Monday, May 5, 2008

Two raised beds with a side of vegetables

We completed raised bed number 2! Actually we have to do more soil prep. and moving, but we're almost there. Russ had the seemingly innocuous task of digging some rocks out of the new bed this weekend. Oh my, he dug up the biggest rocks we've encountered yet, requiring his dad to come help him actually haul the rocks out. We have ceremonially placed them in positions of honor flanking the new gate. And speaking of the gate, we decided to take some pains to dress it up a bit. As we very conveniently have aspen trees producing aspen suckers out in the meadow behind us, Russ and I were able to go cut some down and wire them into a pretty arch over the gate. We added aspen logs given us by a neighbor to give the entry a little more solidity. Whimsy we added with a bird house gourd we'd grown in California and which we converted into a bird house. Very organic, cottage garden look.
And, as the construction continues, the vegetables grow. We are currently enjoying the most perfect weather for growing greens. Hoop houses stay open at night as well as all day (ready to be re-covered should snow or really strong winds look likely). Everything is growing well now. Here's the list for the moment: peas, kohlrabi, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale (three varieties), spinach, beets, chard, radishes, turnips, mizuma, leeks, onions, chives, arugula, and carrots. Even the plants I started very early and transplanted out under hoops and plastic are looking good, although I admit that a little bug damage is going on. Perhaps slugs. I am having trouble keeping seedlings happy in the house. I forget to water something, or leave it too long on a hot windowsill and it cooks. Or maybe I forget to feed for too long. I think the real problem is my fatigue. The building is hard work for the moment.
I did figure out that attempts at ducking hard work do not pay. Having gotten quite tired of digging huge holes in which to sink 2 x 4's, when I laid out raised bed number 2, I buried 2 x 4's on one end and called in my husband with the huge sledge hammer to sink rebar stakes to hold up the sides of the other end (this was supposed to be easier). It was late in the afternoon and John and I were tired, so we of course had to learn a hard lesson. Never, never, ever hold a rebar stake steady while your mate bashes it with a sledge hammer. Just don't even think about it. I was lucky actually, as I was wearing gloves when I did this dumb thing. The sledge only hit my hand a glancing blow as it slipped off the rebar stake as John swung it down, and the result was a bit of laceration and bruising on my right little finger, but you know, really. Find some other adventure to have.


Lara said...

Nisa! Things are looking fantastic! Though is that open space I see on the other side of your fence? Maybe some concertina wire is in order, to keep the deers our! And I completely agree with avoiding the "my mate + a dangerous tool" equation; so far Andy's only hurt himself, but I make sure to stand back! (With tape and gauze handy).


Lara said...

Deers OUT keep the deers OUT. SIGH.