Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weekends are for rest?

Not around here! Weekends are for work. The evenings of weekends are for resting. Last weekend the weather was amazing. In the low 70s, slight breeze and SO much to do. Like SO many others it seems, we're a tad behind on getting our garden finished up. Not anymore! Hooray! So my super sweet husband woke up Frankie at 5 am, and they drove the truck and trailer to a farm a ways away and picked up two big loads of that great composted manure I wrote about earlier. When they got back, the work day really began.

First, we shoveled out all that compost and spread it across the whole garden. What a beautiful site to see all that black out there instead of brown. Ah for the day my soil is naturally just black and has great structure and yum.... So Clay rented a tiller and him and Frankie went to work. Frank was so proud his Daddy let him run the tiller. Look at that face. Love that dude.

While we hope to get to where we have great soil structure and never have to till it, there is nothing quite like amazing fluffy dirt. Love it.

Everyone pitched in. The ducks did their part picking out bugs and seeds. The chickens did too but you know those chickens, they're camera shy.

Adric was the resident rock picker alongside his Mama, following behind the tiller picking out any big rocks. Mom just threw the rocks in the woods but Adric was proud of showing off his spoils whenever his bucket got too heavy.

Then we made our wide rows. We are doing intensive planting via this amazing book:
I'll talk more about this as the gardening season goes forward and I can take good pictures and really show it. I did link the book picture to the great seed site partnered with this book. I love their philosophy not just their seeds. And I love that their seed catalog instead of having great color pictures to promote their seeds, they have fabulous descriptions (I use their catalog as a planting and growing guide!) they use their color pictures to show the places around the world they are teaching people how to grow food in a way that is bountiful and self-sustaining. Love it.

You know while it would seem that you could just rake that fluffy soil into rows, soil is heavy. HEAVY. It took us forever shoveling to make these rows. By the time this day was done it seemed like I shoveled dirt for 6 hours. You can see everyone working together, even the baby, putting straw over everything to help avoid erosion. We made some grand mistakes this year not knowing better. We left our soil without mulch or groundcover and suffered some horrible erosion. Our dirt was almost ruined and void of any organic matter or living organisms. It was sad. Never again. Cover crops and mulch are my friends.

We also cleared most of the rest of the orchard area. Remember when Clay started cutting trees here? It's hard work to clear all the limbs and move them out. Rewarding work though. We're closer. Hopefully soon a friend will be bringing his tractor and getting those stumps out for us. And hopefully help us clear the last few big trees that are too close for comfort to the power lines.

Okay I said all we did was work but that's not true. Can't have work without play. Saturday Clay went out and put up a swing on a tree for the littles. They LOVE it.

We started our new family activity. Knife throwing. We all suck. :)

And finally Sunday when we were all done, we had a nice relaxing evening. The sky looked like this,
accompanied with a nice wind, so the new kite came out. For his birthday Frankie got $10 from his awesome aunt. It was the most he's gotten at once yet and was SO excited. He's agonized over how to spend that $10 for months. Then he saw the kite. It was $18 and begged me to loan him the money to buy it. How could I resist after all the times he wanted to spend it and didn't? So Clay set out on building it. The new family rule? No more complicated kites allowed LOL!

And then flying it. We had so much fun. The wind was erratic and kept switching so it wasn't great kite weather but it was fun nonetheless and allowed everyone time to just unwind and enjoy themselves.

And when people are happy they let me take their picture. Cassie laughs and is silly so much yet whenever I take her picture she gets all serious.

And look at THIS guy. SO OLD. So grown up. Where's my baby?

Sigh. I feel like I just lived a whole weekend just typing this. And the idea that anyone would read this far? You deserve a prize. Here take some brownies.


becki said...

That brownie sure was good, :)

Love reading about your family Kim.
Your garden is going to be SO awesome!

Kristin said...

So exciting! The garden area looks wonderful! I sure know about that Tennessee Clay! Makes great bricks. Now if we would just get some rain. Not sure how you are doing there but this month sure feels like March '07. And we certainly don't need another drought like that!

Annie said...

I've been enjoying reading your blog Kim. Wonderful for the whole family to pitch in and get the garden ready!

What are you going to use for green manure this year when your garden is finished? We have clay soil here too - I use fall rye over all the garden beds, works really well!