Spring arrives in dribs and drabs. Pete spent the afternoon setting up a raised bed in the backyard. We’ve gone back and forth on shapes, sizes and locations, but Pete chose a spot in the middle of the backyard and about a step from the plastic tent that passes for our greenhouse. Tomorrow, we’ll shovel in garden soil we saved from last year’s agricultural adventure and buckets of compost because woohoo, now it’s a party. It’s still too soon to plant vegetable seeds outside. The cold nights have not given way to consistent warm ones. This week, we’ll figure out how many plants the raised bed might accommodate, set up a weeper hose and decide what we’ll plant where. Sometimes, at this moment, I lose my mind and buy flats of tender seedlings. This type of decisive action has usually been followed by a month of sloth, during which our little seedlings went tits-up. I admit it: moving the water from the rain barrel to the plants was often too hard to do a gallon at a time before work so I let it go. So this year, we’re attaching weeper hoses to the rain barrels and threading them where stuff is. It’s a simple plan: on days I’m bicycling to work in good weather, I can open the valve on the rain barrel. Later, after Pete luxuriates in cozy bed, he can close the valve and go about his glamorous biz knowing the little sprouts are properly sauced. It’s not a great plan. Some folks will tell you not to use rain barrel water on your garden, but I’ll be blunt: we’re in New Jersey. Toxins rain from the sky, bounce off tar roofing and land on our lettuce. We’re freaking doomed – but arugula is a reason to live.
As for drab: I spent today cleaning out kitchen cabinets, because stuff growing in there is just gross.