Posts Tagged ‘vegetable beds’

It’s been a good week of projecting, I’d say. 

This photo, taken yesterday around 4 pm, captures the end result of a lot of really hard work.  Yes, that is a wine glass in my hand.  I am celebrating, and trying to get the knot behind my right shoulder blade to relax.  Not only is the first wall now at full height, but the terrace bed it contains is now cut back into the hill full width – five feet, plus another foot for where the second wall will lay. 

That’s a 35-foot long wall, plus the rounded corner.

My next step is to order the block for wall #2 and get it moved down onto the first bed, which will be my work surface until the next terrace is complete.  Then, once I’m done tromping all over it and the blocks are well-tamped and settled, I’ll remove 16″ or so of the granite fill in this first terrace and replace it with a topsoil/compost mix for some serious vegetable gardening.

But first, I’m enjoying an enormous feeling of accomplishment, and letting my bones rest.  However, do not be alarmed at the tonnage of concrete and dirt moved and the manual labor involved; I work slowly and steadily and pay particular attention to ergonomics, keeping loads low and close and engaging core muscles before every lift.  And I take lots of rest breaks.  So other than being stiffer than usual and this darned knot behind my right shoulder, I’m no worse for the wear after working like a mule for the past week.

Surprisingly enough, moving the block around was not the most grueling part of this job.  If you look to the left of my head in that first picture, you’ll see a pile of plant material perched up on the top edge of the hill.  It doesn’t look like a huge pile, but let me assure you, it is. 

If you will compare the first picture taken when I started this project to this post’s picture, you will notice a lot of the ice plant that used to cover this hill from top to bottom has been cut off and removed.  It looks all neat and tidy now, like I just sliced it off with a laser beam and Poof! it went away.  Oh how I wish. 

Left undisturbed for more than a decade, the ice plant was thriving atop a foot-deep layer of partially decomposed older plants; the leaves had turned to crumbly black humus, but the stems all needed to be cut somehow.  A swath at a time, with the help of my trusty loppers and my indespensible garden trugs, I got ‘er done.  One trug-load at a time cut, pulled, and trudged up to the top of the hill.  My legs feel like I climbed Mt. Everest.  And my arms are pretty darned tired, too. 

Really now:  with leisure-time activities like this, who needs a gym membership?


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