Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Good Earth...and the Bad

I decided to start a vegetable garden this year. I've wanted to ever since we moved into our current house, but the timing never seemed to work. I thought this spring would be perfect, since Kate is old enough to help "tend" the garden--and she loves playing and digging in dirt anyway.

So last week, I decided to break ground on the garden. Had I known the extent of "breaking" that was required, I might not have been so eager. Every single shovel thrust hit rock! I knew the ground around here was rocky, but come on. It's only a 6' by 6' plot, but you'd have thought I was busting up a driveway. But I trudged on...using muscles I didn't know were there until I felt them hurt the next day. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday went like this. Shovels and shovels of rocks. And, when I dug past the rock, there were about 6 inches of compact clay that might as well have been rock. Finally on Thursday night I asked Josh for help, and strong fella that he is he was able to finish up most of the plot. Of course, I told him it was much quicker for him since he didn't have Kate stopping him every 2 minutes to look for earth worms (or "wormen" as she calls them--thanks, Backyardigans).

During those first few days, I thought about what God said to Adam after he and Eve ate the forbidden fruit: ". . . cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return." Yep. I think I have a new appreciation.

After toiling in the garden all week, we finally prepared a bed that I think--hope--will bear some decent crops. Of course that's after eight cubic feet of compost and a whole bunch of raking/hoeing/aerating. So, today Kate and I planted our first seeds--some purple hull peas and sugar snap peas. I know she will enjoy watching them sprout and grow, as well as the watering and fertilizing along the way. It'll be fun, but it sure would be nice if we had perfect soil to begin with. I guess there'll be no need for compost in the New Jerusalem . . . but Austin's another matter.