Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tilling begins!

ok folks we have officially started the growing season (nothing is growing yet, except sunflower shoots of course, but we're getting there)!

After another sold out market on saturday we borrowed a tiller from a dear friend and gwen went off to break ground.  we decided to completely retill the lot we've been growing on for the past couple years (borrowed from our wonderful friends and neighbors the Kemps) because i've learned my lesson when it come to garden paths.

despite the usually wonderful advice that my mentor/friend Patrick gives me about farming (and life in general), the idea to only till the beds and leave the paths as grass has proven to be less then ideal.  it has been a never ending battle to keep the grass mowed and stop it from creeping in to the beds.  plus since we wanted to get as much growing space out of our land as possible we had 12 inch paths, making it nearly impossible to mow with a standard lawn mower (oh the poor lettuce and greens that would innocently lie out in the paths for an extra bit of sunshine, sheared off without mercy!)

Kemp's lot freshly tilled
We have also begun soil preparation at our new site on Frederick.  it is the first year in production, so it will take quite a bit of work to get this land ready to grow (i think i was a bit optimistic in my planting schedule). gwen and i tagged teamed on tuesday...gwen on the mower and i on the tiller.  we discovered all sorts of lost artifacts in the long grass and i felt good about the work even if we never planted just because the trash was gone.  We tilled about1/3 of the total space planned for this season and we'll have to wait until this rain stops and the soil drys out a bit to get back at it.

I would say the most successful part of our initial tilling adventure was the fortuitous meeting of our new neighbors.  Since jack and i just purchased the house on moran and its been cold and wintery we haven't had a chance to meet the folks near the corner of frederick and moran (we already have great neighbors that we know on moran).  there are only 4 houses on our end of frederick and none on moran north of us, so its very important that everyone is on neighborly terms). though a little skeptically at first, our neighbors were pleased to hear that we were in the process of purchasing the lots and that they would be well maintained. i promised lots of beautiful flowers and help with their gardening if desired.  we talked about the importance of looking out for each other and possibly forming a block club to help communication between neighbors and keep our corner safe.  All in all i would say it was a great first impression and we're looking forward to doing our part to brighten up our little block!

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