Wednesday, May 23, 2012

gardening is hard on the hands

Last year we didn't get up to Maine for the summer until Memorial Day weekend and I didn't start planting my garden until the first week of June, so already I'm ahead of the game. But I though I would be farther ahead in my planting by now. We stopped in Waterville at the end of April on tree pickup day and by the end of that afternoon, neglecting all the suitcases that needed to be unpacked, I had planted 8 apple, cherry, and peach trees, planted 20 raspberry canes, and was starting to dig the 18" deep trench for my asparagus crowns. Since then I have planted 3 pounds of onion sets (note for next year that 1 pound will certainly be enough), 20 pounds of potatoes, 25  octopus-looking asparagus roots, tomato and pepper seedlings, and replanted the broccoli and carrot seeds that apparently rotted before they could sprout. My poor hands, with which I already have dry skin issues, look like a 70 year old's due to all the digging, raking, and yanking out of rocks. I own a great pair of gardening gloves, but they constantly are missing or are up in the barn and I don't bother fetching them.  

Out of my four 80 foot long garden beds, I have planted one with 2 rapidly being overtaken by weeds,despite vast quantities of soiled bedding that a local hobby farmer delivered all winter. The old timers say you should plant your corn when the oak leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear, but in the past week the tree's leaves have gone from microscopic to huge and I'm not even close to being ready to plant. I should have taken Tim up on his offer to till those beds with the huge tiller, but now I'm stuck since I can't put on the huge attachment on the back of the tractor by myself and he isn't going to be up here for another two weeks. 

Somehow I'll get my seeds in the ground as well as start all the flower seeds in egg cartons, but our lives are chaotic right now with going back and forth to the other house for Confirmation/First Holy Communion and dropping off/picking up Will for various Boy Scout camping activities. But before I know it the traveling will cease, we will be able to purchase farm animals, and my fruit trees will bear. It is such a relief to know that our transient life of being on the farm for half the year and somewhere else for the other half, never settling in either is coming to an end and I can plan accordingly.   

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