Monday, March 30, 2009

starting again, or continuing

March 30

After weeks poring over seed catalogs, all orders are in. During the past month or so I've spent so many days on this--literally, days of working out lists, comparing one to another, obsessing over details, looking for sources and inspiration, getting carried away--that it's practially an occasion for celebration to be done with it, finally, although it's really only the beginning, and I'm a little worried about what I've gotten myself into... Last year we bought most of our plants at the Friend's School Plant Sale but this year we're starting everything--EVERYTHING--from seed. A big responsibility.

The nifty little seed box I to which I devoted several painstaking hours of collage work last year is far too small to hold the hundred (!?!) new packets I've recently acquired from Fedco, Seeds of Change, Seed Savers, Mother Earth Gardens and four favorite co-ops, so I guess I'll have to devise a new one. Maybe cedar instead of cardboard, with a hinged lid...

Many projects this year. In addition to adding dozens of varieties of vegetables, we'll be planting several fruit trees from Saint Lawrence Nurseries. We've also got 200 trees on order from the local soil and water conservation districts, to begin the windbreak for the back garden.
The raspberries need permanent staking and pruning, as do some of the existing apple trees. Some of the grapes and hops probably need to be moved. The arbor garden will be planted with permanent climbers and other perennials. The medicinal garden needs some reworking, with some additional medicinals getting established in another area. We'll need to do a planting around the newly finished sauna as well. Functioning compost systems need to be established for both the front and back gardens. If time and energy allow, I hope to put in a drip irrigation system for the front garden. And there's more.

To be honest, I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed and a little daunted right now at how much there is to do... then I look back at where we started last season. It's almost unbelievable, how much was changed in just one year, and how much goddamn grass we weeded by hand. The grunt work is done, for the most part (except for digging holes for 200 trees...) and it's possible, maybe--just maybe--that things will actually be a little easier this year. We'll see about that. The goal for 2009 is to bring the existing areas into a manageable state, while expanding in increments. Seeds will be here soon. We start with dirt and light, and go from there.