In the spring, a young girl’s fancy turns to thoughts of putting down her knitting and sitting outside doing nothing but watching the clouds…I have just gotten new Spring shoes, and I spent the other morning scuffing around happily in them, in ankle deep muck.
Yes. Ankle-deep. Muck.
I am ridiculously excited these days by ankle deep muck. No, I haven’t got a horse (boy, wish I had – or at the very least, a herd of goats – that manure would come in handy about now!), but I do have a garden. Right now it looks like twenty-three four-foot plots in a grid shape, with the odd triangular and boomerang shaped plots on the very edge. It might be the tiniest bit mad to rhapsodize about dirt, because yes, to date that’s all it is, but it’s good dirt. Great dirt, if I might be so bold. It’s the dirt we’ve been working toward for the past… oh, six years or more.
Every year we’ve amended, tossed in various potions and promises in the hopes that we are continuing the process of breaking down adobe clay into reasonable soil. Last year’s backbreaking 15 sq. yards of composting tree leaves finally did the trick. That, and the water-absorbing polymer, the late rains, the early freeze, perhaps — everything rolled into one and the Moon being in the 9th House have created the kind of dirt that you step into… and sink.
Thus my new shoes, ankle deep, in muck.
Tomorrow will be one of those testing points in any relationship, wherein your nearest and dearest begins a conversation with you that opens, “Well, it’s time to choose the tomatoes. I think we’re only going with two plants this year.”
And one says, “Mmm” and “Hmm” and one tries very hard not to make any faces that look like incipient laughter will erupt or to have any expression whatsoever. Why? Because we have this conversation every single bloody year. And, every single bloody year? We end up with our body weight in tomatoes. And we’re food obsessed, okay? Even with the Plan of Miserable Reducing, ye olde body-weight is not… erm, slight.
And let’s not even begin on the peppers. Now, we are not Thai, and though I do a creditable imitation of Thai food (well, I can put a bit of coconut milk into anything… and if you’ve never tried it — people, you must, you must), I have no idea why every year we must grow those wicked-hot Thai bird chilies. Or the chocolate habañeros. I can understand squash very well. But six varieties?! Every year this dear man says, “Oh, we won’t let it get out of control.” And every year… well, you’ll see. You’ll see.