Monday, September 07, 2009

Ya load fifteen yards, and whaddya get?

So! Labor Day weekend! When normal people are kicking back, enjoying some BBQ with friends and family, maybe taking in a movie, hitting up the Really Awesome Sales and all like that.

But we, well. We know how to par-TAY. Oh yeah! SO, Saturday afternoon, a dump truck backed into our driveway, dumped a load of blended soil, loam, sand, compost and shredded wood into the middle of it, and drove away.

Then he came back, and dumped a second load of the same stuff.

And then he drove away quick, before we could even get a license plate or anything.

AFTER WHICH, we spent most of Saturday and almost all day Sunday shoveling fifteen yards of dirt into wheelbarrows, wheeling the wheelbarrows to assorted points around the Den of Chaos, and dumping this mixture into beds, boxes, side-strips and other places where twenty years of unchecked erosion had washed the soil away and/or where it just really could use a ‘nutrient refresher’ – like our “back forty(feet)” field where the vast majority of our growing of fresh vegetable stuff will be taking place.

I hurt in new and exciting ways, y’all. And so does my husband. Neither of us are used to this kind of work anymore. I have to say I admire my man for being so willing to not only put up with the Crazy I dish out around here, but to pick up a shovel (or drill, or sledgehammer, or whatever) and spend all three days of a precious three day weekend working like a horse to bring my visions into being.

I love that man. He’s a good’un.

AND, we now have new growing areas in the front, back and along the sides of the Den. We have spinach planted under the front window (which for some reason makes me snicker – I dunno, I guess I just picture unsuspecting people walking up, looking at the planter box and going, “Uh…is that…spinach…?”), and in the front patch beside the driveway we’ve planted what we expect to be more of a “color” sort of display for Halloween than actual food production – zucchini that should get to harvest before winter slams shut the door on it, and pumpkins and sunflowers that might if we have a long, languid saunter into winter.

What we actually would like to have by Halloween is zucchini actually growing (yeah, see, I made this relish? And the husband has been taking it around everywhere with him? and now everybody wants some, so I need, like, another thirty pounds of the stuff?!), pumpkins at least forming (and we’re not above sticking a couple store-bought ones into the vines for effect, either), and hopefully at least a few of the sunflowers up. Those seeds are a bit old and I’ve found they have about a one-in-four sprout ratio but hey. It’ll be cute for the trick-or-treaters and will amuse me…and after all, what is it all about, if not my amusement?

The shelling peas are starting to grab the so-called trellis, a few of the green bush beans I planted last week are poking their heads out, my bell peppers plants are finally starting to produce Actual Bell Peppers (and there is a huge praying mantis living in them, and I can get hours of amusement out of watching him hunt the aphids…go, Manny, go! go, Manny, go!!).

I’ve got onions, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, sugar snap peas, pole beans, spinach and garlic ready to go into the plots I’ve staked out in the back forty(feet).

Two straggly redwoods came out, and four new fruit trees are going in.

It’s starting to look like a place that grows food around here, a strange combination of beauty (for what could be prettier than new-minted greenery popping up all around your house?) and no-nonsense industrial trappings (neon yellow string creating “beds” in the field and a ‘don’t even THINK of running here!’ guide for the Denizens).

Also, the neighbors are pretty sure we are, in fact, utterly insane.

Ach, well. You know what they say: The truth will out.

…it was only a matter of time…


Anonymous said...

How about some pics?

(formerly) no-blog-rachel said...

Your back yard sounds like our back yard! Though with no little kids around the yellow tape (wrapped around many times to form a barrier) was to deter the Beagle. Didn't work - but I imagine the Denizens pick up on things a little faster than she does.

Steph B said...

Every time I read your blog I hang my head in shame and walk away determined to be a better homesteader. Hasn't happened yet, but I'm sure someday the guilt will get the best of me. :-) Good for you, sticking to your plan!

Unknown said...

For dinner on Sunday night I served Chianti Braised Pot Roast with Thyme (from my garden) with sides of roasted carrots (from my garden), brussel sprouts (from my garden) in butter, dijon mustard and tarragon (from my garden), along with a salad that had peppers (from my garden), heirloom green cherry tomatoes (from my garden) dressed in honey mustard tarragon (from my garden) vinegarette. It really rocks being able to serve food that was picked only hours (or moments) earlier. Impresses the h*ll out of your dininer guests.

Oh, and a carrot that you just picked...smells more like a carrot than anything from the grocery store, doesn't it?

Ms. Packrat said...

Do the Denizens have their own little plot to plant with special things?

Lisa said...

Just don't go talk to the zucchini and spinach when the neighbors can see you!