Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Good Earth

For the second day in a row, we've taken advantage of the good weather to get a ton of cleaning up and spiffing up done in the yard. It has been woefully neglected this past fall and winter, and Eric is in a bit of a lull right now at work (contrasted with last summer and fall when he was literally doing the work of two people while his friend and associate took a well-deserved maternity leave), so he's had some...wait, I can hardly say it...spare time. So much that he has had time to exercise, to take the kids to a lacrosse game at UMBC and just be home. It is amazing. Anyway, the whole family spent most of the afternoon in the yard and I started turning the garden.

All my latent farmer genes just come right out when I get going in the yard and I genuinely enjoy it. You'd think I would have a really beautiful, well-kept yard. HA-hahahahaha!!! Think again. It's almost like I sabotage myself because I get such pleasure out of gardening that I relegate it to the "After I've done all the IMPORTANT THINGS" list, which is things like cleaning, laundry, dishes and finances etc., which of course is a list that is never actually complete, so there's no AFTER for me to garden in. I need to change my thinking about that.

Anyway, I have such a small garden that I don't use any motorized tools, just old-fashioned ones.

This is my favorite and today I got to go to town broadforking my garden into lovely, aerated soil. Considering that the soil here in the southern half of the Atlantic coast is flat, hard, orange clay, my 100 square-foot rectangle of nice, black topsoil is one of my proudest accomplishments. I've never bought topsoil, just organic amendments to complement my own compost. I go in and out of gardening and do more planning and dreaming than actual gardening, so please don't be too impressed, but when I get the chance and gardening finally gets the better of my list, I do love to get into the dirt. In spite of what the photo might indicate, I wear shoes, but the dirt gets in anyway, so my feet show some serious wear and tear. Gardener's toenails are one of the best reasons to indulge in either a manicure or my handy-dandy fake toenails. You just never get the dirt completely out.

My plan for Monday, in between starting on my semi-annual Adventures in Prom and Formal Dress Alterations and Modest Makeovers, (I've agreed to do 4 dresses this year) I hope to put in some salad seeds like lettuce and spinach. I have to go slow and not get ahead of myself or I'll get psyched out, but I am really feeling inspired after some of the reading I've done this past year about the way our food is produced.

The best thing about a garden is the fact that every year you get a fresh start; a new chance to try again to be a better gardener. I just love new beginnings.


  1. oh how lovely, my fellow strawberry sox. I look forward to the day when I have a little earth to till. I too enjoy the new beginnings that a garden brings

  2. BTW I like your blossoms picture... nice job.

  3. Funny. My toenails are "little boy at the playground and in the mudpit" toenails. They were freaking me out just this evening :)

  4. That is so great. This is usually my time for overhauling the front of my tinsy yard, but I just cannot do all that heavy shoveling and bending and planting right now! I could ask Jake to do it, but, well . . .

    Good luck with your harvest!

  5. I'm glad you got some good yard time in. It's amazing how much time a yard and garden can take, isn't it?

    Sorry you missed the dance. You have to come next year; it was a real blast.

  6. Ah yes, the AFTER list. I'm not sure how much gardening will happen this year. It's a short-ish season here and very dry of course. It will depend on weather we put a drip irrigation system in I think.

    I love your thoughts on gardening, so similar to mine. I have lots of "spiritually created" gardens in my mind!

    PS I love the blossoms banner. :)

  7. Happy Gardening! I love getting my hands and toes in the dirt,too. Right now I am reading a great gardening book..."The $64 Tomato"..have you read it yet? If not, I think you'll enjoy it.

  8. That looks like soil to be proud of. I bet it will yield some pretty tasty real food (if gardening can find a slot on the "important things" list... ;)).


Thank you for sharing your insights!