Monday, November 21, 2011

My First Path in Two Years!

Some people get all OCD when planning to farm/garden/grow. Often, pathways are the first set of infrastructure built on a farm. Quickly followed with very even precision-measured rows. I'm still working on my rows, but alas, after last week I'm proud to say that I have my first pathway!

The path sits right behind the fence-line, facing W 130th (the main street). Construction materials were cardboard and woodchips, plundered from Factory Direct's dumpster and Mount Woodchip respectively.

The path's primary purpose is weed suppression with three sub-goals for that weed suppression.

One: to make it easier to use the fence as a trellis.

Two: to give me more access to my drip irrigation header line.

And Three (I don't like admitting this one): to "neaten up" the frontage in hopes of somewhat pacifying the thorn-in-my-side, Pete GagePro.

I'm certain I'll reach two of those three sub-goals, but there's no telling with Pete. Let's cross our fingers.

As always, Subee-1 performed marvelously.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Last 2 Weeks (and that's all I got to show for it)

One of the major frustrations with farming is the extreme delayed gratification. Them photos above represent the last two weeks of my life. When I compare my thigh/wrist/hand soreness to those photos of pink flags and flat ground, I just think to myself, "really?"

Of course, that bottom photo of garlic barely shows off the jackpot asphalt that I was again lucky enough to hit in one year's time (let's just hope I don't get nearly arrested again when making drops in friendly neighborhood apartment dumspters). The land in the top photo is two thousand square feet of sunchokes at my new Perennial Expansion Farm.

That land had never been worked, and I hit a similar jackpot of rocks and sub-boulders. This time there was no guilt associated with worm carnage as I found only one in the entire two thousand feet. The pockmarks left from the removal of sub-boulders will be filled with Old Husher's brand of worm inoculant/castings, complete with worms and delicious organic goodies.

So speaking back to delayed gratification, it should be noted for educational sake that I won't even see a garlic scape until June or a sunchoke tuber 'til the fall of 2012, which is time enough to erase these feelings of exhaustion. It's no wonder hardly anyone is planting new orchards around here (coupled with a lack of land tenure).

Now taking a gander at that sunchoke plot, you should notice a heaping pile of Mount Trashmore that dwarfs my Subaru. It's an illegal dump that is the property of Ashland Chemical. Apparently, Cleveland has cited Ashland, but the Mountain remains. Weird pickups dumping, and even the occasional semi unloading. Meanwhile, people hop the fence and sort for scrap. Given these conditions, don't think I use the term post-ghetto wasteland lightly. I specifically chose my new plot with a view for juxtaposition.

Thanks goes out to Ed Sotelo, who spent three hours of his life de-cloving 20 pounds of garlic, Mike Birchler and Kevin Orr, who each also spent three hours of their lives soil-prepping the sunchoke site, and Bruce Cormack, who filled the void of sunchoke tuber seed stock with 15 gallons of tubers (three 5-gallon buckets worth of sunchokes, if you were wondering what "15 gallons of tubers" meant).