This week the rubber meets the road. Shovels in the soil, seed potatoes out of the root cellar and sprouting, seed packets stacked on the kitchen counter, and rain and hail storms every ten minutes reintarnating the potholes we volunteer to keep filled. It still dips into the 30s at night. We’re still wearing knit hats. But it’s the first week of April and every sun ray feels like love. We have spring fever. Sunday was a New Moon.
The moon, it turns out, is a Farmer’s Almanac basic. Its ebb and flow, wax and wane, affects ground moisture, and the timing to plant both underground and above-ground crops.
The water issue really isn’t a problem here — our issue is the cold — but I like the idea of the moon pulling the earth’s water. Potatoes and other root vegetables like to be planted on the waning moon (getting smaller). I think hiddenness. Plant peas and cabbage and broccoli seeds when the moon is waxing (getting bigger).
I’ve been weeding and sifting huge moss slabs and other green stuff out of the soil. It was an experiment to leave the thick layer of straw off of the gardens this year. We had so much still half-decomposed last April that I thought some minimal moss build-up would be preferable to hauling all that wet straw to the compost. Wrong. The mossy ground cover here takes in a full inch of top soil. And it chokes out the seedlings. I don’t use any poison, so I’m sifting it out on a nifty screen.
Our younger Twenty Something daughter called this week from nursing school and expressed concern about the first cedar arch seen in last week’s blog. “I hope it’s not an eyesore,” she said, “with all that plastic.” She was a bit cranky, having just gotten out of a 3 hour lecture on breastfeeding. She thanked me for breastfeeding her, and reminded me that she’d been born with a tooth, as though I could forget. Vampire child. As we talk, our conversation veers happily toward love, and I gaze out at sunlight glistening through the five glorious, feminine, curved arches and dark, fertile, freshly turned earth.
We are actually digging holes! At least in the garden. We’re filling them up out on the road, where at this time of year, the holes spit out the gravel overnight.
A woman in a black Lexus offered the Bearded One a religious tract on the road earlier this week. When it gets nice out, the evangelical traffic really picks up. Neither of us is in the market for a religion, though. So when we step out on the road, I scan up and down for proselytizers.
The Bearded One/Moses sees my concern, and knows I struggle with what to lovingly say to well-meaning religious workers. So, as Ruby the Golden Retriever rushes to the edge of the road to deliver her pee mails, he sings out in a low, rumbling, Charlton Heston baritone, “LET MY PEE PEE GOOOOOO!” …. farmlet humor that might not translate into blog, I wish you could hear the melody …. and it’s like magic, I laugh, leapin’ and hoppin’ on a spring moonshadow, and say that if Brother Love himself comes up our road with his Traveling Salvation Show, I’ll help him set up the tent.