June 6, 2008

Today will probably be the hottest day of the season so far – and it is the day I have off to work in my home garden and the community garden. Last night I worked in the community garden – until I saw the first glimmer of the crescent moon. We have had tons of rain the last few days and the soil there is a heavy, shrink-swell clay – the same soil that we had twenty years ago.

All those years of amending, amending, amending means that even our worst soil on our property is rich and vital compared to the rock hard, slimy wet clay in the community garden. I have amended so far with a 3-4″ layer of organic material so far and for the most part, the soil has absorbed it and begged for more.

The plot was an overgrazed farm field before it became this garden so there is abundant quack grass, thistles, and other perennials weeds. The effort to work that garden is enormous. So this morning, I have been puttering around in my own garden – where the soil is 18″ – 24″ of wonderful organic loam in raised beds. It feels like eating dessert first!

I was stirring the compost and cleaning up a bit and startled a baby snake. We both took stock of one another – me grateful because snakes are such wonderful guardians of the garden and the snake a bit annoyed that I am cleaning and tidying up and altering her hiding place.

“Tis a balance…



  1. Have you found any easy way to deal with quackgrass? I, too, live in a hayfield and battle it (and many other things) constantly.

    Laurie (Dark Phoenix from the Beanies)

  2. I remember when I first read This Organic Life by Joan Gussow and she spoke of being able to plunge her hands down into her soil ’til it was above her elbows because it was so light and rich and airy. Oh, I wanted soil like that, and it sounds as though you have made it for yourself too. :-)

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