Monday, March 14, 2011

Beds! - Update

We are almost there, people. Al. Most. There.

I got home from my weekend away (as many of my weekends are currently...), at around noon today. Along the 3 hour drive (and during much of the weekend, to be honest) I had been thinking about the next steps that need to be taken at the farm and regrouping in general. I had been letting the overwhelming nature of all that still needs to be done and all that I'm having a tough time doing on my own get to me and had gotten to the point where I really couldn't see the forest for the trees.

While you'd be right to assume that I've only been alone out here for a few months, you'd be wrong to assume that I've only been living and breathing Stoneyhaw for 5. I've been gearing up and working towards getting the farm going, and this planting in particular for 2 years now. So I had been feeling like I've been churning and churning and churning with nothing to show for it.

Many meltdowns and rebuilds later, I'm feeling better. I'm still terrified that I will never get a job and they will come and take away my car and my cell (gasp!), but I AM feeling like I'm not going to go hungry.


Because spring is springing, dammit, and if daffodils that have been left alone for 50 years can come up and flower in the shade and a daylily we planted AND THEN PUT A BUCKET ON TOP OF IT BECAUSE WE FORGOT IT WAS THERE (ahem! Mom! Why did you let me do that?!) can come up, I can get something to go.

(that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

So after my 3 hour drive home, I chose to believe the weather report and assume it is going to rain tomorrow.

Since I didn't have my beds ready last fall so I could amend them and let them get all nice and nitrogen-y over the winter, I am trying to incorporate a bunch of organic matter (and unfortunately fertilizer) into the dirt I'm filling the beds with.  But my beds are not level. I am buying (*gasp!*) dirt, and that stuff is expensive so I'm not necessarily wanting to have to fill one side of the bed with 10 inches and the other with 8, just to have it leach out the bottom.

I also don't want to cut wood to fit the gaps. And. Umm. I don't really thing I have the capacity to do so anyway.

Enter my rocks. I decided to wedge rocks in the big gaps. I'm also hoping that this will aid with the drainage issue - my plants don't need wet feet, and under the topsoil that my great-grandfather built up is hard, slippery, non-porous clay.

So I filled gaps with rocks I hauled off of my great-grandfather's sawdust pile from the 60's (umm. AWESOME compost at this point!), and then lined an inch or two in the bottom of each bed with leaves and stuff I scraped up off the surrounding ground. The rain tomorrow can pack it down and get it going on the road to decomposition, and I will fill in with dirt/compost/fertilizer on thursday (post rain), hopefully. Fingers crossed!

50 years ago this was a pile of sawdust with rocks on top of it, presumably to keep the sawdust from flying everywhere. Unless the atmospheric pressure here in NC is such that it only takes 50 years for rock to form.
Not going for pretty OR gapless, here. Gaps are good actually. Means that hopefully the water will run out the bottom instead of sitting on top of the clay.
Level. Propped up. Aerated. Next up? Compost and then dirt.
Sitting with their cute little layers of leaves and whatnot. Waiting for tomorrow's rain to kick in the decomposition process. Fingers crossed!


Malia said...

I hope the weather does what we want it to do FOR ONCE!!!

caitlinvb said...

Nope!! It feels like rain and smells like rain, but none yet. There are always other things to do, but dude!

lollyrae said...

I suddenly feel inspired to have Benjamin build me another two beds...I'll show him what you've done here!

caitlinvb said...

Inspiration is good! I'm a big fan! Let's see if anything survives before poor Benjamin has to go out and do heavy work ;)