Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The site is ideal in many ways—virtually 100% of available sun due to the trees having been cut away so as not to shade the solar panels, easy access via the bridge out the back of the second floor, the land up there is already stripped bare. So far, so good but there were some disadvantages—gardening on a slope isn’t always the easiest thing to do, the soil’s not great because it’s super-drained and therefore doesn’t retain water a lot, when it rains the soil can wash out because of the steepness of the grade.
What we did was to rescue some flats of tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers and parsley, along with a pot of thyme, at a nursery where they were plainly past their “sell by” date but still viable. I had bought a huge bag of fertilized composted manure and we mixed a lot of it into the holes we dug for each plant, and we used some of the thousands of stone fragments that are everywhere to construct little walls around each plant to combat erosion and help retain water.
The next step was mulch and we were a leg up on this one. Fritz needed some trees taken down a couple of years ago and had the chipped wood dumped in a big pile near one of the two parking areas. It’s still in pretty good condition, but broken down just enough to retain moisture well. We’re ferrying big cartons full of the stuff up to the hillside; Fritz’s idea is to mulch as much of the hill as possible to help the vegetables and to control soil erosion. All things considered, it feels good to be planting something again.
I never really got into the whole HNT thing but when I mentioned my recent weight loss and toning up, romach dropped a pretty broad hint that he’d like to see a little skin as evidence. So, here’s the new torso:
And some upper arm:
I’ve also been working inside. Our mechanical room is becoming is a great pantry/general storage space. On one chunk of wall between storage shelves and a metal utility cabinet, I did a hanging tool arrangement:
As Fritz likes to point out, I’m a strong J according to the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator.
The Wit and Wisdom of George W. Bush
One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected.
As for the gardening, have you considered a stepped approach? It takes work to shape the slope that way and support each step so it doesn't wash away, but it can give you a much better structure for your gardening over the long run.
romach--by coincidence, Fritz is about to put some potatoes in--if the torrential rains we've been having all night ever subside.
Matt and Sam--the ink is important to me, part of my spiritual connection with nature and to my fellow gay men. Truth to tell, I'm not too far from being pagan. I'll have to tell that story some day on the blog.
Jess--yes, we're going to terrace with landscaping ties. We've planned on raised beds all along but building them for this summer isn't an option given all the other things we need to do. The cliff, still unsettled from the blasting needed to prepare the construction site, has to be made stable before we can work on what's on top. It'll be a small garden this year and much more what we really want next summer.
spo--thanks! Any and all suggestions will be gratefully received.
I also thought of terracing for your garden and jess suggested it first, but given your exterior architecture, wouldn't stone terraces look better...ala the Incas or something. Sure, it would be a lot of work, but over time it could be worth it.
New England was never great for gahdening, and that's why so many people in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa trace their ancestry through the rocky, unforgiving soil of New England.
Great tatts too, looks like those colours go deep...LOL
I am still to get my first tattoo. It is not the ouch factor just the $$$...Hehe
I guess that's why I'm a P!!!