Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Day of Earth

Every once in a while you have an opportunity to use a labor saving device. For most women, it is a hand mixer, a washing machine, but for me it was the neighbor coming down with his tractor. He had a few minutes last evening and would I like that top soil pile moved? He also brought the neighborly gift of a big scoop of composted cow manure. A gift as kind and thoughtful as a home baked loaf of bread or preserves. It will be very useful.

Now that the soil is loose, I will take some of it and fill in depressions and tire tracks. Rake it out and wish that I had grass seed. Then I will shape the garden beds. It is creatively terraced. Last spring I cut chunks of sod to frame the beds and though they have slumped a bit, they are still holding up. Now with this additional dirt I will want to start working on something a bit more substantial.

The top soil pile that got moved was bigger then I realized and my garden not only got built up but has been increased by at least a third. It would have taken me at least a week to move all of that dirt, especially with my wheelbarrows with the perpetually flat tires or with Edgar's little red wagon or even on occasion, with five gallon buckets. Even with the help, today will be a day of earth. I will have to go assess what areas are the worst and start there. Then I will measure out where my edges are and cut them even and tidy. When everything seems about right, I'll plant my onion starts. As I have managed to collect four milk jugs, I will be able to plant four tomatoes. With luck, I will get carried away and plant my beets. I think lettuces should go in as well. I can't get ahead of myself by too much though. First there is still a great deal of earth to move. It has been made easier, but it hasn't been finished.

Before I get too carried away, I need to remember to plant my five blue spruces. They will do better if I get them into the ground while the temperatures are still cool. I might as well plant the rosemary and the lavender as well, as they will go into the front beds under the living room window with the protected southern exposure.

It is so easy to do all of this planning in my head. All of this making lists. I spend a lot of time seeing the little farm in my head... all finished and beautiful. And it gets done so quickly too, all of those chores in my head. We will see what I can really accomplish today. In real time. With real sweat. Now that I have been given a bit of help from my neighbor with his labor saving device. Let's just hope that all of my inspiration turns into reality.


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