Building & Fixing

The field is looking much better now. Most of the debris has been removed from the perimeter of the garden but there’s still a lot of it left in other places around the property. All of our larger trees were broken off at the top or completely uprooted. We’ve signed up for F.E.M.A’s Operation Clean Sweep so we’re patiently waiting for the Army’s Corp of Engineers to come along and clean them up. It’s really taking a long time to get things in order. Tornadoes are terrible things – they take ‘normal’ completely away.

Since all the crops had to be re-planted they are just beginning to be harvested. We’re getting enough tomatoes, okra, squash, onions, peppers, and green beans to enjoy at supper time almost every night. It won’t be too long before we’re eating sweet corn and field peas too. We feel blessed to have this much since the entire field was covered in huge trees only two months ago. Forget the farmer’s market this year, I’d be very happy just to get enough for canning and freezing.

It’s not all hum-drum around here though. We’ve moved a new-to-us garden shed onto the field. My brother, who lost his entire home and an auto in the tornado, decided he didn’t want to keep his shed that had been slightly damaged by a fallen tree so we got it. Brother and Hubby attached chains to it and drug it with a pickup truck right up in to our field. The roofers who installed the new roof on our home (the old one was tornado damaged) also put a new roof on the building and Brother took good plywood from the floor of his destroyed home and put it down as new flooring. Yay! A little caulk and a new coat of paint and we’ll have a pretty nice garden shed. We definitely needed one. I’ve been pulling tools and supplies to and from the field in a little red wagon – we live on a hill! That wagon is pretty darn heavy coming back up the hill in 97+ degree weather, especially now that we’re bringing in produce.

I’ve also managed to get 4 pretty good size compost piles started. Compost will eventually be the only thing added to the planting beds each year. It’s really tough to find enough things to go into the compost pile though, especially the ‘browns’ (sticks, dried leaves, cardboard, etc). I had a huge leaf composting bin that I used to put raked leaves in last fall but it was smashed with fallen trees and now I can’t get to it. I’ll be starting another pile tomorrow with dried can stalks, small sticks, kitchen scraps, and dried garden waste. I plan to grow carbon composting materials because it will take a lot of compost to cover all of our beds each year.

I started some cabbage seed last week. They were looking good but I noticed today that they were damping off. I sowed them in a tray of sterile soil. The tray was set out side but in the shade. I guess our temperature and humidity levels have been so high that the little seedlings are just falling over. Some days the humidity is so high that just breathing can be difficult, like there’s no fresh air to breathe. There’s still time to plant cabbage so I’ll plant it directly in the garden tomorrow.

So, I’ve listed two things to do tomorrow … start another compost pile and plant cabbage. I’ll also pull weeds, mow between a few beds, and do a little caulking inside the shed. The work never ends.