March 24th, 2009


Preparing the ground

The fence is finally in. We hired people to come in and build the fence after it took us 3 months to dig 8 holes last year. The problem with living on the base of a mountain is that mountains are made of rock. Which then rolls downhill, making the yard one big rock pile. I watched the men dig holes with post-holers for two days while giggling to myself that I wasn’t the one out there.
With the finalization of the fence, we were able put the stakes in the ground for the corners of the 1200 square foot garden we’ll be putting in. This plot is a 30′x40′ foot square that will be slightly raised and have a wooden border. This border means that we’ll need to sink posts in to the ground to attach siding and keep it from becoming a huge mess.
As a consequence of having learned the lesson of digging holes in this yard, we rented an auger to dig the holes. This gas-powered device was a miracle all by itself. Granted, it didn’t pull the really big rocks (some as big as my head), but the judicious use of a digging bar and some muscle and I was able to get the rocks out why my husband worked on the other holes. With this technique, we dug the 14 holes for the raised bed and loosened the ground for planting blueberries, currants, an apple tree and a bunch of decorative plants over the course of the afternoon. A few final touches, and we can start putting stuff in the ground.
The best part was the confirmation last night that we’ve done the right thing. The small sub-herd of elk that regularly visits came by, nibbling at the clover on the ground. They walked through the yard right up to the fence, looked at it and wandered off to find a new path. Instead of traveling far, they moved down to the next level of ground, where one laid down to take a nap. It looks like we’ve just given them a safe place to spend time and will still be able to get some gardening done.

Originally published at my blog. You can comment here or there.