Monday, August 16, 2010

Girt by Dirt

Last weekend was a pretty productive one in the Front Yard Farm, although apart from the previously mentioned spuds, you'd be hard pressed to tell just by looking at it. I finally got the leftover bricks and rubble cleared away and the mounds of soil redistributed roughly to where it should be. The temporary brick recycling facility was decommissioned, and it's surrounding soil moved. It occurred to me that all the mortar that was pummeled to dust by the jackhammer as it was chipped off the old bricks would make the soil a bit too alkaline, since it contains lime. And of course I'd been doing this right where the citrus trees are going and they do not like alkaline soils. Fortunately, after several amusing hours separating out all the rocks, mortar and broken glass from the soil, it wasn't too much of a problem to redistribute it around the vegie beds. 

Starting to look like a proper garden again. A sort of dirt garden anyway..

As an aside, you always find unexpected stuff when digging in the garden, and the past few years have yielded some interesting finds, including:

- an assortment of gardening tools
- old coins I haven't yet cleaned up or identified
- a glass bottle stopper
- layers of plastic sheeting
- several ancient soft drink can ring pulls encased in cement
- a plastic army man
- a lump of coal

Anyway, my activities didn't go unnoticed by the neighbourhood, with quite a few people stopping for chat or commenting as they passed. I was digging out some nasty onion weed next to the chard when our Greek neighbour stopped by.

"This is very bad!" he said several times, pointing at where I was digging. I though he was criticising my chard.
"The chard?"
"No this!" (pointing at the weeds) "This weed! Very bad! You have one, you get ONE MILLION!!"

Ergh. Don't I know it...

Our Japanese next-door neighbour said the garden was beautiful as she was arriving home. A few minutes later her Indian husband said it looked very professional as he was rushing out. We live in a refreshingly multicultural area.

A passing jogger said "Keep up the good work". It is nice to receive a little random encouragement.

Another lady mentioned that there's a new community garden starting up just a few blocks away. I must remember to grow some extra seedlings to send their way in an attempt to get the whole neighbourhood growing weird purple vegetables..
An elderly Greek lady asked if she could have some chillies, so I gave her the last few half decent ones left. I warned her several times that they are REALLY hot ones. I do hope she understood.

Can't wait to plant stuff!