Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Gardening IS exercise!!

I've been so tired that I fall asleep whenever I sit down in this chair to write. Lordy! How did the old-timers survive?
I've set up home base in the garden, taking a cooler and all the comforts of home out each morning and enjoying the birds in the cool air. Then the heat comes creeping up and I'm like the frog in the pot: If I start out cool I won't jump as the surroundings warm up. I keep hoping that I'll get heat tolerant. At least I'm brown as dirt, so it doesn't show anymore. I have a farmer's tan and white feet!
I've had Chris helping me, and without him to do the heavy work the gardens wouldn't be planted. It would be MUCH cheaper to buy our veggies. We've spent a fortune on paying him. Next year I'll be able to start early and get more done myself. I've been up at 6:30-7:00 AM and out asap, and not coming in until 8:00-9:00 PM. I have my bottomless bucket so I don't have to come in much.

The raised bed garden set-up will be semi-permanent, so I won't have to go through this every year. With the raised beds full of good dirt I can just keep adding compost and more good dirt or mulch to keep them going. I will be able to plant in them before the last frost because I can cover them with either frost cloth or plastic.

The two 1/4 acre strips we have plowed up are planted in enough vegetables for us and the whole neighborhood, 19 ninety foot rows: 6 rows of Sweet Corn interplanted with beans: Fordhook Limas & Kentucky Wonder Pole beans, then two rows of watermelon: Sugar Baby and Florida Giants, two rows of cantaloupe, four rows of squash: Summer Golden and Black Beauty Zucchini, one row each of Tenderette string beans, Thorogreen Early Limas and Blue Lake string beans and another Lima bean whose name I forget. It was exhausting to plant in the 95 F heat and it'll be even more exhausting to harvest.

Why do we do this? Atavistic behavior, that's what I think.. Like watching a fire or running water. It touches something deep in us that harkens back to our dirt scrabbling ancestors.

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