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Monday, March 25, 2013

A Shovelful of Spring

For the one out of tenth time, the weathermen were right and snow fell in Kansas. Seems it's unusual to have an accumulating snow at this time of year. I shoveled about two inches off my driveway and six inches off my deck (difference between sheltered from wind and not). While it was an easy snow to shovel - dry and fluffy - I managed to strain my lower back for the second time this season. I'll be stretching gently throughout the day.

Two weeks ago, I planted paper egg cartons with dwarf bush peas, mixed basil and purple, yellow and green beans and put them in my guest room greenhouse. The big seeds sprouted in two days (ignore the package germination times; I've not yet found them to be accurate), and the basil finally pushed up Saturday. The trick now is providing enough light to keep the little buggers healthy until April. I plan to buy a stick-up grow light in the next few days, probably after the snow melts. I have more seeds to plant, but those are cool-weather seeds and they can go outside sooner than yellow squash and zucchini.

The Swamp is taking shape. Thanks to increased moisture this year, I'm moving dirt like a pro.

TT: Odd that I've shoveled lots of dirt for several hours over several days without injury, yet a few shovelfuls of basically whipped cream frosting should cause muscle distress.

Unfortunately, the arborists left more clay than soil in their efforts to destroy my yard, so the dirt I'm relocating is not what I would hope. I've been wracking my brain and my bankbook in my plans to get some real dirt faster than I can make it with no green stuff and no water to put in my compost piles. Then God decided to be kind.

One of my co-workers has three horses, a yard of chickens and a willingness to share poop. Once I get some directions, I'll be shoveling like a ranch hand. Here's hoping The Swamp appreciates my efforts by providing more than 14 peas this year.

Since chicken manure is "hot," (high in nitrogen, I guess), it'll go into the existing compost piles, which are in desperate need of some heat. They pile the horse manure for their own gardens, so it should be able to go straight into the garden without distressing the neighbors. Should this influx of natural fertilizer work, I'll post pics of new grass, thriving peas and a field of basil for the bees and my pesto. Should it not work... Well, God willing, there's always next season.

Happy Monday, dear readers. Enjoy the weather, whatever it is. If you're in Kansas, it'll change in 5 minutes anyway. 

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