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My life lately has been all about gardening.  First there is my little back steps vegetable garden that’s looking more and more prosperous.  That’s peas and radishes in the foreground, garlic and green onions in the middle, and behind that my little patch of cut & come again mixed lettuce.

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And then there is my rose garden.  It makes me smile just to type that sentence.  It’s not as finished as I would like.  For one thing, the edging is kinda ragged, and I didn’t get around to digging up the area next to the fence (to the left of this photo).  So there’s much more work that will need to be done.  But I have a rose garden, and that makes me happy.

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And then yesterday evening I helped put together this little thing.  This happens to be a first, trial Hugelkulture bed at the Mission of Mary farm.  When I was over there last week I was talking with the volunteer coordinator, and mentioned that I thought Hugekulture was awfully cool.  He said he’d been talking to one of the other cofounders the other day about that, and the upshot was, on Monday we got most of the way through building a Hugelkulture bed.  We started with digging out all the grass that was underneath where the wood now is.  I didn’t get a picture of that, being pretty busy digging, but that big pile of grass and dirt in the background is mostly stuff that I dug up.

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Then we started placing logs.  I wasn’t all that much help with the heavy lifting, so I’ve got lots of pictures of that.  The huge log that the two guys in blue are moving became the heart of the bed.  I wanted to name it Odin All-Father, but we thought that might be a little pagan for a farm that is, after all, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  I don’t have nicknames for these guys yet, but the guy in the pale blue shirt is one of the cofounders of the farm.  He and I took a poetry class at UD together.  He still remembers the kick-ass sonnet we cowrote.  The guy in the orange shirt is the volunteer coordinator.  The guy in dark blue is their summer intern, who will probably end up with a nickname something like Intern Bob, if I ever get around to giving him one.

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We piled up a lot of wood.  The next step would be to put all that sod we dug out back on top of the wood (this time with grass side down), and then top it off with a layer of compost.  However, we ran out of time.  I was getting worn out, and the person who had been cooking the community dinner was banging on the dinner bell more and more insistently.  So we had to leave it at this stage.  The sad thing is that, since I’ll be out of town next week for Mariah’s graduation, I probably won’t get to help complete the bed.  But that’s ok.  I got it started.

The backs of my legs would be very happy if I don’t pick up a shovel again for a long, long time.

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