Wednesday, March 4, 2009

its raining....again. Gives time to plan some more.

I know I know, California is having one of the worst droughts in years and its hurting farming and all, to the point that Ah-nold has declared a state of emergency- but I really wish it would be sunny for more then 2 days so the ground can dry out enough to work in it.

Plus its cold again, and as I've already ranted about, I detest being wet and cold.

I had to go out to our 'tortoise pen' at 9pm ( a 8 x 20 fenced in grassy area where some adopted desert tortoises have lived for years) to get my rabbit, who has had a free run of it since the tortoises are still hibernating. It really started to pour so I went to make sure she was ok. She was wet from the rain and since shes a miniature breed ( only 3 pounds) I was worried she'd get too cold. Of course she didnt have the common sense to hide in any of the warm dry nesting boxes on the ground, no - she climbs the staggered block wall side to the top ( about 6 feet off the ground) and hides in a cinder block ( she is very little). The cold wet concrete brick didnt seem like a very good hiding area tonight. I tried to bribe her into a cardboard box full of alfalfa hay, but she wouldnt get in it, an I couldnt reach her well enough to grab, so my brother in law held a flashlight while I finally caught her when she tried to jump down off the wall. I ended up soaking wet and with another allergy attack when all was said and done.

Now shes in her old cage with a 3 inch layer of hay, some carrots and a bowl of dry grains in the garage to stay warm and dry.

After agonizing over how to build this garden without all these startup costs, I may very well go with Sinfonian's suggestion of double digging the beds and amending the native soil.

I checked out the book "How to grow more Vegetables" by John Jeavons and I'm very temped to just double dig ( or triple dig if needed) and amend the soil with some good compost/manure. Its more work in a way, my arms will be a bit achy I'm sure. But this ground doesnt have large roots or rock in the way of digging and instead of hauling in 12 cubic yards of soil to fill in beds I can use about 1/3 of that to just amend the top 12 inches of the existing soil. No wood to haul, no mesh, no power tools, just a shovel, a well paid/bribed babysitter and one hell of a good workout over a few days. I may be able to pull it all off.

If the weather clears up tomorrow I hope to drive by some soil depots and check compost prices.

Oh! And I finaly learned how to use powerpoint, so I'm working on my slideshow for next Saturay's talk.

1 comment:

Sinfonian said...

Wow, I didn't know you had a rabbit. How cute. I am glad it's back in it's home.

Ok, so I'll just give you my idea here. I truly believe that you don't need to terrace if it's not a steep angle. A single board can be used to hold back the dam of dirt and veggies in the event of a downpour. This is a similar to the boards holding back the dirt I saw in one of the pictures of your yard. Then, later on, you can fill in the other three sides when you can afford the lumber. Just a thought.

As for the amendments, can you get some composted manure from a horse farm or cheap municipal compost?

I hope you found DoubleD's site for her double digging page. Sure it's hard work, but if you do one row at a time, it goes pretty fast. Good luck and get some help!