The joys of gardening. The way the rich soil crumbles in your hands. That cool, earthy smell that hovers just above the ground. Rubbing perlite dust out of your eyes, and getting mad at yourself because you've been handling turkey poop, and you forgot to wash your hands.
I've wanted a garden for some time now, but have been unable to raise one. With my dad's permission, I'm now raising a garden at his place. Literally raising it. The idea of a raised garden appeals to me; supposedly, because the ground is above ground level, it gets warmer earlier in the year, and stays that way longer into the year, so that you garden longer. Also, you don't have to bend down so far to weed it, and the garden wall provides you a place to sit while tearing those pesky weeds out.
During the last week I've been digging up the lawn, and laying bricks for the garden wall. Each brick weighs 25 pounds. It took around 130 bricks, which means I lifted 3,250 pounds. Boo-yah! That's not including the weight of the sod that I moved from the garden area, or the dirt and clay that I dug out.
I know, I know... some people work as "farmers" or "landscapers" and do a whole heck-of-a-lot more than that; but I've spent the better part of 7 years sitting behind a computer in a cubicle farm. Doing something akin to traditional farming is rewarding. And there aren't even any vegetables yet!
Today I put in the soil. It's one third perlite, a third peat moss, and a third compost of varying kinds (steer manure, turkey manure, mystery mulch, etc.). The final product is much more airy than I'm used to. Of course, my last, big gardening adventure was for a merit badge and I planted things in bare, rocky ground that I wouldn't even call "soil." My mediocre tomatoes and the single, softball-sized watermellon (that somehow ended up at the top of a pine tree), are good indications that plants don't like that kind of land. But that was then.
The soil we've made now looks almost good enough to eat... even before it goes through the vegetables. Well, except for the perlite... that stuff looks like styrofoam. Really though, the perlite should be the most delicious looking thing I put into that ground, it's basically popcorn made from super-heated rocks (would that be "poprock" instead of "popcorn"?). The rest of the soil is made up of decomposed vegetations, and poop... neither of which are what I normally think of as mouth-watering.
These are some pictures that Staci and I took of the garden while putting the soil in. The last one is kind of dark, but that's because it was dark (go figure, eh?). It really didn't take much time, it's just that I start working as the sun was setting. We're going to add a little more soil tomorrow, and then start planting!
1 year ago