Luv Doc: Strew Your Seed

Usable knowledge in the agricultural sciences

Luv Doc: Strew Your Seed
Illustration by The Luv Doc

Dear Luv Doc,

I am new to Austin. I "Luv" bluebonnets and planted a big patch on my corner lot. Neighbors have raved at my success. When they matured about June or July, I pulled up the dry plants instead of leaving them to do their own thing. I harvested a huge amount of seeds. Now I want to strew my surplus along the bare dirt patches along the access road from Far West Boulevard to Anderson Lane. This followed MoPac modifications. I'm scared of going ambulatory to deliver my bounty and don't know how to get permission to do this if someone needs to look at my seeds. Germination of the seeds is my only connection to sex – your favorite topic – but can you tell me who to call? Beverley

p.s. I don't do computers (83⅓ years old).

Beverley, I am not a botanist nor have I attained any usable knowledge in the agricultural sciences even though I spent several summers of my childhood working on the Oklahoma State University Agronomy Farm. I know that sounds like a lot of fun, but it was essentially child slave labor under the guise of educational outreach to Payne County area youths whose parents couldn't afford to send them to summer camps in milder, more hospitable climes.

Instead of Rockwellian summer camp activities like swimming, hiking, canoeing, and three-legged races, the kids at the Agronomy Farm learned how to dig potatoes, pick cotton, and thin sorghum. Yes, we did get to spend most of the day in the great outdoors. We ate sack lunches, drank out of thermoses, gave each other nicknames like "Dirt Bag" and "Bony," and developed the most luxurious, dark, St. Tropez tans imaginable – until we took a shower at the end of the day and washed off the dust. We also developed a certain tentative camaraderie – as much as you can hope for when the next closest person to you is several hundred yards away, crawling through the dirt on his hands and knees.

But knowledge of agronomy? Nope. I'm still not entirely sure what mature sorghum actually looks like. No, the knowledge I gained from that experience was self-knowledge. I know that I never again want to crawl through the dirt in a goddamned field in 100-degree heat for $2.12 an hour. For that I am deeply indebted to both my father and the gleefully sadistic high-school aged supervisors at the farm who made us ask for permission to go pee in the tree line. Yes, I was in elementary school at the time and those teenage farm boys looked pretty tough.

You, on the other hand, Beverley, are 83⅓ years old. That means you don't need permission to do anything – not even to walk to the tree line to pee – at least that is my hope when I'm an 83⅓ year old – to be able to stand in a row of sorghum and arc a stream of urine into the next row, even if it hits a dirty, diligently working elementary school kid making $2.12 an hour. I mean, he couldn't be much more miserable anyway, right?

So strew your surplus Beverley, with wild and wanton abandon, and if anyone at TxDOT wants to look at your seeds, they can look at them on the bare dirt patches along the MoPac access road, just like the rest of us.

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