I’ve been taking something of a hiatus from Hook, Rifle, & Spade recently, as you surely noticed. Things around here became very suddenly very busy.
First, I started a new job on the Boulder County Trail Crew a couple months ago. Working ten hours days doing manual labor in the summer heat really takes it out of you. Especially when you try to sneak in a bit of additional exercise after work. Between work, exercise, and feeding myself, four days of each week are fully consumed. And then about half of Friday is typically spent on the couch taking a bit of a breather from the nonstop gogogo of the previous four days.
But that is only four days a week! Surely you have some time in the other three? Yes, that is true. I could certainly be working harder at all this. But going back to working a full-time job where I don’t have a whole lot of say in what I am doing and I am not paid enough money to live on has reminded me that I really prefer to work for myself. Remembering how much I dislike a 9-5 (or in this case a 7-5:30) has, in turn, lit a fire under my ass to get working on the bus. We have been cranking away on the weekends and are starting to make some good progress. We’ve shifted our timeline forward a bit and are hoping now to have the bus ready to roll by January 1st, 2020. I’ll post a bit more about our bus progress next week.
This little update will focus primarily on the garden. In short, it is not doing so well. Below you will find two pictures: the first is the garden in late July of 2018, the second is the garden in mid-July of this year. It is quite apparent that while our garden setup is a bit cuter and the weeds are better controlled, we are wayyy behind.
It began with a late spring. This was about the wettest and coldest spring in Colorado history. The last freeze didn’t come until mid-May. Then, shortly after our first planting, when I was certain the cold must be over, we were hit by a surprise snowstorm. We did our best to cover up the tomatoes, but were not properly prepared. They all survived, but they lost the majority of their early foliage to the cold, which set them further behind schedule.
The next problem was that the bugs arrived on right on time. They came at the same time of year, but the this time around the plants were not nearly as far along, so the damage was more severe. Many of our seedlings perished to the various bugs that so enjoy that community garden space.
The third problem was that someone kept turning our fucking water off. We are both busy people, so we set up a sprinkler on a timer to water the garden during the week. Unfortunately, five times in the first few weeks we stopped by the garden and found that someone had turned off our connection to the four-way splitter I purchased for our plot’s spigot. A lack of water as the temperatures began to rise certainly didn’t help anything, and I don’t know how many plants we lost as a result.
But the largest problem was probably just a lack of time and energy. Last year I was free to spend a bit of time in the garden every day, and this year was just too busy. As I am settling into this new job, I am beginning to make time to stop by and hand water every day as well as just take a look at how everything is doing.
We’re already seeing a lot of improvement from the extra water and a bit more care. We’re starting to have a bit of produce to bring home–just lettuce and zucchini for now, but here’s hoping things keep accelerating!