Friday, September 4, 2020

Almost Done

Almost done refers only to this planting bed.  This picture shows its condition after the first weeding and application of aged manure.  A second weeding mostly cleared previously missed or broken weeds.  We understand that a third weeding will be necessary just prior to garlic planting.  That event is nearly six weeks away so with any combination of luck and skill this ground should be garlic ready.

We receive and store materials that will be used in the gardens on the other side of our land.  Here road access is the defining issue.  The huge dark pile contains reground hardwood bark mulch.  We buy it by the dump truck load and distribute it from here.  Our current project will require that the path across the garden be renewed with some of this mulch.

The adjacent weed covered mass is beef manure delivered by our actively farming neighbor.  We allowed it to mature for two years before using it on the garden.

This combination of shovel and screen is how all of our planting soil was converted from glacial till to rich stone free soil.  Today the manure needed a trip through the screen to clear it of all weed parts and break up the hard baked clumps.  Twenty-five gallons of this black gold were made garden ready and hand spread on the planting bed.

The manure was worked into the soil using a Cobra Head hand cultivation tool.  It is also our primary weed removal tool.  To the left of the planting bed is a bark mulch path.  Its weeds are also being removed and the conclusion of that task will be followed by new mulch.  This year's garlic seed will be planted in the finest soil that we can create.

The weed mass to the left of the garlic bed has yet to be converted into garden soil.  Repeated applications of grass clippings have drawn the weed roots up out of the ground and into the rotting grass clippings.  Hand removal is possible but we have never had the time to complete that task here.  Winter will find at least six of a possible eight planting beds cleared and ready for the next crop.

This is a wonderful place to work.  Other than our changes to the natural lay of this land, no other signs of the presence of man can be seen or heard.  This is a totally peaceful place allowing one to clear his head and use some muscles.  I believe that quiet time spent here physically working is part of what has kept me alive.  My Primary Care Physician shares that feeling.  We did not hear the woodpecker today.  Perhaps it will return tomorrow. Really the only sound today was the wind whispering through the trees!

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