Dirt and Sunshine...Amen

It is currently March 15 and the temperature has been in the upper 70's all week.  Last weekend we decided to do the big "getting ready" cleanup and I found, much to my joy and surprise, that everything is just burgeoning right now.  These lovelies above are day lilies for heaven's sake.  DAY LILIES, people.  They are really early.  The trees are blooming three weeks early, the plants are all coming up and we may be in serious trouble if these temperatures don't hold. 

The seedlings are all doing remarkably well.  This is way more cost effective for us that starter plants.  Last year the plants cost us about $250-$320 (I lost count after the third trip) to get the garden going.  This year, it has been about $85 and that is planting more seeds than we will ever use.  I get so excited when they start to sprout.  The peas, even in the last few days, have just shot up. 

We also composted the garden last weekend and that was a new one for both of us.  We have been adding to the compost pile for about two years now and just crossing our fingers that it was breaking down.  We unveiled all of it and there was some great success and some not so great success.  It was not at all wet enough.  We need to do more turning and wetting as we go.  The stuff that had gotten all of the good moisture was absolutely gorgeous, in as far as composted organic matter can be.  Deep black and lovely, just waiting to go in the garden.  Pumpkins and egg shells that had turned to goo in the heat and dirt.  Clippings that had emerged reborn into potent fertilizer worth it's weight in gold.  I had left some in the wheel barrow and it rained on it and I even had a batch of compost tea for my new pots of flowers today.  A resounding success in the reduce/reuse/recycle department.  

Chives, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and sage are all up and running in the herb part of the garden and we have volunteer arugula just outside the garden where the pot stood all season.  This coming weekend will be the "Big Till" and the cole crops and onion sets will all go in the ground.  I'm telling you that if we get a snow from here on out, the gloves are coming off between me and mother nature.  OFF. 

This week my family lost our beloved matriarch, my mom's mom, my Mamaw.  I can't write about that yet, though.  That hurt is still too overwhelming and new for me to have any perspective.  She will have an entry when I can do it justice and not blubber my way through it.  In the meantime, being in my yard has been of immeasurable comfort to me.  Digging in the dirt, remembering where and whom I come from in this tough time is completely therapeutic and cathartic.  I feel so close to my Mamaw in the times I am planting, remembering her excitement that spring and planting season was here, snapping beans and gossiping on her back porch, the taste of fresh tomatoes and hot corn bread from the skillet, shucking corn to cut off the cob and freeze for those long winter months, the smell of pickling juices burning my nose in her kitchen during canning time.  The tastes and smells of truly being home and loved, part of something big and safe and comfortable and timeless.  I will be trying to recreate those smells and tastes for everyone that I love.  Those are part of the ties that bind us in my family.

“Again I resume the long lesson:
how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.”

― Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 

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