Monday, April 28

Turning Over the Spring’s Hard Ground

by Richard Kordesh

After laying down fresh compost from last year’s garden, I turned over with a pitchfork the slowly softening dirt in our middle bed. 

I drove into the ground the points of the fork, pushed them in deep with my foot, and leveraged upward soil that had not seen the sun for many months.

Unlike the compost I’ll buy at the store, ours from our yard, after months of breaking down, still contains along with the “real dirt” a mix of soft clumps and softening twigs. 

These various shapes in different stages of decomposition blend with the newly erupted soil of the bed to form what will be the birthing turf for radishes, spinach, and red beets.

It matters not to the seeds that I then sow in five rows whether they will open and sprout amidst a perfectly ground, uniformly blended base of dirt or the more irregularly configured assortment of variously degraded, earthen objects.

With the right nutrients, sufficient water, good soil contact, attentive weeding, protection from rabbits, and sun, this bed will be good enough for them.

Our children years ago were seeded by us, and then burst forth out of their mother’s soil.  Two arrived together, quite early.

Like today’s middle bed, the home environment we crafted for them comprised a rich, curious mix of food, play, protection, weeding, and occasional bursts of enlightenment.

The quirky, somewhat messy settings in which we’ve raised children and vegetables seem to have been good enough.

Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit Richard's website for more

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