Monday, July 14, 2008

Pick axes, rock walkways, summer garden activities

Russ with the garden, his favorite pick axe and the compost bin we keep in our garden. There is something about the pick axe that "speaks" to young men (both of ours anyway). Perhaps it's the sharpness of the pick, combined with the weight of the thing, making it feel rather more like a weapon than shovel. Note that Russ is barefooted in this picture. Once this summer I went out to a window looking out over the garden and beheld my son in the fourth garden bed working with the pick axe in his boxer shorts and nothing else. This required some maternal intervention as the dress code for pickaxing involves the attire pictured plus shoes.

Here is my progress on a rock pathway between our second and third raised beds. I am only using rocks we have pulled from the ground in preparing the soil for the beds. My plan is to continue the pathway around the third bed and to build an inexpensive greenhouse around the bed and pathway. As many of the rocks in the pathway are quite large and heavy and largely buried with their tops just at the surface, this is a big job but my hope is that the thermal mass they provide will serve to passively increase the overall temperature and temperature stability within the greenhouse.

I pulled out the peas this week and turned under the cover crop behind them. Peas in dinners and lunches all week.

Russ proudly standing in front of his garden bed. He chooses to spend quite a bit of time out in the garden, searching for edible "volunteer" plants, bugs we consider pests (such as cabbage white caterpillars who do damage to our brassicas), observing his plants, winding bean vines and morning glories up his trellis and preparing soil (a.k.a. pickaxing rocks out of the dirt) for our latest bed project.

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