Goodness- it's been over a week since my last post! Well, the reason for that is that I don't have a lot of progress to report. I wanted to get one of the planter boxes filled with soil so that I could transplant some seedlings, and it took me four days to fill it. This is not to say it took me thirty-two hours- but I could handle about one third of the box a day, and then one day just did not cooperate weather-wise. But at least, now I know how long it takes to move forty-two cubic feet of soil.
Well, that's not entirely fair. I was mixing decomposing bark from the back of the yard (remember I mentioned that where there isn't lawn, there's plastic and bark, and I aim to remove all that plastic). This was hampered by the arborvitae roots that are all throughout the bark, and the weeds which are growing on top of it. So I weeded and then I hoed an area and picked roots out of it, and then shoveled it into the wheelbarrow, which I then wheeled over to the old planter box that I'm moving. I shoveled some of the soil from the old box, which is no more at this point, into the wheelbarrow, which I then wheeled over to the box I was filling. Then I turned everything in the wheelbarrow over and over with a spading fork until it was mixed well, and then I shoveled it into the new box. This would move about three cubic feet a load. I was plum. worn. out. by the time I called it quits at the end of the first day.
I know it doesn't look like much now, but it will this summer. Even though I am anxious to get some of my seedlings from the garage moved to it, it occurred to me in time before I started that I can't until I get a copper barrier up for the slugs. Slugs are a serious nuisance here in Oregon, and the only thing I've found that works with certainty is a copper barrier. Last year's garden had a length of copper roof flashing all around the edges of the box, and it worked like a charm- no more missing plants the next morning. This year, I ordered 400 feet of knit copper mesh to go around the edges, and it seemed a real bargain, considering how long it should last. It should be here the 24th of the month, and I'll transplant lettuces, onions, and kales as soon as it's installed.
The day after I filled the first box, I built another. The next (and last) shipment of plants I'm expecting are twenty-five Jersey Knight asparagus crowns. So now I have four out of five boxes built.
In other news, the lumber for the pergola was delivered, and I purchased the paint for it Friday. It's still drying in the garage, and probably tomorrow, as it's supposed to rain, I'll get started on painting it.
Then yesterday I had my first dandelion salad. I had been weeding and ran across a good-sized dandelion that hadn't flowered yet, so I popped the thing out of the ground whole. It took a little washing though- it was pretty dirty, but I chopped it up with a tiny bit of French tarragon and a chive, and then dressed it very simply with olive oil, wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. It was pretty good! I'll be more careful with dandelions going forward, and be on the look out for them next winter when they start sprouting. They are supposed to be tenderest and best before they bloom.
And last, but not least, here is my favorite boy dog enjoying some deck time.
Happy first day of spring!