It all started yesterday. About 2 p.m., I got an energy burst. Don’t know from whence it came; could’ve been the 70% dark chocolate, or the perfection of the weather, or perhaps our toothing baby put the spur to my hide. In any case, it was suddenly time to build a new plot for my vine vegetables. I had desisted from doing just this for weeks, hemming and hawing about maybe building another raised bed, maybe going the whole nine yards and building a raised bed on wheels, maybe just filling up containers for my tomatoes, tomatilloes, and zukes. But, when yesterday dawned breezy and warm, the day quickly lifting itself up from one of the last slight frosts, it became clear to me that I must make a home for my vining edibles toute-suite.
I couldn’t be bothered to obtain more lumber or screw together wheel axles; Freya and I needed out of the house and the clock’s ticking on those tomatilloes, which are bursting from their tiny pots. I loaded the stroller with kitchen scraps to replenish the compost heap I intended to capital-p Plunder, and we hot-footed it across town.
First, I had to break ground. This is earth my mother offered me on Mother’s Day (thanks, Ma!). I rolled back the grass and weeds on this corner by the driveway, thinking that I would start small (about 5’x4′), but that we might just want to extend the plot further along the driveway in future years. Or in future months. (I think veg gardeners are more prone to sudden attacks of Carpe Diem-itis than your average human, so I’m not ruling anything out.)
That’s about where yesterday’s work ended. Today I went back, still all fired up, and commenced my interpretation of lasagna gardening. First, I laid newspaper over the bare soil, thinking it might stop any remaining weeds from growing upwards, while allowing vegetable roots to grow downwards, if need be. I covered that with rich stuff from the compost heap. (I turned our impressive-but-under-managed heap into a crater, hoping to hit the good stuff by digging down into the middle, and I dare say it worked.) One layer compost, one layer maple leaves, then another layer compost. By the end of today, it looked dark and thick enough to be called “chocolate dirt” — which is just what my neighbor called it, so it all began and ended with cocoa.
Huzzah! This weekend, I’ll plant out the tomatillo and tomato starts and sow some zucchini seeds. Still have to work out how I’ll support and protect them all from deer, etc. (a bamboo teepee? A trellis? A fence around everything?)
A huge smackeroo of gratitude to my faithful helper:
Who now smiles with the beginning of a tooth:
She is amazing, always loves an outing: was all smiles when we arrived home. I nursed her and watched her sink into a deep sleep, hoping she dreams of pink blossoms, buzzing bees, a yellow dog, chocolate earth.