Thursday 24 May 2012

Piles of steaming....

With the lump of land ploughed and rotovated by Mike the Cows now starting to dry out a bit and some lovely warm weather showing up, it's time to move outdoors and start on the various bits of garden. Dad had, up to now, been digging and planting in a small bed in the 'secret garden', digging a bit, leaving it a few days before rotovating, planting first onion sets, then spuds and then beans and other stuff into the chopped up soil, moving down the garden like that doing it bit by bit. But now he has the great 25' by 125' tract ready all in one go, just needing a chop over with the small rotovator to have it ready.

Whilst Mike the Cows was doing his stuff, he told us that John Deere Bob has some well rotted calf manure going begging in his barns. JDB drops by every now and then to take tea and a biscuit with us (we love that he drives the tractor up the drive and parks it by the house, so we look like a proper farm!) so next time he appeared Dad asked about the manure and Bob was more than happy to oblige, especially of Dad came down and forked it himself. So it was arranged. Dad followed Bob back to his place and then loaded the box on the back of the tractor three times with loads to bring home.
Mum had to laugh when the old boy, Bob was 'training' Dad how to stack it onto the box to best advantage, in overlapping sheets (forkfulls tend to come away from the calf house floor in great sheets) "like you're building a haycock" explained Bob in his quiet local dialect. Here D's are softened into almost a 'th' sound, S's become 'sh' and anything Dad would say as 'ah' (like Garden, for example), Bob says as 'ear' (so more like "Gear-thun"). We end up with three nice steaming, fly-buzzed piles of poo, well worth a dog exploring!
 Next up came a start on what will be the kitchen garden in the space just west of the house and Tígín. We cannot finish this bit yet because the middle of it will have to support the concrete lorry when (if!) it eventually turns up to deliver the concrete for the apron (path around the house sloping away from house to shed water from the base of the walls). However, previous owner TK Min conveniently left us at least 11 railway sleepers in the woodland to the left of the drive and Mum has always had a yearning for a raised bed, sleeper style kitchen garden. It looks like she may finally get her dream. Have chain-saw, will do hard landscaping!
Finally a quick picture of today's purchases. This being an area given to proper agricultural markets, nobody pussy-foots around buying trays of 6 cabbage plants. You buy a hefty bundle of 100 rufty-tufty, 12 inch tall 'York' cabbage plants for €15. Admittedly we did buy trays of brussels because there were none 'by the bundle'. In all the space Dad has he's been able to plant the cabbages at 2 foot spacings in either direction. My job is to keep the rabbits off them.


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