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Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Com-Post

Gardening season.  The season I long for all through January and February.  If I could successfully plant in February, I certainly would, but I seem to live in the wrong part of the country for that.
Since moving to Hadley, none of my gardens have found success.  A few spindly tomato plants, some leggy lettuce, a few peas, and a couple of happy zucchini, but no onions, no real tomatoes, few beans, and absolutely no melons.  When you see the results of my soil tests, you might understand why.
My subsequent research into amending my soil suggested compost and fertilizer (not a big surprise...).

I've been working on making my own compost, but started late in the year last year, and it's not ready yet.  So last weekend my friend, Mrs Robin-Hood's-Forest, and I took her truck out to Bear Path Farm to collect a load of super-rich compost.  Upon arrival, the proprietor was busy loading up a truckload of compost for delivery, but I suspect that had I given advanced notice, he would have been happy to load my friend's truck for us (actually, I don't have to suspect -- he told us so).  However, he also has a self-serve compost pile, and we spent a little time shoveling a cubic yard of the compost from that pile into her truck.

The compost piles at Bear Path Farm.  Visit the website to read about the process and ingredients.
Mrs RHForest's truck loaded with compost.

We trucked that compost back to my yard and tossed it all into the garden, where I spent the rest of the afternoon turning it in to the sandy soil.  The garden bed looked so much happier and healthier after that, and the next day I planted peas and spinach.
Dark, rich, unsifted compost.
My little garden bed, with compost and hay dug in.
I have since added a little organic fertilizer to the garden, and I will keep you up-to-date as things get planted and start growing.  I am super excited to have my garden started, and I'm hoping to get some more things planted this week/end, if the weather and schedules cooperate.  Since I usually begin craving my garden in February, I'm quite proud of myself for waiting until the end of March & beginning of April to truly get underway.

I mentioned that we met the owner of Bear Path Farm -- a nice guy, a hard worker, and a quick responder to queries via phone or email.  You can contact him through the information on his card:

And a special thanks to Mrs RHForest for the photo of the compost piles, the use of her truck, and her hard shoveling work!

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