The moon is waxing, closer now to full…
There are daffodils swaying on the hillside, and lilies of some sort poking their green lances up through the clay…
I woke to a birdcaphony earlier this week, and made a mockingbird mock my whistle three times!
Therefore; tomorrow morning, bright and early, I am going to put dirt into some freecycled plastic pots (Yay!) and start some of the chilly weather plants for our first garden! The seeds were also free, which is wonderful. Free food just waiting for the ideal conditions to manifest, right from the very ground!
Well….maybe from the ground. I’m not sure. You see, I’ve been trying to figure out why it feels like my yard does not want a garden in it.
I just can’t sort it out. There’s a couple of very good spots for a garden, full of sun and with light windbreak…but it doesn’t feel right. The groundhogs, birds, and rabbits certainly WANT me to have a garden in the yard, but I keep balking at something.
So I’ve been thinking and walking and looking and listening. Secret Agent Amber has been put on the task to investigate the local flora and learn the names of new weeds and strange flowers…counting mockingbirds and marking the difference between crows here and crows in the swamp. I’ve been breathing the air and feeling the vibrations that go down through the clay and bounce from rock to rock. I listened to the space on which I live and hope to grow sustenance, and it said gently, kindly, “No.”
So I’ve looked even closer and I keep finding a problem…as I’ve mentioned before, our yard is chock full of trash from the previous tenants. Eric’s found a truck bed shell, a chain link fence, a doghouse, and three bicycles in the long dead grass on the edge of our yard, and that’s just the BIG stuff.
The worst kind of trash is the bits of rusted metal, broken glass, chips of plastic and even strips of tarps left to rot under just an inch or two of clay. Overall, the yard feels like a beaten creature, cowering and hoping it will be ignored and passed over. This land isn’t ready to nurture.
I gaze around at what IS growing, at the weeds: poke that grows with a force to be reckoned with, bittercress making a white haze over the earth from her flowers, clover patches cracking the clay and the biggest dandelions I’ve ever seen swaying in the March winds. “Ditch weeds,” I think to myself.
All I know about ditch weeds is that they grow where there is cleaning that needs to be done. Filtration systems for the ecosystem, and for our bodies. For example, Dandelions are liver cleansers, blood strengtheners…what is it finding in this soil that is making them grow to Audrey-like proportions? What is the astringent, nutrient-rich bitter Pokeweed pulling from the ground and offering up so that the birds won’t eat its berries? They always ate the poke berries in Virginia…
I think my yard is in the middle of a cleanse. Let me give you an example of WHY I think and feel this way…
This is the result of my digging around in the picture above. In less than a square foot of clay soil, all of this was at the surface, completely visible to the naked eye. In less than one minute, I had two handfuls of sharp, rusty metal to throw away.
So it’s been decided. This yard deserves a break, and while we are still going to keep the poke trimmed back a bit, we are going to allow the earth here to do what it must to clean itself. I’ll keep picking and throwing away the mess left by others.
We will use raised beds for our garden this spring, summer, and fall to produce the food that will help to sustain us, and the local ecosystem. We will know what is in the soil it grows up from, and have more control over growing conditions and predator control.
I’ll try to get Sarah to take more pictures tomorrow of the first raised bed and the seedlings that will soon be reaching up towards this lovely Spring sun!