Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garden Planning: looking back, looking forward

I know, I know, it's a little late for the planning stage. Honestly I was so sure I'd be able to use the open 1/2 acre garden space of last year that I didn't plan an alternative. Now that the garden is sold and not available, I have to begin the rather daunting task of finding another way.

I've been thinking about many different options - leasing land or buying farm land. I drive around and look at 1 to 5 acres properties, but really I don't need that debt - I need to refinance a looming balloon on this house. And I don't need to be adding a commute to garden. What it comes down to is that I need to make do with what I have: a plain house with a smallish plain yard two blocks from city hall.

We moved here a year and a half ago - this was the house of the person whose position I replaced at church. Last summer was our first summer here and I spent 110% of my energy in the big vegie garden across the street. Now it's time to focus on what's in front of me. The back of the house is south facing and so that is the logical place to plant but we do have dogs out there and it isn't that big. We did plant fruit trees there last year.

While there is still lots going on in the back - I'm going to be focusing on the north facing front of the house. The part that isn't shaded by the house is pretty open and flat - and of course covered in lawn.

Yesterday I began by taking out the ugly fitzer bushes along with another bush that wasn't very alive anyway. What started with quiet project involving myself, a shovel, and a rabbit on a leash turned into a neighborhood project.

There is one disabled guy across the way that comes to help every time one of us shows ourselves for a moment - so he was there and wanted the bushes dragged to his place because he has secured a burn permit and wanted them for his fire. UMmmmm. Then Mr. neighbor came over with a 4-wheeler and a power winch which worked great popping out the small bushes but not so much the larger ones. So he then he got his pick up truck with a chain and up onto to lawn he came. One tow strap broke and nearly hit the one guy who is always a little too close for comfort. The rabbit was relocated several times and as Mr. Neighbor went for his truck I put her up.

At some point the immigrant laborers across the street came home from work and found us entertaining to the point of getting out cold drinks and lawn chairs to watch the action. There was another woman I've never seen before standing around watching with us. Mrs. neighbor came over for a few minutes but had to otherwise keep her toddler occupied.

Mr. neighbor was having such fun (did I mention he got out of babysitting very small children by doing this) that he popped out the roots of the bushes Mr. Greenjeans and I had cut by hand. These came out with the truck and then were attached to the 4-wheeler and dragged across the street and around the corner to the burn pit....under the power lines. (shakes head).

The big job is completed rather quickly - if somewhat more dramatically than I intended when I headed out with a shovel and my rabbit companion. Mr. Greensjeans was out of town taking Chibi back to school after the Easter break. He will return today to not only find his property sans bushes, truck prints all over the lawn, but broken sprinkler lines all along the way where the bushes came out with such force. Did I mention that he hates to take out living vegetation and is plain resistant to change? Well the good news is we don't have the water on just yet as there is more freezing weather to be had. Now, I think I hear my office calling (coward)...... more later....

I need to start taking pictures for you all.


Christy said...

Well, if it is already done he doesn't have to agree to it LOL. I often get my husband to "agree" to things by just doing them. And if the lawn is now ugly, he may be more open to ripping it up for a garden.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

LOL. Great story. You didn't need those sprinklers, did you? BF ripped up his lawn years ago. The front yeard is basically two large vegetable beds with a thick rosemary hedge next to the sidewalk.

Wendy said...

Ha! Ha! Reminds me of when my neighbors decided to get rid of their bushes ;). Of course, they didn't plan a garden or anything. Mrs. Neighbor just wanted them gone.

I came to the same conclusion you did a few years ago - make do with what I have. It's been quite an adventure, too, this "making do", but I'm having a blast with my raised beds and fruit trees and chickens and bunnies on my tiny 1/4 lot. We have dogs, too. Mostly, they stay away from the raised beds :).

Robj98168 said...

LOL I don't have sprinklers in my yard so I cant rip them out. I knew there was a reason I didn't have sprinklers

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