Yesterday after my pilgrimage to bread nirvana, I came home and worked in the garden. Well, ok, I sat on a blanket in the lawn and ate some bread in the sun and ok, had a G & T, then got busy in the garden. Don't worry about all of the G & Ts I'm reporting...I only drink them when it's warm here, which is almost never, so I'm covered, I'll be alright. The chickens like to be near me when I'm in the yard, so they sort of hung around the blanket and my friend fed Fanny Chicken some banana, which she liked, but wiped her beak off on the grass after every bite. Who knew grass was a good napkin? (Well, I have used it to wipe my really dirty hands on in order to preserve the pristine quality of m'yard jeans.) Chickens, they're just like us!
I tried to harvest some compost out of the bottom of my bin, but it was all matted up and hard to get out. I used the pitchfork to really agitate it and push it toward the bottom, which was sort of hollowed out from previous digs. I finally got the dirt where I wanted it and scooped out a big ol' bucket of lovely compost then worked it into the soil where I would plant my beans. The beans--Purple Podded Pole Beans and Black Valentine Pole Beans soaked for an hour or so while I did all of the other business. I'm planting the beans this year next to my front steps and I'm hoping they'll enjoy climbing up the chicken wire I stapled to the sides of the railing. I love the look of chicken wire and it's super functional, but it's a bitch to work with: hard to cut (tin snips!), scratchy edges. Last year I planted the purple beans next to an 8 ft piece of fencing I nicked from my dad that is actually in the veggie garden, leaning against the house. This year, though, I planted my sugar snap and snow peas there, so the beans had to find a new home. I think they will look spectacular on the steps and hope they will put on a good show!
Working in the garden is about the best thing I can do for myself, anytime ever. It is a head clearer like no other. Pulling weeds is meditation. Stirring compost, planting seeds, transplanting seedlings and watching it all grow are simple joys that I never ever ever tire of.
To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
- Mohandas K. Gandhi