Man was I in a funk today. But, I was lucky enough to have a friend to pull me out of it. Thanks Nikol! So I didn't get much done in the garden. Jonas and I walked around in the yard quite a bit this morning, but that was pretty much the extent of the, "gardening." It was nice to spend time in the yard with Jonas without slaving away. We just wandered around, he really liked the seed pods off of our purple tree (I don't know the real name of it). The seeds jingled inside the pod when shaken. Jonas got a huge kick out of rattling an entire branch of them. He cried when I made him go inside and eat breakfast. What a baby. He's also very enthralled with a stump that I pulled out of the ground last week but haven't moved. If I let him walk wherever he wants you can bet he'll make a dash for that stump, then just stand there and poke at it. The kid likes what her likes. He also keeps picking up little rocks and saying "ball" over and over. It's pretty darn cute. Almost as cute as Siobhan's Mallory stealing vegetables from the garden.
One of my favorite people, Nikol, came over today to swap oranges for lemons. The oranges were sooo good! We juiced them for part of our dinner tonight along with some carrots. So thank you for the oranges and unfunking (defunking?) Nikol, you're the best! I hope the lemons don't disappoint. I can't say it enough, bartering is awesome. I traded lemons that probably would have gone bad, for oranges that we will certainly use up.
I realized this afternoon that the strawberries should probably go into the ground pronto. I still have to lay down a thick layer of manure and actually buy the strawberry plants. Last year I waited too long and by the time I went looking for strawberries they were sold out, everywhere. Top priority for monday: spread some cow poo and plant some strawberries. Also the ground where the bramble fruits are going in needs to be prepped. So much to do!
If anyone out there has really crappy soil and thinks they can't grow anything in it, or if you're just looking for a way to improve the soil here's what you do. Now, our soil was complete junk when we moved in, seriously, decomposed granite. I tried everything I could think of, finally I read about this method in the book, "Eat More Dirt," by Ellen Sandbeck (a must-read) I was very skeptical but, at that point, willing to try anything so I gave it a shot. It works like a dream! To start: DO NOT TILL THE SOIL. This may sound strange, I, too was raised on the idea that tilling was the way to go. Forget it. Soak the area that you want to improve with a garden hose. Spread a thick layer of composted manure (not fresh) so that the layer is 6 inches deep (no need to weed the area, big plus). Stomp it down to 2 inches. Wet it again so that it all bonds together. If you're worrying about the measurements, don't. On the right side of our yard I started to run out of manure when I did this last year and so a large area only got like a 2 inch layer of poo, at best. It still produced very well. Plant whatever you want, mulch it with whatever you want, add some compost and more manure if you like, whenever you like. It's generally a good idea to replenish the soil with goodness at least once a year, in the fall when you pull out all the dead stuff. Trust me this method WORKS!!!
Til tomorrow people. Night.