Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Garden at last!

As I have said before it has been incredibly wet. Our driveway is still iffy in spots. The garden was a morass. Usually Memorial day weekend is planting time, but not this year. You never realize how weather-dependent agriculture is until you do it yourself.

But Monday I went out there and tested. It was OK.  Really a bit too wet, but that has its upside: the weeds come up quite easily. The first crop was already there: the dandelions. Actually they are very good for you. The leaves can be added to salads when they are young; they give the salads a real boost. After that, you have to cook the leaves; they are bitter but vitamin-rich. The roots make a coffee substitute, but I haven't tried that one yet.

So I took the spading fork and went to work. The objective is to remove the  weeds and break up all the clumps. One could, of course, use a tiller. But tillers are rather violent creatures and I prefer to do this by hand, although it is backbreaking labor.
I have four rows. I have done two and a half. They still need to have manure spread on them. Maybe some sand to increase the "tilth" because our basic soil is 100% silt from the Susitna glacier. Maybe some other organic matter will be added. Then there's the small business of planting. We are two full weeks behind time. No remedy. We will have to trust for the best. It has been an unusual spring. I don't try to keep up with the Joneses, but nobody in the village has planted either. And they have been here much longer than I have.

Well, at least today the sun shone for a while. I have my fingers crossed.

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