And this, my dear friends, is one reason we do not rototill! With the crazy summer storms we have been getting an inch of sandy thick topsoil from the neighboring gardens slid onto my plants and pathways.
My novel takes place in the 1930’s and through my grandparents’ stories and books I am learning about the dust bowl. Something we were never taught in school and something that could so easily happen again as we deliberately and repeatedly deplete our soils of nutrients instead of building on top of the soil. Soil does not like to be barren!
“Oh hail” is my new cuss word. Grasshoppers are my nemesis.
Yet, each day the soil and my plants call to me. I find my respite and peace with fingernails caked with dirt, birds flitting by, and despite everything, the harvest. Plants want to grow. Spinach, baby kale, baby collards, arugula, lettuce, and nearing the end of radish days fills my basket.
I thin a few carrots and beets each day. It is the most loathsome job in the garden I know. I think that I will just put two fingers down for two inches, pick everything in between, but goodness, those seedlings are everywhere. Which direction do I go? Two inches this way? Then I take out that nice tall one…It is rather stressful but it must be done, for carrots one or two inches in girth feed folks a lot better than two millimeters in girth. The kids need room to grow.
Next year, I think, you shall find me at the end of the winter months at a table with a glass of wine and opera blaring carefully dotting each seed with glue and placing them strategically two inches apart on long strips of toilet paper. Though that sounds dreadful to my “do six things at a time” mind, listening to Andrea Bocelli and dotting seeds with glue sounds a lot more fun than the mass killings I am attempting to complete in my garden.
This week I will be laying more mulch and making everything tidy. We’ll see what there is to harvest. We’ll start planning our fall crops. We’ll listen to birds, get a sun tan, and plan up new recipes inspired by the garden.
My balcony garden is doing amazing, may I add. Just goes to show that the best gardens have a roof!