Saturday, August 1, 2009

Many hands make light work

Stefani's yard is getting a serious overhaul---cleaning up, clearing out, pruning, making way for 12 (yep, 12!) huge new beds o' food. Friends joined us yesterday for some heavy lifting.

It's too bad we missed photographing the earlier part of the day, when Esperanza was working like a wild woman. It may not seem as though we accomplished a lot---2 out of 12 beds---but the three loads of haulage taken away, the fact that the yard is clean save for mounds of dirt, and the good time spent with folks just working to be helpful was great.

You don't often have the chance to say "That's a load of horseshit" and mean it literally:

Yes, that's a woman with a tiny baby helping, too:

Here's the evolution of the two beds we built yesterday. From that ladder in the back Kevin trimmed some huge, sun-blocking branches.

And in the end, we had this:

Two down, ten to go.


Ribbit said...

OH, I'm horribly jealous. I want to cut some branches from a huge oak shading the garden, but A: it's too high B: it's too old C: it's a really pretty tree.

It wouldn't hurt my feelings, however, if a freak ice storm took out some branches as long as they miss hitting the garden. :)

Hey! My verification word is 'cizilian' say it out loud. HA!

chaiselongue said...

Wow! That looks like a really good day's work! Looking forward to seeing the crops that grow in those beds.

el said...

I am so PROUD!

Seriously, I know how fun it all is. You need to tell me how cold it gets out there: you can have those beds in continuous production if you're so inclined (and I know you are, Stefani).

Yay! And that poop should really help with that sand. Too bad dirt is so heavy or I would send you some Michigan clay.

good luck with the rest.

Kristin said...

Great documentation--from beginning to end, I enjoyed watching the progress of your backyard activity.

You're turning your front and back yard into a fully productive year-round edible farm, yielding fruit and veggies at various seasonal intervals.

It's beautiful. Get it on the news.

Annie's Granny said...

Good heavens, girl! That's one heck of an undertaking. You're lucky you have help...if I had help around here, I'd double the size of my garden.

kitsapFG said...

Awesome work! We did a big garden expansion project this spring - so I know first hand and with recent memory how much work goes into the creation of each new bed. Just think of all the possibilities when the rest of the beds are all in and functioning!

Stefaneener said...

Hey, everyone. Ribbit, don't be jealous. I'm very lucky, but it's not perfect here. Remember the soil like sandy dust. . . I'm still blowing it out of my nose. We can all be cizilians together.

chaiselongue, welcome. Thinking about the future growth out there is part of what makes digging and hauling and repeating over and over worthwhile.

El, thanks. It is great, dirty, sweaty fun. At our coldest, we might get in the mid-30s Fahrenheit, so 3.4 or so C, but it's usually not that bad. Conversely, we might have a couple 90-100 F (37C) degree days, and some weeks of very high 80s, but that's about it. It's year round. It's also hard on the soil, as I've discovered. Hopefully careful use will help these new beds and I can let the other ones rest and rebuild. I wish I could get some of your clay -- Denise and Kevin offer me some every once in a while. We'll get some put in one of these days.

Kristin, you guys missed all the fun. It is a great project, and I'm really lucky to have good light in both yards. There might be enough wood left over to make a bed or two out front. El, that's when I would need to do some pruning -- there's a tree that shades the front yard!

Granny, I shudder to think of what you'd do with more garden. Now that the shed is done, can't you coerce someone into expanding your empire? You'd do nothing but eat and preserve!

Kitsap, you know how it is. You start with one idea, and it just spreads and spreads. . . It's going to be fun to see what happens in the long run!

Michelle said...

Wow, you've got the beginning of a real farm there! I know what you mean about all that hard work being worth it - I've turned every square inch of my beds myself (only 4 large ones). Every bit of goodnes that I've put into that soil is now paying off. Now I just have to compete with the 3B's for the goodies (bugs, birds, and bunnies). As my neighbor said to me the other day "if you build it they will come".

Toni said...

That is so awesome you had so much help! Bet you guys had fun working together!

I built all my beds this year... and mixed the soil all myself... so I KNOW how much work it is!

How deep are your new beds? Are you using Mel's Mix?