Craigslist is your next apartment, your next job; it's your next bike, bed, kitchen table, boyfriend, girlfriend, trans or sub or dom or gay/bi-curious one-night stand. The farm+garden section is certainly helpful if you're looking for some fertilizer for that window-box herb garden, baby chicks for a backyard coop or even a dwarf goat or three. But if you're just browsing, farm+garden might seem tame; it isn't the section where its possible to catch a glimpse of the zeitgeist (Chatroulette missed connections, Marina Abramović missed connections), or some of the most hilarious writing on the Internet (best-of-craigslist).
But Squid Ink has found farm+garden to offer oddities all of its own too--unless falconry gear and rare, gigantic flowers that smell like rotting flesh are your idea of backyard standards. Following are the ten strangest, most fascinating things Squid Ink stumbled across over a month or so of perusing craigslist's farm+garden.
With incomplete sentences, poor grammar--does no one pay attention to the you really, really need to proof your posts warning that pops up before a listing goes live?--context can sorely be missed in many a post. Example A, this
5. Hops Rhizomes: Cousin to LA's biggest cash crop, marijuana, hops are the plants whose flowers flavor your favorite brew--micro or macro, domestic of imported. Native to Germany, which should tell you a whole lot about how intertwined the history of beer is with that nation, the flowers were originally added not just for flavor, but as a stabilizer, the acidity adding to a cask's shelf life.
In modern home brewing, fresh hops are a rare find, with pellets and dried whole hops being the available options. But if you're going through the work and effort to brew, ferment, bottle and swill your own beer at home, then why not go the full nine and grow this integral ingredient on your own? Sowing enough rows of barley for any substantial amount of truly local beer is going to be tough, regardless of how large your backyard might be, so hops are brewers one shot at growing beer ingredients themselves.
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This post offers rhizomes for two different kinds of hops. One is for Cascade, known for providing "Aroma and bittering for pale ales. Pleasant, floral and quite citrusy. Very distinctive and the most popular microbrew and homebrew hop for American ales." The second variety is Northern Brewer, featuring a "fine, fragrant aroma, used for bittering and finishing."
10. Rare Corpse Flower Plant: Southern California is by no means short of intensely aromatic blooms, between the roses, jasmine, gardenias and more that flourish in this climate, but the flower that gets the biggest draw in LA smells like rotting death. 76,000 people lined up to see the highly rare, gigantic, prehistoric-looking bloom of Amorphophallus titanium at the Huntington Library in 1999, and with reports of another showing of the plants best, most rotten-smelling self, lines could be back again soon. But why wait? For $5000 you can have an Amorphophallus titanium to call your own! As the posts author notes, "YOU WILL BE THE A FEW PEOPLE OUT SIDE BOTANICAL CONSERVATORY THAT WILL OWN THIS PLANT" (again, [sic]). You'll need a greenhouse, of course, and the seller can't guarantee the plant--the finicky Corpse Flower isn't for amateurs--but potential buyers can be reassured that the origin is wholly legal.