Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Not Simple

with 5 comments

We really didn’t plan for this. I picture gardening as digging up some dirt and dropping in some seeds. Cyndie mentioned wanting to grow some of our own food. I’m not one to quickly volunteer for a huge project that only grows more laborious with time, but I was willing to support Cyndie in having a garden.

She suggested the slope and I agreed to create terracing to facilitate. From there, things have slowly evolved to include our simultaneous lumberjacking project to remove marked trees from beneath our preferred mature oaks. There is no longer anything simple about this modest little produce garden.

Yesterday, I finally felled the last, most difficult, trees from beneath the two oaks nearest our house. Only about 27 left to go throughout the rest of our woods.

We are wrestling with placing tree trunks that are almost too heavy to manage in place of creosote-soaked fence posts as the wall in the first terrace. The fact that none of them are as straight as first glance implies throws a real complicating challenge into my attempts to make reality merge with our fantasy of perfect results.

For her part, Cyndie is keeping the pressure on to complete this first terrace with her early planning and execution of starting plants indoors and testing soils.

The first peek of a sprout was from one of her lettuce seeds. I’ve never seen what a lettuce plant looks like when it goes to seed.

We now have data on the nitrogen, phosphorous, potash, and acidity levels in the clay-dominant soil on the slope, as well as in three different locations where we have stores of composted manure. Our hope is to combine the best of each to build a premium growing environment in this first terrace.

Seeing how involved this has become is a classic revelation of why I am not quick to jump on board with every idea that pops up. Sure, I’d love to have fresh food from a garden of our own, but can we get there by just digging up some dirt and throwing in a few seeds?

I guess it’s not that simple.



Written by johnwhays

May 3, 2020 at 10:06 am

5 Responses

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  1. The best part about a garden is that it forces you to be present in nature during those less lovey times of the year…gnats, mosquitoes, 90% humidity… providing you another opportunity to appreciate air conditioning, iced tea and weedless rows of fall canning tomatoes. Enjoy each and every moment.

    Tammie D Walker

    May 4, 2020 at 6:55 am

    • Thank you! You should know, Cyndie was picturing the gate to your garden when contemplating how were were going to fence in the smorgasbord of wildlife leafy greens we hope to grow. 🙂


      May 4, 2020 at 7:03 am

  2. I have to say, John, there is a piece of me that is envious…but then I think OMG!!! The work that is involved…and you are correct….it is the kind of job that leads to the next thing that leads to a sideways thing…and an underthing…leads to all things!!! But especially in these times how great will it be for you two to go out in your garden and bring your food home…no stores…no traveling…no GMO’s…BUT LOTS OF WORK 😉
    Have fun…there is something to be said for growing your own food!!
    Be well <#


    May 3, 2020 at 10:59 am

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