Saturday, February 23, 2008

dirt farmin'

Last weekend, I was again consumed with berserker fury against the forces of Backyard Bamboo Evil. I know you have little basis for comparison, but trust me when I say that the below pic would have shown an obscure screen of green before then.

M sez: Look, a house! Wow!

That's the view straight back from the house. At the left-hand corner is what was once a garden plot, but has long since been overgrown with you-know-what, of course.

Unlike every other patch of overgrowth, though, a bit of scraping revealed this one to be covering a cauldron of black gold!

Teh Dirt Hole.

Black gold meaning here not coal, but its much, much, much younger cousin: loose, airy, cakey, rich, loamy topsoil.

Either the spot was a former compost heap (I found peach pits, a straw, and oval fruit stickers), or it just built up lots of humus from years of bamboo leaves, or more likely both (bamboo leaves take a long time to break down). Anyway, I stripmined it as best I could with a shovel and paint bucket and hauled it over to the garden bed. After a few trips, I had 6" deep of perfect, organic, and unbeatably local topsoil for FREE. (We had just bought two 40-lb. bags of "organic" topsoil, supposedly from WV, for $2.49 each. They barely covered the 32-square-foot bed.)

See, the bamboo is good for something! At least for separating plant rows. With topsoil down, 36 spinach seeds were in their new homes in a matter of minutes!

Also, we planted lettuce in yet another type of repurposed planter:

Now with extra Omega-3s!

In 1 week, 18 of 24 little pellets have turned into cheery green stalks!

Even when I'm stuck indoors, doing French homework on a rainy day, the natural world won't leave me alone. I leave you with our new pal, happily lunching in the damp.

M Cardinal sez: J'ai peut-ĂȘtre froid, mais je n'ai plus faim!

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