Cultivating dirt

Thus far, in our adventure on the farm, what have we done?

Other than trying to coax grass to grow to keep our own personal Dust Bowl to a minimum, not much. There is still plenty of garbage strewn about that has to be collected, and quite a lot of the property to be graded to a level that it can actually be used. Since I have no grader attachment, that means leveling with a rake and shovel in smaller patches as I put down grass seed. In the side and rear, where I want to put the garden items, that’s a bit more difficult: it surely is a large piece of ground to be leveling by hand, and there’s only one of me. So, I plan to do a smaller patch by hand, just to get my seedlings transplanted out of the flats before they croak, and then we’ll ask the builder if he has a guy/girl to do the rest so we can put seed directly down. Once that grading is done, the fun will begin in earnest.

The current plan is to have three 40′ rows of silver queen corn, three 20′ rows of the same, and three 20′ rows of another sweet variety called maple sugar. I might do another row or two of a Japanese hulless corn for popping. Once thing I miss more than I thought I would since treatment is popcorn: I can’t eat traditional variety, because the hulls get stuck everywhere in my mouth after just a few kernels, and dental stuff takes forever as it is. I figure a hulless corn for popping may be just the thing.

At one end of the long rows, we’ll have zucchini, and at the other, squash – no crosspollination for us, thanks. At the ends of the smaller blocks that will hold tomatoes, we’ll have a couple different varieties of cukes. We’ll also have a couple blocks of different types of peppers. Along the fenceline around the pool on the east side, which will get AM sun and PM shade, we’ll have onions, garlic, shallots, broccoli, and cauliflower, so as not to have them burn up in the heat of the afternoons around here.

We also have the following to plant: lettuce, arugula, spinach, carrots, celery, snap peas, green beans, English peas, black beans, watermelon, and canteloupe. I also have potatoes and strawberries coming in – the latter a hybrid designed to withstand the kind of heat we have around here in the summer. I also need to get the winter squashes in the ground soon (butternut squash and pumpkin).

Around the blocks, we’ll have marigolds and nasturtiums planted, to keep the nasty bugs away. Plus, there are all the herbs that have been started: cilantro, different types of basil, catnip, spearmint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and so on.

The biggest stumbling block right this moment is the grading. I also need to get my compost pile started again. Fortunately, for that, there is plenty of brown matter around here to chip/grind and throw in with the green matter.

I know everything will come together. Just a little more patience, I suspect, the same as it is with awaiting those first sprigs of green in the areas where I have already put down grass seed.

Oh, and at some point, I need to plan the menu for the Memorial Day party, and we need to get the invites out so we know how many people are coming. It seems every day one of us says we’ve invited yet another person/group of people, so this year may be our largest yet.

One thought on “Cultivating dirt”

  1. I know! You could tie 1,000 forks on strings to the back of the tractor. After you’re done flattening the ground, can you teach me how to do wheelies? That’s where the REAL fun is, you know. Or maybe get a big tarp and hose it down then pull me along wicked fast, like a slip-‘n-slide on steroids! Whaddya think?

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