great notepads and little planning


In the hopes of offsetting as many of our everyday costs of living as posible, I have dubbed this « The Year of the Great Offset » (because a capitalized title gives every frugal challenge its element of excitement and fun).  It became clear early on that planting a huge vegetable garden would be the bread and butter of my summer work. I read a fair amount, bought a great notepad, and planned a little but it was clear to me that I had no idea how to crack the code that would allow me to know what kind of square footage I’d need to grow a year’s worth of vegetable food stuffs for me and mine. So we just went with « BIG ».





Maybe too big.




But subdiving any large surface makes it manageable so I paced my walking paths, a nice 12 inches on 42 inch rows.




And it still looks like I might be in way over my head but as I was out there yesterday, pacing and measuring, I told myself that I would sure get a kick out of seeing what a total garden newbie manages to pull off in a growing season with unlimited land (of unknown quality but pretty convincingly sandy loam-ish to the untrained eye), that gets 8+ hours of direct sunlight, an exuberant seed purchase, and a desire to learn the ropes and to figure stuff out. So voilà : it’ll all be good fun regardless.




Plus I get to discover things like this when I’m out there digging and weeding and seeding : a piece of jaw ! (I suspect of a barn cat/kitten). I’ll spare you the dead baby bird photo, yesterday’s garden find.




And today was a brave kind of a day so I decided that the time had come for me to learn to milk our dairy cow, whom we named Ursula Franklin. More physically and socially awkward than I had anticipated (perhaps in part because I am a nursing mother) but she was so patient with my all-thumbs-ness.




I also went to try to find the kink in one of the electric fences.



My first time walking alone in the fields amidst these forty-five lovely creatures. They have a real presence and remarkably soulful eyes. But a small crew of them were totally hanging out at the fence I needed to get to and I chickened out. There’s « holding your space » with the animals, which I now manage just fine (mostly), but trying to encroach on their space, as they’re chomping on fresh grass to boot, wasn’t going to happen today. Maybe another day. Or maybe I can call this what it is : letting fellow creatures eat in peace just the way I like to.


Intermediate steps keep popping up but hopefully tomorrow is seeding day. May the child’s nap be long.

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