I have just spent the past 3 days basking in the sun. By basking I mean digging, weeding, mowing, edging, planting, etc. While I relish this opportunity to work in the yard at the same time the sun is shining, this was a lot of back-breaking work. Since the Seattle sun is rarely seen, it is important to get out when one can. Literally, one must make hay while the sun is shining.
This is the time of year that I start to redirect a good deal of my energy to my garden. I consider myself an urban farmer. Other, more serious, urban farmers likely do not. I take my gardening seriously. I am not growing show flowers. I grow food, and lots of it! The seed starts that my son and I planted 4 weeks back have been, for the most part, transplanted out into the garden, returning to me the use of 90% of my dining room table. The “hot-house” stuff (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) will remain inside for several more weeks. They are unlikely to survive the cold, damp weather that is ahead of us for the next couple of months. I put in 2 new raised beds in an effort to make the work somewhat more manageable, even though I have yet to finish trucking my compost up the hill into the largest of them. I have also decommissioned one of the 5 areas that I normally plant in. The plan, yet again this year, is to put hens there. We’ll see… I have only wanted hens for 15+ years now. Why actually get them now??
Yesterday, as I was wrapping up for the day to go shower before school pick-up, I realized that I was actually sun burned. At first I thought it might just be a dirt line: I was really working in the muck! But after I washed up and it reddened over the evening, it became clear that my farmer’s tan was setting in. For me, that means the back of my neck (hence the term “redneck”) and my arms from above the wrist (I always wear gloves) to my shirtsleeves will be tanned. It doesn’t bother me most of the time. But then, inevitably, I will go to put on some cute, kicky summer dress and then realize how ridiculous I look. Oh well, such is life.
There is still a lot more work to do. I have to get some more dirt/compost/manure to finish filling out my beds. You know it is bad when you are lying awake in bed wishing you had a truck to go get horse poop! I layed out all the drip hoses and made paths with the new batch of straw. I am trying to drill it into the kids heads that “gold is good, brown is bad.” Let’s see if it sticks. Man, I crack myself up with how deluded I am!
The one big plus to all this work was that I got to be outside for 3 straight days, in the sun, smelling the flowers on the fruit trees, in spite of the fact that I kept hitting my head on one of them.