Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekend One: Clearing a Way

May 10-11, 2008

We got started again in early May, after a long, cold and wet Spring. Time to move the raspberries and turn in the green manure.

With help from the kids and the folks, we pulled this tangle of grape vines out of the raspberry patch. The grape roots were dug and moved under the front garden fence.

After an afternoon of spreading compost, tilling, digging, pulling, bagging, carting and planting...

... we have a new raspberry patch. The first three or four rows to the left were transplanted a few years ago. We dug and Mom planted enough canes to fill in the rest of the plot (about 10 more rows), which was spread with compost and tilled earlier Saturday.

All the berries and grapes have been (re-)moved and the entire garden, including the east side where the winter rye and vetch over-wintered, has been burned and tilled under.

In the middle of the old raspberry patch we discovered a nice patch of young nettles. I cut about a grocery bag full of tops
for soup and drying before pulling up the roots, and we ended up with a couple of pounds of leaves, deep green on top with a rosy flash underneath...quite lovely. Half went into the soup, half were laid out to dry.

Saturday afternoon gave way to rain, but it cleared up on Sunday. On top of our work on the raspberries, we tilled compost into another section here in front where we'll be planting Three Sisters in a couple weeks. In the back garden, we planted four varieties of hops under the fence and did some prep work, pulling last year's beans from the trellises and spreading out last year's straw mulch to dry before being burned. Sunday afternoon and evening was spent edging the south and west sides of the front garden by cutting the sod with a shovel, whacking it with a spade to retain as much of the soil as possible and pulling out as many damn grass roots as we could get our hands on, until the sun went down. Sunset, beers, grilled cheese and fresh asparagus. Not bad.

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