Only time will tell. I just planted asparagus for the fourth time. I think… it might have been the fifth time. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m sure that this set is going to be the one that takes. As I was digging, amending, adding perlite, building up the beds rather than trenching, chasing chickens out of the garden repeatedly, I realized that I finally was doing this my own way, and the way that I’m pretty sure asparagus is going to need ’round these parts. It is a plant that likes light, sandy, alkaline soil, well drained. Hah! I have heavy, clay, acid soil with a water table that is frequently found only inches below the surface, except when it is above the surface. In essence, to grow most edible plants, we need to bring in (or create) new soil so that we work above what is there, while providing enough drainage for the plants not to drown in their beds. As unpleasant as that sounds, we have had enormous success over the last three summers, leading me to much more confidence in this particular planting.
It is not the cheapest way to garden, purchasing another tandem truck-load of compost each summer, but it sure is a fast way of producing usable beds. It has also allowed us to all the amendment, bed building, and maintenance without using any powered equipment for the last four years. We mow the fields with a scythe, and have a small push-mower that we use to keep a section of the lawn available for playing ball, croquet, soccer and the like. Because my back is not the strongest the world has ever produced, I turn my beds with a really high quality border fork. I can’t use anything larger… although I covet a broad fork. I’m not entirely sure I’d be able to use it.
So, persistent, or stubborn? I guess it’s just a matter of degree. I have every intention of rebuilding the greenhouse, probably with a different approach to framing and attaching. I’m sure somewhere deep down inside that I can put all this education to some good use for producing income better than the $11.55/hr I currently make at the library, and I’m sure that I can do so without compromising my ideals too much. I had a moment of clarity recently, while trucking concrete blocks around the back yard in a howling gale during a snowstorm… what I found myself thinking was, “Well, I’d still rather be doing this than driving on the 401.” Think that about sums it up. Might just be stubborn. 🙂