Saturday, June 4, 2011

tilling the land

 After pounding a metal stake into our rocky, uneven ground for what felt like forever, Dad and Mike arrived at the conclusion that this was the chosen location for our vegetable garden.  I hate cutting down any sort of tree, but dad comforted me by telling me that none of the trees in a large clump would do well so we cut out the scrub and brush trees to the right to allow the cedar to flourish and clear a path for the sunlight space for the new garden.

After searching our local sawmills and lumber stores for fence posts and being turned off by the high prices for delivery and each piece we thought we may as well use the trees we had already cut for this purpose.  They are a little gnarled and crooked and I am not sure how long they will last in wet ground, but I think it will add a touch of whimsy to our wabi sabi garden.  I have seen four poster beds made from entire trees and envision something similar with chimes and vines growing up and through without blocking too much sun.

We rented a tiller from the local hardware store and Mike was able to tear up the sod and soil through it took a long time and a great deal of muscle, but once he found his rhythm it went smoothly.  The bugs were too intense for the kids and I so I went inside out of pure frustration.  Mike is a freak of nature and though the bugs will bite him, he never gets itchy or swollen.  The kids and I are eaten alive and then driven insane with the itch.

I enjoy witnessing this man come into his own.  I watched him wrestle with the soil while I made supper and tended to the house and children.  I felt useless and impotent as I baked cookies and watched the bugs swarm around him, but I couldn't help but think he was in flat out, bloody battle with his own demons and insecurities.  I decided he was better off without me there micromanaging and giggling at him.  It took a little longer, but he was able to come to his own conclusions and is better for it in the end.

Then he realized I was out there taking his picture and danced and posed appropriately.

Our efforts to get a garden in on time this year have been slowed by the wet weather, lack of truck or trailer, the kids, and the bugs.  It is another wet and rainy Saturday so we haven't been able to till in the compost and manure with the tiller; we'll have to do it by hand.  The post holes need to be dug, the posts need to be cut and placed.  The fence needs to be attached and then we will finally be able to plant.

We feel like we are running in water; expending great amounts of energy, without much progress.  But I am reminded of the quote "Nothing in nature rushes, yet everything is accomplished".  

Slowly, we are making this land and home our own.  
We intend to be here forever, so we've got time.

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings.
Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.

go gently + be wonderful



  1. thus it starts eh? making that land. and home. your own heart's dream. you guys are an inspiration.. i will live vicariously through your 'rural' escape. wishing you much strength, patience, growth and beauty in your new land.
    Mel at Needle and Nest Design.

  2. great pictures--he seems like a character. :) i can't wait to see your garden finished! i'm sure you'll make it beautiful.

  3. This is so inspiring!! I've spent three years trying to reclaim existing gardens that are invaded by weeds every year by May...I dream of just tilling up something new and starting fresh, but thought I might be too late. Looks like your man would get along well with mine...
    When I struggle to keep up with the work of this little farm, I remember the pioneers who built it: who wrestled the trees and rocks from the ground to create gardens and pastures, and squared timbers to build the barns. All by hand, and without prior experience with mosquitoes and blackflies. Those old ghosts whisper their encouragement to me each day, and I feel their benevolent presence as I wander through my day.

  4. I am so excited for you guys -- and those photos are totally cracking me up! ^_^

  5. OMG, Love the pictures of hubby. How fun is he!
    We just started our first bigger garden this year and so far it is AMAZING! I'll have to get some pics up soon.
    Even though I'm done with teaching at the college for the summer, life has been kicking my a** between the 3 little folk + everything else life throws. Oh, and I began running...thanks for the pic u posted a while back of the stunningly fit gal running...inspiration for sure {skinny little witch} Tehee.
    Hope you had a wonderful weekend!


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