False Spring

After typical winter for weeks with cold, damp, gray days and lots of wind, today is glorious. It is 50f (10c), clear, sunny, and calm. A couple of springs ago, a new metal raised bed was added to the garden with the idea of restarting the asparagus bed in a controlled area. Nothing came up from the crowns that were planted there and the bed was not in a good location. I moved it out of the way last year, moving the soil with it and put the third planting of beans in it that the bean beetles destroyed before they could produce. Where I moved it was also not a good location because it was hard up against the fence, an area with every noxious weed under the fence, and in a position that prevented getting the wheelbarrow to the compost pile. Last fall, Son 1 turned the compost pile for me and as I had moved a non productive bed box over my blueberries and heavily mulched them, he moved my raspberry and blackberry half barrels to where the old bed had been and it created the perfect spot for the raised bed.

Today because it was too nice to stay indoors, I moved the metal box frame to it’s new and permanent location and since I wanted it full, not just a couple inches of soil, it became a Hugelkultur bed. The sunflower stalks and corn stalks from last year’s garden were cut and layered in the bottom on a cardboard base and a layer of wood chips fouled with chicken manure shoveled on top.

On top of that, a layer of straw:

On top of the straw was a wheelbarrow full of the compost from the turned pile.

Then the soil that had been in the box was weeded and shoveled into the barrow and added on top and top dressed with another layer of compost to fill the box nicely and have it ready for early peas in another month or so.

While out there, the bed that had the flying greenhouse in it was weeded, hoping that with this week’s potential snow that it will stay clear, and another 4 X 8 bed that had a layer of old chicken bedding piled in it was turned to help it break down. Finally, the compost pile was shoveled back into a pile, trying to turn it a bit more to add to the bed nearest it when the weather warms a bit and the kitchen scrap pile beside it was fenced off with temporary fencing and top and an opening from the chicken run created to allow them to eat the weeds and kitchen scraps and make more compost in that location.

It didn’t take the hens long to discover the new territory.

As I was coming back in the house, I saw a text from a west coast friend, asking if we could chat as there is no Zoom session today and ended up with a delightful half hour or so on the phone, sitting in the warm sun on the front porch and sharing stories. Such a delightful way to end an afternoon outdoors.

Tomorrow the weather takes a turn back to cooler and rainy with wintery mix, possibly snow mid week. We will see, there hasn’t been any so far this winter.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.