Setting up

I got kicked out of the garage.

Let me rephrase: enough room was cleared in the barn through some rearranging and the removal of my brother’s motorcycle that we got two tables set up inside and one outside on the northeastern side of the barn so this year’s seed propagation will be done there instead of in the garage.

This is all well and good, of course. The barn has all my material right at hand and there is more room to move around there than in the garage. The only downside is there is no direct water in the barn, so I’ll need to drag a hose in to do the watering. I think everything will be fine, as long as the local authorities don’t do heat-seeking flyovers, miss all the outside frames and activity there, and think there’s some kind of grow operation going on. To be fair, there is, or will be, one, but not the kind they may think.

There is still obviously some setup to do: I need to climb up to the rafters and drive some supports for my grow lights, hang the lights, and get the flats ready for seeding. The one and only flat currently on the tables has some artichoke seed in it, to see if we can coax some to germinate. Last year’s attempt was not successful, and I’m not sure if it was because the seed was almost two years old at that point, or if through some combination of light, watering, and heat I managed to kill the process. Still, there’s nothing like the attempt, and what’s the point of doing any of it if you’re not trying new things and having a bit of fun?

Another item on the list of things that desperately need to get done is polishing off the building and filling of the last row of 8 x 4 frames out back (in addition to the completion of the filling of the current row) so we’ll have somewhere to plop the babies when they’re ready to exit the barn environment and hit the real weather outside. Some things – okra, the watermelons, and other larger seeded items, along with the things that don’t transplant well here, like carrots – I’ll directly sow into the frames. I’d say about 75% of the plants will be started in the barn, though, and fed doses of diluted worm poo juice to keep them going while we wait for the winter to go away.

I also have trees and plants to get in the ground. I’m just hoping they can stand to hang out for a bit while the weather moderates enough to have a stretch of decent, non-freezing nights for them to get happy in their new surroundings.

Quite honestly, I’m looking forward to this season in a way I haven’t over the previous few years we’ve been here. I’m not sure if it’s because of the way last year went, or because I decided to be more laid back about things in general this year – like the massive server meltdown that made for a 40 hour day last week, or bitchy/rude clients, or because I’ve come to the base thinking that if I want to do this, then I need to put a complete effort into it instead of thinking of it as a hobby that can be indulged but not tended. Whatever the case, that same optimism that grips me when I turn the pages of seed catalogs has me right now as I mentally plan layouts in the garden and then scrap them one by one, looking for the best way to manage the space I have and the timing of when various things will be ready for going in to the garden and then harvested – and thus be ready to be replaced by something else. The circle of life on the farm has me, and the thought of escape has not been one I’ve entertained.

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