Tuesday, November 8, 2011


A big - a very big - pile of dirt

became a little pile of dirt
until eventually it wasn't even a pile of dirt any more

So how did this happen?

No, not how did the dirt pile get smaller. I mean how did it happen that I managed to start a post with two shots of my big fat ass. Every time I get on the scales, I realize I am overweight. But it is pictures like these that drive the point home most cogently. I mean, honestly, I could sell billboard advertising space on the back of my shorts.

Of course, if you look closely (and I doubt that any of you have had the courage to look that closely) you may notice that my BFA is ever so slightly less B in the second picture.

And that's because I have been on the 3-Day Garden Bed Workout and Fitness Regimen as we set up a "No Bend Over" garden bed in our back yard. Our 8ft x 4 ft x 2.5ft corrugated bed was delivered on Saturday along with veggie mix soil.

Unfortunately that 2.25 cubic metre (80 cubic feet) of soil that was delivered with the garden bed couldn't get past the front yard, while the garden bed sat in the back yard. So this past weekend has been spent moving dirt. Lots of dirt.

For the better part of three days, my life became quite routine. I would fill the wheelbarrow in the front yard, catch my breath, push the wheelbarrow about 35 yards to the garden bed, catch my breath, shovel the dirt into the garden bed, catch my breath and go back to the dirt pile.

There were a few steps in between. LK had researched how to properly set up one of these planting containers. Trusting the Internet to be accurate, she recommended a layer of straw near the bottom and, closer to the top, a layer of lucerne mulch and finally some cow manure.

Now here's the shocking news. The cow manure was virtually odorless, not even remotely similar to the smells I recall from my grandfather's dairy farm. But the lucerne mulch? As our friend Jaki often says, it was nasty. I mean rank, rotting smells that rivalled the worst sewage pits. You can see in this picture how enthusiastically I embraced putting that into the garden bed.

But you can also notice in that picture that the level of dirt is getting pretty high in the bed. It would have been nice to complete the dirt transport on Day 2, but I was discovering that one day of moving dirt doesn't really get you ready for the second day.

About the time this picture was taken, I was getting ready to give into my aches and pains and head into Day 3 the next morning. But after putting down this layer of foul mulch I felt I absolutely had to cover it up. So a couple more barrows and then I called it quits.

It was interesting to see that LK was still researching on the Internet. Only now, instead of finding out how to set up a garden bed, it seemed she was watching a YouTube video of how to administer CPR. That's what I like about her - she's always prepared.

Anyhow, yesterday the bin was finally full; we went to the nursery to buy seedlings since we're a bit late to be planting from seeds for most veggies. They will, we are pretty sure, turn into the most expensive vegetables we have ever eaten.

And then we started planting. And much to our surprise, that was a pain in the butt, too - although admittedly not the same kind of pain as you get lugging dirt back and forth. We took turns putting in carrots, spring onions, leeks, tomatoes and peppers before agreeing that the rest could wait until today and cocktail hour could begin early.

It's funny to realize that now that I am retired I get satisfaction from the strangest things. Whereas once I got a buzz when our company won publishing awards, now I am energized by moving dirt around.  Somehow it didn't even matter that all this effort was only so we could have fresh vegetable. If we were planting barley, hops and malt, I could understand. But carrots and onions? Yep, things are different.

And now it's time to finish planting. We've got turnips and parsnips and squash and peas  and beans to fill out our garden above the ground.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very cool set up!!!