February 5, 2011 § 7 Comments
Today we had a garden work day. It consisted of pulling weeds (which the chickens like to pick through after we’re done ), digging new rows, pulling up roots, sifting the potash from the fire pit (it’s good for our heavy clay soil), cleaning out the old wood shavings from the chicken coop, giving them some fresh shavings (thank you Uncle David!), lots of turning over the soil (my back!) and even a bit of planting. We put potatoes, butternut squash, and more broccoli into the ground. It feels good.
Florida’s weather lets us plant through the winter. In my opinion, winter is the best time to garden here, unless there’s a freeze. In the winter, the bugs are virtually gone and there’s very little disease. The warmer the weather, the worse those two things get.
In the summer, you have to really do battle with the bugs. I mean, really. If you left the garden to itself, the bugs would devour everything. We’ve seen green beans completely covered with aphids. You couldn’t even see the bean. It felt like a plague of aphids. Sometimes you can beat them, and sometimes you can’t.
We have learned a lot over a few years of this, but I still feel like we have no idea what we are doing and it’s always amazing to me when I can bring things in from the garden to actually eat! There are just so many things that can go wrong in our climate (maybe in everyone’s), so there is this very real feeling that you are eating something extremely precious. I like remembering that.
I love these type of days: we don’t have anywhere to go, we’re all home, and we do projects together (some of us are in and out of “working” but that’s ok). I love watching Vince teach Aiden how to swing an axe and then watching her swing it over and over and over, until the root finally gives and Vince can pull it out. I get to see June make a “cake” out of the dirt with a skinny, dug up sweet potato for the candle, giggling the whole time. It’s all so precious. This kind of day is a good reminder.