Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hello again,

Another full day; Eden and I have been trying to create more beds in our garden plot and put our flower/herb transplants in there, starting at six-thirty in the morning and going till nine or nine-thirty (it's getting light at five now). This morning we transplanted yarrow, sweet peas and marigolds; on Tuesday we put zulu prince, orange prince (both daisy-type flowers), black-eyed susans and one other one I can't remember. Tomorrow morning we'll be putting statice and some others in. In the meantime our seeds have come up and are starting to grow -- daisies, clarkia, poppies, safflower, bee phacelia. Sunchoke tubers we planted have also started to come up, and all the starts we previously transplanted are doing great. We've planted about 11 beds of plants so far, and there are many more flats of transplants to plant out. It feels never-ending, and we haven't even started weeding in there yet. When I'm not out there, I'm feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the amount of work that has to be done. When we're doing it though, it feels great. I'd like to be doing more work on this project, but I'm constrained by the paid work I'm doing, plus all the household responsibilities, plus I just started dating a great gal in the area, plus, plus, plus.

There are so many projects to be done. We saw a deer inside the fence near the herb/flower plot this morning, which is the second one in a week, so we really need to finish stringing up top wire along the huge stretch of fencing that encloses the irrigated portion of the land. Then there's building work, which I'm not so involved with, but I'm going to start working on cutting back blackberries. I started in on some blackberries around a huge old apple tree that's in a gulch (called "Prince Gulch") near the herb/flower plot. I'd been wanting to clear the area around this tree of blackberries and dead wood, and today I put in a couple of hours, mostly sawing off dead limbs. My idea was just to improve the health of the tree (although it's doing pretty well on its own) and improve access to its many delicious apples (which I've never tasted, but I hear they're yummy). Right now it's pretty tangly. Anyway, we have some apple trees closer to the house that didn't have many blooms, so this tangly tree would probably be our main source of apples this year, since it bloomed quite alot this spring.

After lunch I worked with Matt on the farm, rolling out black plastic sheeting to mulch around the beds of strawberries that he's got goin' there. I really hate this because I hate using plastic, but it's pretty standard for commercial strawberry growing. I don't think I'd grow strawberries for this reason; my interest is in learning how to do things sustainably. Basically, we rolled out the sheeting over an entire bed of strawberries, stretched it taut and covered the edges with dirt, then Matt went along and felt with his hand for where the strawberry plants were and made cuts with an exacto knife, and I came along and popped the plants out thru the cuts. Now the whole bed is mulched except the little holes where the strawberries are peeping out. Matt and I had already been weeding the beds pretty thoroughly to get them to the point where he could make accurate cuts with plastic -- although he did mess up a few times here and there and made a cut where there was grass instead of strawberries. I'll be doing some kind of farmwork with him again tomorrow.

That's it for this installment; just trying to keep current here, and keep the flow of writing going. I'll write more soon...

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