Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Old and Sore

Sore, like my body hurts, not sore like angry-sore. Old like, since when did it get so hard to stand up after I've been kneeling for a while? Sheeyyooo, I'm feeling it today, and I'll tell you why! I was a farmer-in-training today. Yup. I naively agreed to "help out" with my friend's business selling produce at our farmer's market.  He put those words together (farming! market!) and I was a goner, helpless to say no. Plus it will bring in a little money over the summer, which will be good.  But after today, I think I might be in over my head.  For starters, I am waaaaay too in love with the critters of the garden to move quickly through them (I know, please keep in mind that this is really my first year gardening in a way that would affect my feelings towards beautiful the Japanese beetle.  I know, this will be a challenging summer for me, no doubt.)  One of my jobs today was to make potting soil for the flats of basil and tomatoes we started this afternoon, and the first step is screening five gallons of compost into the wheelbarrow.  This took me probably half an hour to do. In my defense, I will say that the screen is held by one (1) staple onto its frame, transforming a straightforward process into a tricky juggling act as one tries not to dump non-sifted compost into the carefully sifted pile.  Maybe I'll fix that screen, but my friend tends to operate on the "good enough for jazz" approach to life, and though I am often singing a similar tune, perhaps we are talking about different jazz? Anyway, I digress.  What I was going to say is that it really took me that long because as one might expect in a fine pile of compost, there were gorgeous healthy earthworms just lovin' that soil, and I could not smoosh them into the screen, I could not, and so each one had to be lovingly transported back to the compost pile. Well, lovingly  tossed, but even that took time.  

The other things I did today:
thinned 2 flats of  basil
planted 2 flats of basil
transplanted 6 flats of basil
transplanted 4 flats of tomatoes
rounded up the bricks, stones, old twine and tomato stakes that might wreck a weed eater
(darn! didn't learn how to use the weed eater...)
learned how to use the tiller (groan.)
raked composted horse manure onto newly tilled beds

Looking at the list I'm not sure why it took seven hours, but I guess there were explanations and, well, this old body to maneuver around. My friend leaves tomorrow for one month, I am hardly feeling prepared, but I am going to suck it up and focus on the very best part of the day:
the smell of the basil as I was thinning the flats, and the sound of the wood thrush that sang to me as I worked.  A moment of humming happiness.  


Merry said...

Ohhhhhh, I ache just thinking about it!! I watch our gardener here at work, a woman not too much younger than I, and marvel at her flexibility and stamina. Certainly she wasn't that way her first time out! Just keep thinking how wonderful it is to be working outside, in the dirt, making beautiful, yummy things grow into food for all, all alone with your thoughts and the birds. Heaven! And a lot of ibuprofen!!

alissa said...

this is why i do my gardening 10 minutes at a time!! its all my poor body can handle!

Kerry said...

I like it that you look out for the worms.

Mon said...

lol, I'm not sure how old you are, but I'm 38 and there's things creaking that i'm not certain actually belong to me.

I'm with you, I could never kill or injure a wonderful lover of soil like a worm.