Thursday, January 19, 2012

Raised Beds: Foundation Day

   A scientist is in Heaven. He walks up to God and claims to have cracked the code for creating life, that he knows how to manipulate small amounts of common soil to become a living, breathing organism.

   The Lord smiled patiently and said, "Okay."

   "I'm serious."

   "I can see that, my child, so let's go to My Laboratory and you can show me what you can do." So God leads the scientist to His Laboratory and welcomes him inside.

   "Okay," says the scientist eagerly, "all I need is some dirt."

   "Uh-uh, sorry," the Lord replies laughingly, "get your own dirt."


   So I'm making my own dirt. Not to blasphemously create life, just to grow some delicious fruits and veggies. Today Mia the Gander helped me fill the first three beds. It was a luscious way to spend another unseasonably warm January afternoon, with photos to prove it this time. I am feeling really optimistic about the garden this year, you guys. 

First, we have some scrap cardboard cut to lay flat on the ground.
This is eventually decompose, but in the mean time 
it should block the worst weeds.
Yay for no plastic!!

The whole cardboard cutting event was highly fascinating to Mia.
Can you blame him?

Then I layered on a few inches of dried leaves.
Just for fun, take note of the X shaped shadow up on the wall.

Over the dried leaves went a lot of manure.
A little manure scooping advice:
Whenever possible, scoop uphill
Let gravity be your friend.
Oh, and speaking of fascinated animals, as I scooped manure
our two geldings could not be more enrapt.
At one point Dusty nosed my very full wheelbarrow
and I had to urge him NOT to eat it.
He asked me why, pointing out the obvious fact 
that his manure is little more than compressed grass, hay, and excess grain.
Which is exactly his daily diet.
He had a legitimate question: at what point does food cease to be food?
That raised questions of cannibalism, etc, for which I had precious few answers.
Things got very philosophical in the middle field today.

The last ingredient was slightly moist, matted together shred.
Hey, did you notice the X shadow move? 
The sun was receding as I worked.

But Mia never left my side.
He nibbled winter greens 
and supervised my activities tirelessly.
He is the world's most faithful, 
most affectionate, most curious gander.

Amend Your Soil!
Get a Head Start!



  1. How I love Mia the gander. I'd come help you prepare raised beds too, if you'd feed me winter greens. No thanks on the manure, though.


    1. You bring the Greek yogurt, I'll forage for winter greens. By the time you get here I will have the manure cleaned up and we can philosophize by the fire.

  2. The only thing I shovelled yesterday was the 6" of snow that fell in 2 hours. I'm beginning to envy your weather very much. I DID order my seeds though, so gardening is in my mind. But it's all inside stuff being done here - more painting, some knitting and some baking.

    Have a great weekend, my friend. Damn I wish we lived closer so that we could actually do some shovelling together.

    1. You have a great weekend too, Heather! Painting and sewing and baking should maybe be on my list instead of playing in the dirt. I always feel a bit AWOL to be outside this time of year, but I surely love it. LOL I hope you share your planting lists as the spring comes along!

  3. Oh, I love your philosophy discussion with the animals! So funny and inspirational :-)
    BTW, all the photos are showing up as just question marks on my screen today. Don't know if the problem is mine or yours :-)

  4. Ok. now I got the photos, so it was obviously just a temporary thing, whatever it was :-)

    1. Oh thanks Inger! And whew on the photos...LOL The animals are very thoughtful, you know?


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