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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Better than Walmart



Introduced the annual composts (both sheet and pile including, in the latter, the year-old humanure) to the top two inches of the soil in the lower, north end of the garden. As I am old I do this with an electric cultivator. This is not tilling; the deep soil is too wet and I dislike destroying the structure. Will come back later with the broadfork to shape and loosen the beds, as was done in the upper part a few weeks ago.

The white bits you can see are mostly eggshells. I should dry and crumble them before they go on the garden but just don't have the oomph.

The grapes at right, as you can see, have gotten out of hand. Well, that happened 22 years ago; I'm not up for making them look like the ones on the wine estates and they have always produced more than I can use anyway. So what I do is knock them back with hedge clippers, which is why you can see the ground littered with gravevine bits there.

I'm keenly aware that my style of gardening is not really sustainable; the way to prevent such behavior by old-timers is to convert us into soylent green. Meanwhile, I hope to grow better veg than they have on offer at Walmart. That is all.


This area is in mostly grass because of well-and-septic issues, as well as flooding. It's very near the seasonal creek. The wellhouse is to the left and you can see the hot water pre-heater leaning against it in a kind of cold frame. There is a salvaged hot water heater lying in there, with the pop valve on top, jacket and insulation peeled off half, painted black. When we run hot water from the electric water heater (a superinsulated model paid for by the utility co-op), it fills from the solar tank, cutting down on the electric load.

Yes, the fir tree is too close to the house. It will grow a few more years, then be cut down. All along the walls there, hops roots are sleeping in the earth. They will shade the house in summer, trellised on string from the roof edge. I don't do much beer but it makes a nice bedtime tea.

Also produced in this part of the yard: blackberries, cherries, elephant garlic, quince, filberts, comfrey, butternut, firewood, and camping.

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