut four plants open down to the roots just in time for tomorrow’s Science Fair, in order to see if the organic plants’ roots showed a different story. So far he has determined that due to the limitations of the project including my accidentally providing fertilized non-organic soil for the control group, his hypothesis is neither proven nor disproven.
With seedlings, we learned that there is really no need to fertilize or feed the plants. Especially tomatoes – usually the first feeding takes place two weeks prior to picking the first crop. So my hopes that Aaron’s project would allow me a sneak peek into the usefulness of my new organic tomato and vegetable food got squashed. That’s okay – I can use it in my garden later this year. We learned much, and isn’t that, after all, the whole point of the Science Fair?
Yesterday as Aaron documented his plants’ growth for the final time I heard Victoria squeal, “Ewwww! There’s a bug in it!!!” And suddenly, I was all ears. Not because of my inherent disdain for bugs of any sort, but because we might actually get to test some organic bug spray. YIPPEE!! Show me the BUGS!!!
Choosing organic potting soil is one thing, but I was really hoping that some Dangerous Chemical vs. Nature faceoff would be involved at some point in the project. My dream came true! Thanks to some fungus gnats (as common as they are annoying) I had the opportunity to make some homemade bug spray from organic onions, cayenne pepper and garlic – and I mean a TON of garlic. Here’s the scoop: One small onion, one whole bulb of garlic, and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper liquefied together, pushed through a cheesecloth, and diluted with 1 quart of water will make a nice (if not tear-inducing) spray for common pests. Finally!! I get to use some natural remedies and have it documented!! Aaron’s face told the whole story as I coughed and sputtered while blending this concoction. When he saw me pouring it into an old milk carton, he looked concerned about my sanity.
“We’re not going to accidentally drink that, are we?”
I laughed. “Dude, you can smell it across the room. I don’t think we need to worry about accidentally mistaking it for milk. Besides, I’ll label the container and store it with the gardening supplies.”
He cracks me up.