I don't know if I blogged about it at all years ago in Philly, but much of my "gardening" there was really picking out tons of decorative white rocks that someone at some point decided would be easier than grass (before the grass took over through the rocks). I spent many, many hours picking rocks out of the soil. At first, there was as much rock as soil. But gradually, over the years, I reclaimed the garden from both the rocks and the weeds who thought they owned the place. I added layers of compost and worked the soil year after year. And it became a garden.
Now, as it turns out, I've moved into another rock-bed-yard house. And I'm trying to reclaim the soil from the rocks. We've put in a good 20 or 30 hours at this point and I have a 1.5 by 4 foot little rectangle of dirt to show for it. Micah wrote in his school journal something like, "I picked rocks out of the garden this weekend." Which surely must translate to "I have a meaningful and stimulating home life."
I've also started composting again. I was scared for a while, I'll admit it. I've seen rats in the empty lots near my house. One even chewed a hole in an old sock we left to dry on the front porch. Ew, I know. It was my sock. And it wasn't that old, just dirty. What if I attract rats with my compost?
And it's hot, which is a de-motivator for outdoor work. Enough said.
But I get so restless sometimes, because so much of my pre-Dominican identity was related to gardening. And I so wish I could get my hands on more varieties of greens!!! We have arugula, lettuce, herbs, bok choy (randomly), cabbage, spinach, and napa cabbage. But only rarely can I find any good sautee-able dark greens other than bok choy. And I miss them! And I miss gardening!
So I'm giving it a try. The compost is in full swing. We're having to steal leaves from neighbors for the dry materials (Owen actually got some security guards restless getting our last load--he got greedy, do you need to steal five bags from one house?). And the tiny plot of land is ready. We plan to expand to a full 4 by 6 garden once we de-rock sufficiently.
And the volunteer guava tree should be big enough to make some fruit in a year or two.
Poco a poco, little by little . . .