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Ceiling. Trastevere

A lot of people brought gifts to Marie's birthday party. I was impressed by the assortment of unusual, small gifts that she received. There were plenty of wine bottles (my standard present) and gift certificates, which are always cool, but also lottery tickets (she won $10), decorative socks, body lotions, beer with personal customized labels, charitable donation made in Marie's name, fancy water bottle, little bottles of liquor. So if you need a little gift but don't want to give a bottle of wine, there's a list for you ton consider.

Ceiling. Trastevere

I never knew Jethro Tull was a real guy. While gardening last week, I listened to a lecture about the growing agricultural crisis that was gripping Europe in the 17th century. Because one-third to one-half of ag land had to sit fallow, farmers weren't able to grow enough food to sell or use for any purpose besides their own consumption. As a result, cows weren't being fed well, and they subsequently produced sub-par manure for fertilizer, which made the soil poorer, which resulted in worse harvests, and on and death spiral on. Then Jethro discovered that legume crops (we call them "cover crops" today) planted on the fallow fields would both feed the cows better AND enrich the soil. That one discovery helped eliminate the agricultural crisis and propelled Europe to greater development.

Ceiling. Trastevere

It's not too often I get to listen to an historical gardening recount while gardening at the same time. There was something uniquely gratifying about it.

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