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Monday, 11 June 2018

glorious compost


I wrote this yesterday:



I've just come in from being out in the garden for a couple of hours. I always get my vegetable garden in relatively late compared to others due to this being a very busy work time for me every year. I drove around to two different garden centres, disappointed to find they had no four packs of tomatoes. Not even a sad little zucchini plant, either. I did pick up seed potatoes and onion sets and some bean, pea, beet, and lettuce seeds. I ended up in our little village at the family run greenhouse to discover they did have plenty of tomato plants left and some peppers and (yay!) zucchinis!

I also picked up six bags of composted cow manure. I'm never sure which to buy: cow or sheep. I went for the larger animal this time. They were the same price anyway.

I had already hand dug my "increasingly smaller" vegetable garden, but it was time to rototill. My husband had unearthed my best friend, the rear-tine tiller, from the shed (past car parts and an actual car - well, a project car, perhaps we could call it a potential car...) .

You might think he is a lazy sod who doesn't do gardening work for his wife, but I prefer to do it myself. Gardening is my main form of exercise in nice weather and I get an incredible sense of exhausted accomplishment from doing 99% of the work myself. The rare time I will ask him to build something I need, or perhaps dig if I've hit an unmoveable rock (which happens more times than you think) or the ground is the consistency of dried cement). I ripped open and shook out the composted manure on my garden and tilled it in. This is the first year the tiller didn't get caught up on a big rock and proceed to dig itself to China. I take that as a good sign.

Then I felt the need to dig the twitch grass from around the front, open side of the composter. It looked ugly - and yes, I ridiculously care what my compost container looks like. I discovered that there was some pretty nice compost in there. So I grabbed a couple of big round bins and dug the fresh contributions off the top. I would save those to put in once I had taken all of the well-composted mixture out. Would you believe I had almost two full wheel barrows of lovely rich dark compost. I tipped that on my garden and raked it through. Every once in a while I had to stand in the shade of a tree and pant like a dog. Not that I'm complaining about the heat, but it is tiring work.

Once I emptied almost all of the compost out of the container (made from three pallets by my kids under my direction), I put back the two big bins of fresh material so that it could continue the process. I have high hopes for my little garden this year. (Oh, and for the benefit of any readers from "across the pond", we Canadians call a garden the actual piece of soil in which flowers, vegetables, or shrubs grow. The rest of the area we call our yard. Front yard, back yard, side yard... Sometimes we might call it a bed e.g. a perennial bed or an asparagus bed.)

I must now get busy with supper preparations. I've ripped off a few more rhubarb stalks. Dessert for tonight in some form or another. I may take some stalks to work for anyone who wants them. There's no way I'll use it all or need to freeze it all. It's roast chicken breast and a quinoa salad tonight.

25 comments:

  1. Digging to China--an expression I also use :) You're a hard worker! All that compost, it ought to be a nice garden.

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  2. You definitely sound like someone I could learn a few gardening tips from! I get you on the help from your husband. Work in my gardens is sacrilegious to me. If hubby helps, I can't claim ownership of full responsibility for the yield!

    Please share pics of your garden soon!

    Jane x

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  3. I try to keep my husband out of the garden. He is too keen on electric trimmers which cut anything in sight.
    Compost? Yours sounds lovely. I'm afraid you are too far away for me to let you have some farmyard manure (mixed by the way, horse, cow, hen, sheep!)
    Yard to us is the stretch of area in front of the farmhouse where we manoeuvre and park vehicles. Note not just cars!

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  4. I'm late as well...but at least now seeds germinate fast!

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  5. Wow, you work hard. I put in an hour pulling weeds from my rockery yesterday and thought that was hard!

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  6. Well done you getting the veggie patch ready. Yeah to home grown compost! We are fortunate to have a few of the local farmers that sell their manure at the end of the driveway. I use a blend of horse, cow & sheep. So much of the commercial compost is made up primarily of cow (which is good). I don't use chicken unless I know it's well rotted as it can burn the plants if too fresh. My tomato plants are not doing much just yet, I think it's that chill in the air ... I cannot wait for toasted tomato sandwiches. ... Mary-Lou =^..^=

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  7. Glad you found some veggies to plant! I was late here too.

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  8. Hard work but satisfying by the sounds of it. Hope your vegetables grow like mad. Ftoo ftoo ftoo, three spurs to keep FF the evil eye

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  9. I love compost too. At the farm, I composted for years without problems. Tried it at the city house and was overrun by Norway rats. I could get one of those bin things that turn, but nowhere to put it.

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  10. I admdire anyone with the gumption to do gardening.

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  11. You are just incredible and I wish I could hire you! Your dinner sounds just great. I need to use up the last of the rhubarb Kate gave me. So many tasty things this season. I think I'll buy some quinoa today!

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  12. I must be part Canadian. That's how I use all those words, too. I consider a tomato plant in with the flowers each year, but continue to resist.

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  13. Your garden sounds fabulous and you are going to have great veggies. Happy Tuesday.
    xoxo
    Kris

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  14. Hard work but will be well worth the effort

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  15. I love that feeling too, exhausted after the gardening work! I hope your garden flourishes this summer! I got some sheep compost and I have to say...last time. All I can smell around the pumpkin patches is MA-NURE...lots of flies and the dogs are just way too curious...

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  16. When I first moved to Ontario from downeast, I was surprised to find some people I met talk about their garden and mean their yard, as far as I was concerned. I was impressed at first that all these city slickers had vegetable gardens. Ha. No carrots or spinach in their "gardens." Growing up "the garden" was the seemingly forty acres of beans and potatoes etc, that needed to be picked by us kids. Oh... how I hated it when Mum said "the beans are ready." What a whiner I was... or maybe just a teenager:)
    I wonder if you've ever heard the term "door yard" meaning the vicinity of one's yard near the back door. It's very common in New Brunswick.

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    1. P.S. I added your blog to my blog list. Should have done it ages ago. Hope it drives some traffic your way:)

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  17. I wanna see pictures!! Even the bare ground of your garden (you've seen mine!) or your lovely homemade compost you found. We gardeners LOVE to see other people's gardening efforts. I always see something new or different or get ideas to try myself.

    May I suggest you buy a packet of zucchini seeds? They will keep for several years and when you poke them down an inch in your good soil, they will sprout and grow quickly and easily into sturdy plants for you. And be as big as the started plants you buy. Just be careful not to plant too many of them. You know what may happen then, right? ;o]

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    1. I'll do some gardening posts on the weekend. I have certainly planted zucchini and cucumbers from seeds, but knowing how late I was putting things in, I just wanted to start from plants. Instant gratification. And, yes I still have bags of frozen shredded zucchini in my freezer. Muffins, anyone?

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  18. Thanks for all the comments, everyone! I do love putting in my garden, and I'm really hoping for a productive summer. The strawberries are just starting! Yay!!!

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  19. Kudos to you for all of that hard labor! I'm sure you will be well rewarded, and it will be fun to see the progress this summer!

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  20. Reading this post made me think of the gardening we did when we formerly lived in VA. We had 5 beds and grew tomatoes, peppers, corn, beans, cukes, zucchini as well as some basil and rosemary. It was a lot of work and exercise as well. We are no longer gardeners as we're apt dwellers now, but thankfully the local farmers market opens this weekend and is within walking distance of our apt...yeah!

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