11 April 2010

Great neighbors

The temperatures have returned to a more season feeling than we have experienced in several weeks; it is cool at night (about38F) and warm in the day (72F) with much sun to warm the earth. The sun and the warmth have sped the flora of Stratheden along rapidly. The dogwoods are just opening, the cherries are in their greatest glory in capes of sparkling white, the maples have bloomed, the tulip poplars are but days away from blooming and the grass has become even more green and thick.

Although the average frost is in May, it is time to prepare the gardens for those seeds which can be directly sown at this early stage. Our kind neighbor Bob loaned a 1951 Dearborn plow (made by Ford in Dearborn, Mich.) which needed a little care before use. Mr. Fuzzy put an aggressive wire cup on an angle grinder and removed all of the rust from the chisel, moldboard and plowshare. Then a light coat of silicone. With these two 'tweaks,' the soil will part most readily from the metal.

Mr. Fuzzy plowed the new garden out on the knob, removing stones after each pass of the plow. Then our truly wonderful neighbors came with a modified tiller on their tractor... after several passes in each direction, the result is a gorgeous raised bed. Mr. G spent two hours manipulating the tiller to and fro across the new garden and also on last year's garden (which was expanded by 50%). So, gentle reader, if you need a final settlement, the farm now has three gardens: Mrs. Fuzzy's raised beds, Mr. Fuzzy's below and to the west of the house and then the new large garden on the knob.

The old fence had to be pulled on two sides of Mr. Fuzzy's garden to facilitate the tractor and tiller to enter and exit; that proved a good deal more work than estimated. A new expanded electrical fence shall soon be completed. The new large garden will be fenced a bit at a time as other agricultural chores permit.

We are so very grateful to have such wonderful neighbors. Thank you all.

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