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Pioneer Style

I had a “Little House” experience recently.  Remember that big garden that I’ve wanted since I started blogging?  The one my husband was never too excited about?  Well, with the motivation of a sprinkler system and a water well, we began breaking up a plot over spring break.

But by the end of the weekend, it was just me hand- tilling the thing with a pitchfork because my husband was working on our tiller that wouldn’t start.  (My son did continue to bring me water every thirty minutes between his Zombie wars.)


I did this from sun up to sun down for two days.  Maybe it was a bit addled of me to do things the old fashioned way when I could have waited another week for a working tiller, but I couldn’t bear the thought of doing this stuff again.  Besides, I really am good at buckling down and robotically working through a mindless project until it’s finished, or until I pass out.  I could handle doing things like a homestead wife, but only for two days.

All sorts of thoughts go through your mind when you do that sort of methodical work, and not just the bitter kind. Thoughts like:

How much easier would it be to break sod with oxen?
I want to ride a horse down trails.

Why did I do some of the stupid things I did as a teenager? 
It was so cool on the north rim of the Grand Canyon.  
How I envisioned living on a farm with rescued dogs when I was a girl. 
How long would it take to coax earthworms to the surface using only the no- till (or lasagna) method?  
I bet my daughter planned to be gone this weekend on purpose? 
Do my arms look disproportionate, like The Hulk’s, yet. 
My son kept me company for a while, discussing theories about construction of the pyramids while he and the little dog lay on the ground, watching.  This led to thoughts about UFO’s and, inexplicably, OMD song lyrics running through my head.  Delirium had set in.

By Sunday night at nine, the plants were in and the sprinkler connected.  It is not the powdery perfect soil of my herb garden, but it’s a good start for a first year vegetable garden, and my herb garden was this way in the beginning too.  I plan to go “no-till” from this point forward, begging for bagged leaves off of people’s lawns if I have to.

Anyway, tomatoes grow well in all kinds of soil, and that is the purpose of this labor:  homegrown tomatoes.  I’ve also got some peppers, carrots, beans, and cucumbers in there too.

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  1. Good for you! I began my gardening adventure 8 years ago when my husband made our first raised beds ~ I think it was our best year for tomatoes! Now, I adore gardening and keep asking for more beds. Have fun with it!

  2. Thank you, Rachel. Every year our garden seems to get a little better. Or maybe I just get more organized with it. I'm looking forward to having a little something more to show for the work this year. We'll see…

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