‘Tis the season for all good farmers to come to the aid of their fields. And the Farmer in Chief has been hard at it.
She is on Veg Hill from early morning until sundown these days. Several nights I have called plaintively into the darkness, knowing she’s out there somewhere frantically working to mulch the days’ plantings before she limps to the barn for a shower and the supper I have prepared for her.
This is the season of hard work for dirt farmers, and Amanda has responded with gleeful abandon. The Longleaf Breeze Planting Database tells the tale, but only faintly so. Amanda spends an entire afternoon scratching nine good-sized holes in the hard earth of Veg Hill for nine homestead heirloom tomato plants (the instructions stress that 2/3 of the plant needs to be submerged in the soil, so that’s a lot of digging), then fetches hay to mulch them and wets herself manhandling the hose and sprinkler to get them the water they need to get started well. Her effort shows up as one cryptic line of the database. Big deal. On to the next planting. What else have you done?
And lest she let up, she has a never-ending supply of seeds waiting in the bin, and the microclimate bed is stacked full of plants in pots, lurking about and craning their necks to see whether they will be next in line. I wonder whether all new gardeners go through this springtime routine, racing each other to the garden shops and politely jostling for position at plant sales to get the best specimens (“if I don’t buy it now someone else will!”), then dragging them home to sit for weeks for an opportunity to get them into the ground. It’s a strange ritual. Is it ours alone or one we share? And is it one for new gardeners only, or is this destined to be our annual practice?
The daily walks we cherished so when we lived in the suburbs are a distant memory now. We get our exercise the old-fashioned way. Walking in the woods will need to wait until company comes this weekend, when we will relax and act as if all this comes naturally.
Let there be no mistake, however. Neither of us is complaining. This is the most fun either of us has had in many years, as we work to develop our little spot of hardscrabble earth into the garden Amanda has envisioned. Life is good. Hard work, but good.