Get dirty, have fun and grow more food with great gardening tips from real-life gardeners.
If I were poetic I would write an ode to the Pulaski. It would be an epic tale of love, pain and sentimental fondness. For those of you who aren't familiar, a Pulaski is a wild land firefighting tool named for its inventor. One hardwood handle topped by forged power. The head is on one side an ax, the other a sharp curved horizontal trenching surface.
Our Pulaski comes from my husband's firefighting days. Designed to dig fire line, chop down burning trees it is a Godsend if you are blessed with previously unturned clay soil. We tilled the 0.16 of an acre, adding compost, ten wheelbarrow loads of chicken poop and bedding, and 10 old straw bales. After two weeks of intermittent rains and a few tractor traverses while building the deer fence our recently fluffed ground was chunky with underlying cement hard clay.
I tend to be the type to push through an unpleasant project, on the premise that it's better to finish now than have to revisit Hell later. And so on a rainy Wednesday my four year old and an over-nighting five year old joined me for a day long chopping, trenching, laughing, cursing, sweating, chilling, burying, praying marathon. After a 5 minute change of clothes and coffee reheat, cocoa for the kiddos, we jumped in the car and picked up 3 more kids. After an hour of rounding up the kids of my bestie, who at 40 just gave birth to a beautiful fourth angel, I went out in a patch of sunshine to spread 50 pounds of organic fertilizer. As the rain began again to fall I gave thanks.
Thanks for a body strong enough to grow food, a mind strong enough to push through when the lure of grocery store living and naps becomes a siren's song, kids strong enough to help and laugh the grouchy away, a life lucky enough to have this opportunity, and a heart open enough to experience the mud, sun, rain, pain, laughter, tears, doubts, frustrations, birdsong and sweat as the beautiful blessing it all is.
From my hasty wet notes here's my final tally, I need to add some storage onions and a friend is bringing me a few more tomato starts:
12 green beans, 10 strawberries, 12 popcorn, 36 sweetcorn, 3 celery, 7 tomatoes, 12 sweet onion, 6 leeks, mini bell and jalapeño peppers, 6 cucumber, 12 pickling cuc's, 2 giant pumpkins, 6 cantaloupe, 6 watermelon, 12 peas, 2 chard, 4 kale, 24 broccoli, 18 cabbage, 6 Brussels sprouts, 10# seed potatoes, asparagus bed and garlic from last Fall.
2 kinds of carrot, beets, radishes, 3 types lettuce, 2 spinach varieties, pumpkins, Jacob's cattle beans, 3 types winter squash, zucchini.
Herbs planted in all pots and flower beds. I planted all organic, multiple varieties, and heirloom whenever available.
Big thanks to preschoolers, Azure Standard out of Dufur, Oregon, High Mowing Seeds, Sarah's Starts, and The Seed Saver's Exchange.
Am I missing anything besides Ibuprofen and a nap?