You might feel a bit of déjá vu with this one.
Today I made a big accomplishment, and I’ll share with you why I’m pleased in more ways than one.
There seems to be a theme of life I think many of us can relate to. Waiting. I just applied to the Graduate school of my choice and all I can do now is wait for an answer. I need to complete a project but I have to wait on a very important element in order to continue with it. I’d like to plant my tomato seeds but I have to wait another week before it is time. I’d really love to eat dinner right now, but I have to wait until the onions are translucent to add my ingredients.
Well that’s just time passing, isn’t it? And that time between starting and finishing is dragged out or sped up by what we choose to do in the intervening moments, sure. The project I have had underway is terracing my garden. The first terrace was completed, as you’ll recall, by Donald and a tractor. Even then, it took a long time for me to replace and perfect the removed dirt into its proper place. So I take a long time to complete even small projects.
We haven’t continued with the second terrace because it has been so rainy, making the soil very muddy if you put too much weight on it. We know this from experience, yes we do.
You can see how impressionable our wet dirt is. Ha, get it?
We have been understandably hesitant to bring the tractor in for more heavy work.
But I have grown weary of this waiting thing I keep doing. I tested a shovel out on the ground and realized my muscles and the wonderful lever I beheld could do quite an easy job of displacing dirt together! Ah, yes, the before and after photos, I know you love them:
This was previously a compost pit, but the most recent compost in one pit didn’t break down as well as I like it, so I spread it out and figured it would provide some more nourishment for the row gardening to go here soon. You can see I have outlined the deepest part of the terrace with that cute little shovel. Boots are incredibly helpful when using a shovel, by the way.
I slaved and I slaved away at this easy dirt, grinning wider and wider with every bead of sweat to roll down my face. It felt good to finally feel my body work harder than any metallic machine is capable of feeling, and to no longer be idle in the wretched act of waiting. I’ll tell you, I believe this was a much quicker, more efficient method of terracing than using the tractor.
It probably helped that I’d done it once before at this point.
How incredible is the work that can get done in all the time we could spend waiting!
The little gopher even cleaned up his space when he was through.
This weekend we hosted a group of people who made an effort to compost their food waste, rather than throw it in to the trash. This challenged us, Happy Valley, to reconsider our methods of dealing with consumer waste and to seek new ones. Usually, we compost the scraps we generate while cooking the food and allow the waste off peoples’ trays to go into the trash since it is a small amount in comparison, but it’s food waste nonetheless. We set out a bucket for them to sort their leftovers accordingly, and I must say, they did pretty well!
Since this wonderful group showed such interest in being a more sustainable mass, we took them on a tour of where the composting happens. Oh! They loved it. They got to see where their scraps went and how we are going to deal with them. They ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ at the steam coming from the hot compost pile, and they covered their faces in embarrassment when I told them their group would produce 6 buckets full of food scraps during their stay.
What’s brilliant about that last fact is that the scraps they generated will produce compost that will grow the food that other groups and this one will eat the next time they are here.
I find that beautiful.
I learned some things from the people on that tour to the compost. I was sharing with them about my slug problem when someone spoke up “You know how to get rid of slugs? Ducks.” Simple as that, she said it. All you have to do is bring a duck or two out to the garden when you go and they will blissfully graze the slugs right out of your garden.
So that’s next on our list, Tim. Ducks to keep in the intern’s room as pets (because they’ll get eaten out there on their own!) and friends in the garden. 😉 Just kidding. But really.
But until ducks happen, here’s the Sluggo® I mentioned last post.
I was feeling hopeful until I spotted numerous slugs about my garden today. Not promising. Then I read the instructions (what a concept!) and learned you must reapply after it rains. Well, we got a good rain, and I’ll show you a picture in a second. First, this.
I wincingly put a couple granules of Sluggo® on a baby slug to see how it worked- if it would kill it like the garlic mixture or what. All the slug did was hightail its way out. So the pesticide must just be very unpleasant, which is fine by me if it wards the slugs off!
The rain came, and it poured for a very long time. The river (yes, I said RIVER) under our bridge rose feet above its normal tide, and we saw pretty waterfalls in places, unfortunately, we don’t prefer them.
Today Donald and I went on a walk in the woods to survey the damage, and here is Section 2 of the ropes course:
I can’t imagine what that was like on rain day, and it’s still flowing! Quite frankly, I stay far away from the woods and hillside when it’s pouring like that.
I told you a couple posts ago that you can chop off the butt of your lettuce or celery and replant it. Well, you can, and it will regrow. Here is our lettuce row.
Every one of these is replanted. When you do this, you’ll notice the lettuce doesn’t regrow exactly how it was before, not in the circular pattern. I’m also a bit concerned about its taste. Pick and eat one of these leaves and you are overcome with a bitter sensation in your mouth. Not at all pleasant alone, but maybe there’s hope for within a salad mixture? I’m quite impressed with the rate and ease of regrowing like this, so I won’t pass it to the wayside just yet. I’ll do some more research and figure out if it’s supposed to be this way.
So, while the terracing was a long and rewarding process, I tried something else really difficult today. This is what I’ve dubbed “My struggle of the day.”
All it is is a straw bale. But it’s a wet straw bale, and I want it moved. I haven’t been working out as religiously as our website designer Jeff, so I tried to channel him as I squat and grunted in an honest to goodness, hard fought attempt to lift this relentless hay bale into the wheelbarrow. I laughed at myself and tried on different mind sets to lift the thing even a little bit, while also maneuvering the wheelbarrow just so, to keep it from tipping. I’m telling you, it wouldn’t budge. It’s so darn stubborn.
This will be my bull to carry up the mountain, and it will not move until I can move it myself. It will be an eyesore until I have conquered its stubbornness. Ah, there is rain in the forecast. Bring it on wet straw bale, I’m coming for you with a vengence.