Back from the farm…
It’s raining in Kentucky, the kind of gray drizzle that everybody but me hates, and I only likes it ’cause it’s what Seattle always did, so it’s home. Gray is a peaceful color for the sky, doesn’t make my eyes squint. Rain would be good for the crops, if it’d dry out enough for us to plow.
Nevertheless, we’ve been busy. Not, looking at the garden, that you could really tell. It’s a big space, 10,000 square feet, and what we’ve gotten done looks piddling. Maybe it is piddling.
Regardless, we’ve been laying cardboard around the edges of things where we know we will walk to work on rows of plants that aren’t yet started, except for all the tomatoes in pots on our back porch, and they’re quite happy so far. On top of the cardboard, which mostly we save out from the coffeeshop and the bookstore, though the local recycling center has been happy to pawn some off on us since the recycled cardboard market has gone to hell what with production in China down and all. Atop the cardboard we pitchfork old leaves which some of the local yard services have been kind enough to offer us, or, again, we’ve swiped from the local recycling center, which has piles of leaves stacked on an adjacent vacant lot. Some of those piles go back two or three years, and we also managed to find some beautiful, smelly, black dirt in there, but we’ll come to that.
The leaves, in any event, hold the cardboard in place, and they compost, which means that next fall, when we plow everything over again, we’ll have nice bits of organic matter to add back into the soil. And the soil in this part of Kentucky is pretty near to the clay we had back in Seattle, and virtually impenetrable should one not spend a lot of effort amending it. This has been a lot of work, loading leaves into our two pickup trucks, unloading them into a trailer we take over to the garden via four-wheeler, unloading the trailer. It builds muscles, justifies eating sweet things. Beer taste better, and filled with virtue. All of which makes it even harder to get out of bed in the morning.
With that black dirt we started two partial rows of lettuce and kale and spinach and stuff, spreading out seed tapes (toilet paper with seeds attached with wheat paste and spaced the appropriate distance; Susan and Maggie had fun making them). And cabbage and broccoli and some other vegetable I don’t really eat, but we’d bought those plants and left them too long, waiting for the waves of frost to abate, so some of them won’t survive.
When Dan gets back from fishing, we’ll have a look at those three rows of potatoes we put in earlier, the ones I wrote about with a sense of accomplishment when we finished. Problem is, it rained a lot and froze, and maybe I cut the potatoes into pieces too small to grow. Regardless, we fear nothing will come up, and it should have by now. So they may have rotted in the ground. Which means buying two more bags of red potato sets, plowing over those three rows, and starting over.
So it goes. The peas are coming up, anyhow, and we’ve eaten some fresh asparagus already. Rhubarb looks healthy, green onions are coming in (and we’ve more to plant if this weather will pass long enough). Life goes on.
Y’all be good.