Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A(nother) New Year of Gardening

Happy New Year, all! We celebrated Humboldt-style by spending the day outside; in this case, in the Bad Garden:
Ladies a'gleaning, January 2013.

After all the clearing and prepping of 2011, it's a real shame that I spent almost no time gardening in 2012. By August or September—usually prime harvesting months—I threw my hands in the air and opened the garden up to the chickens, who immediately took it down to the dirt.

But in November my neighbors Steve and Sheba, knowing that they were moving soon, gave us their recycled glass-window greenhouse. Score! They even disassembled it and hauled it down the street to our driveway and I dragged it piece by piece into the back yard. Steve said I'd have no problem figuring out how it all went together...uh-huh.

I am not good with carpentry. I couldn't even tell what piece was the floor, though I did eventually figure out that the piece made from an old door was in fact the door. Point for me!

I also had to figure out where it was going to go. If I took the lazy way out and put it somewhere already flat, it would, at 10-feet-by-five-feet, seriously be in the way, and I would end up doing a lot more work rerouting paths around the greenhouse than I would ever spend by just leveling out a random patch of the Bad Garden.

Well, yesterday, New Year's Day, turned out to be one of those beautiful California winter days, with a clear, blue sky and no wind, just sunny and (for us, anyway) warm at 53 degrees. Shirt-sleeve weather! So once the frost had melted I went outside and surveyed my little farm and chose a spot.

Yes, we do collect a lot of scrap-crap in the Bad Garden.

It's not level. And, there's a berm of strawberry-covered dirt in the way. But otherwise it's perfect. So I started shoveling while the ladies milled around, gleaning.

And, as is typical of me, as I was piling up rescued strawberry plants I thought what a shame it was that I was shoveling all this dirt that I would only end up re-shoveling into a raised bed later...As if I have not done just that, shoveled and re- and re-re-shoveled dirt these last five years. But soon I had scrounged up bits of lumber from odd corners of the yard and started adding a raised bed off the one successful bed I have so far managed to build and plant. Needless to say, my site-leveling work stopped.

Assorted scrap-crap laid out.

Then I shoveled some dirt into it, which is I suppose working on site-leveling, too, but...then I looked at the Long Bed and decided to rearrange some of the plants in there.

Upper left corner are the hardier-than-I-would-have-guessed chives, lower left is a sage that never thrived in its original spot in the Long Bed, and in the center is a pile of dug-up strawberry plants waiting for a new spot.

And still having lumber left I decided to encapsulate the old straw bales marking the edge of the hopefully future patio, but I couldn't find an end-piece and the blade on my pull-saw finally gave up the ghost after 12 years or so.

So, progress on the green house was limited to site selection (and staking!) but I did get one bed and one partial bed in. And did I mention it was sunny?

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