Monday, 11 April 2011

Dungarees and Dirt!

Christmas 2001
        As befitting a farmer’s granddaughter, and a “Wannabe Lady Farmer”, I chose to wear my dungarees today as I sat out on the balcony working on my “Farmer’s Tan” and organising my “Balcony Garden in Boxes.”  I was out in the glaring sun, mixing water with fertilizer, pouring it into dried out compost and making mud.  I reviewed my stash of last year’s seeds, deciding how much I wanted to plant, and which container to place them in.  The result is:  beet root, spinach, sunflowers, dwarf bush beans all planted.  I discovered that the packet that was labelled carrots was actually empty.  This set back the planting progress, as I need a trip to the super store to buy more carrot seeds, and more compost.  In addition, I need to plant cucumber seed, and yellow squash seeds. 
Before the planting
        My little pots of green won’t produce enough to preserve or store.  But we might get a meal or two from the effort I put in.  Having the soil in my hands was peace-giving, and honest.  There is a subtle excitement about the possibilities that exist in the seeds, satisfaction and pleasure of watching life spring forth and grow. 
        I am a little more organised this year.  I learned a few things last year and put the information to good use this year.  Like feeding last year’s dried up compost before planting anything.  Because there are no decaying bits, and no worms to help the old roots to decompose, there is no nourishment for the seeds once they sprout.  But, by loosening up the compost, making it not only moist, but muddy, with plant food diluted in water, the compost is still usable.  I will still need more compost for this year.  But I have a base to work with. 
The planting is on...
        By 4:00 p.m., the skies had clouded over, the temperature cooled and I was glad I’d gotten the planting done by 2:00 p.m. 
        Speaking of dungarees, the ones in this photo have been worn out and thrown away.  They were made of brown corduroy, very soft and lovely to wear.  By the time they went into the rubbish bin (trash), they were faded a light beige.  The blue denim pair I wore today are a Christmas present from a friend.  These are almost a year and a half old.  There is something about wearing dungarees whilst working in the dirt (making mud pies!) that make me feel authentic, uncomplicated, a little bit country. 
        Since I own only one pair of dungarees, I want to make a gardening apron.  My Midnight Man had three or four old pairs of worn out jeans he could no longer wear.  I’ve been mentally pondering the best design for an apron made from a pair of these.  I was inspired by a blog posting that showed someone else’s handiwork.  Today I opened up the inside seam of a leg and it will match the section to which I want to attaché to the front pockets.  The leg needs some trimming down to fit.  Then I have to design a way to tie it on, as well as something to go around the neck.  Once I get this done, I’ll post photos. 
        The jeans also provide enough scrape to make some pot holders, which will allow me to practice some free-motion machine embroidery. 
        As the days go on, and I’m puttering around on the balcony, I’ll make sure to prevent becoming a red-neck by using the SPF 30 sun block.  I’ll also wear my base-ball cap and sunglasses.  Oh and keep the water bottle handy to keep from getting dehydrated in the heat and sun.  I’d like to think that my Grandpa Cox would be proud of my humble efforts to honour my heritage—sowing and reaping and enjoying the process as the days unfold. 

Serving Jesus, Author of our faith,  "Lady Reed"

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