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Ryn: How does their garden grow? With spit

Sucking on seeds, watering their feet part of family’s mystical approach

Everything is coming up roses - or at least beans - for Northwest Side residents Camille and Jeff Harman (with son Aidan, 6), whose recipe for successful gardening includes a little astrology.

Everything is coming up roses - or at least beans - for Northwest Side residents Camille and Jeff Harman (with son Aidan, 6), whose recipe for successful gardening includes a little astrology.

Tucson is a place you can find an activity that’s more fun than watching paint dry.

You can watch the grass not grow.

I’ve been on the kick for nearly a month now, since the lawn area that came with my house didn’t follow directions.

Bermuda grass is known to die off in the winter and grow back in spring.

Mine only got the first half right.

Thus I’ve invested in grass seed, a chintzy yellow sprinkler and that nameless contraption with a crank that sprays seeds all over the sidewalk even though you’re aiming for the dirt.

The seed package promised results in as little as 14 days. I’ve been watering dust for three weeks.

Trying to grow grass in Tucson is somewhat inane to begin with, sort of like attempting to farm cactus in the rainy Northwest or bloom sunflowers in Siberia.

But certain places – like banks, apartment complexes on Fort Lowell Road and houses that come with a lawn area – try it anyway.

Growing vegetables in the desert is another challenge, but one that is being met with blooming success by a Northwest Side family.

That’s because they suck on the seeds and pour water on their feet. It’s doing wonders for their cucumbers.

For real, the Harman clan is having excellent results with mystic gardening.

They picked up the tips in Vladimir Megre’s book “Anastasia,” which urges people to grow their own food in barren Siberia. It offers no tips for sunflowers.

Camille Harman, 41, explained that the book advises sucking on the seeds for nine minutes before planting them and occasionally dribbling water on your feet as you irrigate the soil so the vegetable will get an imprint of your DNA and grow lush, gorgeous and specially formulated just for you.

“You’ll grow a perfect plant to nourish you,” she said.

The proof is in their bush beans.

Harman and her husband, Jeff Harman, 48, had no problem keeping seeds in their mouths for nine minutes, but they cheated by letting son Aidan spit in a cup to prime the seeds.

There is no guarantee a 6-year-old can keep anything in his mouth for nine minutes without swallowing, choking or using it as chewing gum.

Well, everyone cheated after a while, she admitted. She highly recommends folks buy a big box of paper cups if they are going to plant a garden with this method.

Since Jeff Harman is also an astrologer, who even used his astrological skills to help solve a Kansas murder, the Harmans planted certain seeds according to the star positions, planetary cycles and whatever else astrologers look at.

Their cantaloupe are Taurus.

The seed areas are all marked with family members’ names so they know where to stand and wet their toes and what vegetables are theirs to eat.

“When it comes time to cooking the vegetables,” Camille Harman said, “that will be a whole other problem.” Maybe they’ll just eat them raw.

Of course, their mystic gardening method has been greatly helped with the $1,000 raised, irrigated, javelina-proof, enclosed fortress filled with fertile soil they’ve built for growing things.

The homeowners association would freak if I built a lawn area fortress, but perhaps I can try the mystic methods on the grass seed.

Since I won’t be eating the grass, but my dogs do, Camille Harman suggested I have my dogs drool in a cup in which to swish the grass seed. Then I can water their paws along with the lawn.

It might also help if I got those same dogs to stop digging holes the size of Siberia throughout the lawn area and chased off the birds that seem to be feeding on the seeds.

If it’s still too boring staring at dirt, I’ll simply paint something to watch it dry.

Ryn Gargulinski is a Tucson Citizen reporter, artist and poet who has a stretch of dirt in her yard where a lawn should be. Contact her at 573-4598 or rynski@tucsoncitizen.com




Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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