April 18 2009

still to be tamed

There are swaths of ground where if you stand still you can hear water running just under the grass: I don’t know if it’s channeling through mole tunnels or over stacks of underground stone, but it sounds very much like the edges of the marsh at home in South Carolina where you can hear crabs and oysters spitting and scurrying over the mud when the tide is out. The similarities extend to the consistency of that mud, at least last week, when our dirt was saturated enough that our 3-year-old farmhand sank in to the top of her bumblebee rainboots. It doesn’t smell as bad as pluff, but it’s got sticking power.

the only dry spot in the whole place

The kitchen garden is the only thoroughly dry spot in our yard right now, so we’ve just expanded it to get a little more early seed in: kale, leeks, snap peas, lettuces, beets, radishes. About an eighth of the upper field is tilled and should be ready to plant this week, thanks to a long spell of dry sunny weather. I guess we’ll till and plant the rest of it as the subterranean rivers wither up.

first planting of red kale

In lieu of sinking through the grass up to our knees, we’ve been working on some side projects: a barn that once housed 55 rescued stray cats in palatial splendor (and acres of carpet) will, we hope, soon become a very rudimentary bunkhouse for egg refugees and friends who are up to help out. Failing that, it will become a great hall for a ping-pong table. And possibly a beer fridge.

future home of Egg refugees and a ping-pong table

In Gear

April 02 2009

It felt like winter would never end, and like waiting would never cease, and then suddenly the ground that was frozen a week ago is percolating snowmelt and begging for onion sets and carrot seeds. We have a new dirt mover and a bid for a giant deer fence coming in and we are finally, officially, off to the races.

mucked up

We’ve planned an 8 plot garden for the year, which will accommodate an 8-year rotation. We’re looking in to getting ducks: any suggestions? We’re aiming for half an acre this year, which sounds like nothing. But when I’m standing in the corner of the field looking out and imagining it all tilled, hilled, and sprouting, I wonder how anyone ever got the nerve to go bigger.