Today our contractor came by to give us the estimate for the pergola. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, and is within our means to get done. The only catch is that we have to paint it ourselves, which I knew going in; Jef doesn't paint. So next weekend he'll drop off the lumber so that we can paint it while he's doing a job on the coast for a couple of weeks. I sure hope the weather cooperates, because the lumber needs to be ready to start when he is.
Speaking of weather- I managed to get the blueberry bed completely dug and the blueberries are in!
You can't imagine (unless, of course, you've done this) how incredibly hard digging up clay, crumbling it up, mixing it with peat moss and then filling back in the bed is. Even dumping the wheelbarrow full of this soil mixture was hell- at one point I was so tired that I lost control of the wheelbarrow and the front end of it went into the hole before I was able to dump it. I had to get Steve to come out and pull it back out of the hole. And after starting the next foot or so of new clay, which I dug up and loaded into the wheelbarrow, I'd tell myself really, Paula, don't over do it- this is the last one for today, and then I'd dump the mixed load and then tell myself, well okay- just one more. Until finally, I'd gotten it all done. The forecast was for showers, but the weather for the most part kept clouding over and then breaking sunshine. When I'd finally finished the bed, the sky was definitely threatening rain, as was the wind. Throwing the blueberries all into the bed with some bone meal and organic fertilizer and then watering in took maybe five minutes, thanks to the wonderfully friable soil I'd just created.
Part of the impetus for working quickly was the fact that I had a deadline- we were planning a trip to the library and it closes at five on Sunday afternoons. I'd just finished up with the blueberries at four. Pulling out of the driveway about ten minutes later, the rain started. Talk about your deadlines.
When we got home from the library, I told Steve I just wanted to veg the rest of the day- I'd worked hard today. "And yesterday," he reminded me. "What kind of vegging did you want to do?" he asked me. Just sit on the couch with a cup of tea and read a book, which suited him fine. I just borrowed the bible of all chicken-raising books, the one that every other seems to reference: Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damerow. It's also the new edition of this book- this one is from 2010. Interestingly, there is a sticker on the back of the book that indicates that it's a fourteen-day loan, in a system that usually allows three weeks for book loans. I guess they were anticipating it being in demand. I did have to wait for it, though, so...
The other thing that we got done this weekend is that we installed the raspberry supports, and Steve painted them. I still need to put in the diagonal braces on the end supports, but I can do that tomorrow. It's supposed to be sunny all day, which is a good thing- I have four almond trees, one currant, five boysenberries, and fifteen raspberries to plant tomorrow, and I'll have had them a week by then, so they have to get done. I'm not worried about the raspberries- that bed is pretty much done- but I haven't even started digging holes for the almonds, much less the trench for the boysenberries. And the ground will be wet tomorrow.
And then when I'm done with that, I need to get the bed together for the asparagus that are shipping in April, which doesn't seem so far away anymore.