Well, it didn't snow. It did rain-- cold, sniveling rain-- but we persevered. When there's ground to be broken-- and seeds so eager to jump into their furrows they're probably trembling in their packets-- the weather is not a determining factor.
We had Patrick's dad's fabulous miraculous sod-cutter on loan, and we had some cuttin' to do.
|(The leaf-covered area is what I planted last year. This year, I'm a bit more ambitious.)|
The cutting is smooth and breathlessly fast; the rolling and lugging and lifting and dragging not so much. One quick call to our neighbors, however, and they were both over here rolling and lugging along with me, eager to patch and smooth their lumpy bumpy front yard with slabs of free sod.
In between the heavy lifting and heavy breathing, we found ourselves talking about the upcoming summer, and found that our homesteading/gardening/chickening goals are strikingly similar. By the end of twenty minutes' work, we had a tentative arrangement to trade one household's free range chicken eggs for the other household's sweet corn. We talked about building greenhouses. We talked about sourcing salvaged materials and sharing labor and knowledge and teamwork. We're both young families figuring it out as we go along-- and it seems we'll be enjoying that process together.
Back to the garden. Since we put up the fence we've heard nothing but enthusiastic compliments from the town-- and curious speculation that we may be getting a pony. (We are not getting a pony.) The fence is to keep hooved things out, not pen them in. This summer will feature twice the tomatoes and broccoli and peas and beans as last summer, and my first attempt at growing potatoes.
To the right we'll cut a 20 x 20 square-- after yesterday's sore muscles have repaired themselves-- and put in a salad and herb garden. That's what the brick is for-- pretty pretty basketweave brick paths. Eventually-eventually I'll establish some raised beds back behind that, for a rotating assortment of root crops, strawberries, and things that like to be fussed over. Leeks, celery. The big open space to the left will be for the big, sprawly crops and staple vegetables-- beans, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers-- while the polite, reserved lettuces and cooking greens and herbs and edible flowers pretty up the right side. In my mind's eye, the whole thing looks like a page from a glossy garden magazine-- but doesn't every gardener's garden look that way, in their mind's eye?