Last week we began our annual springtime push to get the gardens ready for planting. No matter how much we plan ahead, there’s always a lot of work to be done in what seems like a fairly short period of time as the Memorial day weekend nears. (Memorial day weekend is when we always do the vast majority of our planting). The boys and I and borrowed a friend’s truck (thanks Amy!) late last week and went to get a load of compost at O’Donals–a nursery nearby in Gorham. They loaded us up with a yard of their Mofga certified organic “Surf and Turf” and we headed to our community garden plot. We often put rotted cow manure in our gardens rather than compost, as many years we’ve had access to free or inexpensive sources of it (Ben’s mom and stepfather used to raise Belted Galloways, and we’ve also purchased from other farms), but this year we decided to to go the compost route. The stuff looked gorgeous–dark and rich–as the boys and I shoveled it out of the truck onto the garden. Then we went home and shoveled the last bit onto our garden in our back yard. (We’ve been growing in this garden for a long time, and have been adding good stuff to the soil every year, so it doesn’t need quite as much help compost-wise as our community garden plot does.)
We thought we had plenty of compost, but then last weekend Ben and I learned that the plot adjacent to ours at the community garden had just become available, and we decided to expand our garden to include it as well. So, the boys and I headed off to O’Donals for another yard of compost while Ben rototilled the new plot. By the time we got back to the garden, it was raining pretty hard, but we were all so excited about our newly-expanded garden and the prospect of being able to grow even more vegetables that we didn’t mind. Connor and Ian were thrilled to be stomping around in the dirt, shoveling compost anywhere and everywhere, and Ben and I swapped off rototilling and shoveling out the truck. The plot will probably need one more pass with the tiller to get the compost fully turned in before we plant, but we made great progress–and it’s good that we did, because this this whole past week is has continued to pour rain–with not much end in sight. Hopefully we’ll see the sun again by Memorial day weekend!