Community Philosphy Blog and Library

HOMEGROWN Life: Down & Dirty






With Spring quickly approaching I feel the need to down and dirty.  Literally.  I really can’t wait to get my fingers in that dark, moist, cool earth.  I love it under my nails, in my hair, and that smear I get across my right cheek.  My youngest girls have already started their dig, making mud pies, cakes, and chocolate milk for their friends that come to visit.  At the end of the day, I love how there is ring around the bathtub, it’s dingy, and gritty.

I, however, have been hesitant to kick over the mulch to see how things have faired over the winter.  It’s not that I don’t expect that nature can take care of itself, but the fear of what could happen.  Will it be a successful year or a dud?  Last year, we only had two, 16 foot beds.  We crammed them full of veggies and a couple transients (pumpkin, pansies, & poppies) took up residence as well.  This year, we’ve been planning a much larger veggie plot and  were offered a tractor and tiller attachment by a friend.  Guess what?  That friend has yet to bring his tractor down to our place.  I really had intended on getting that dug up during the winter so I could add some of our compost to the dirt to get it all worked in.  My biggest fear, that said friend will fall through.  Sigh.  Then it will be off to rent a tiller and work it myself.

Back to the dirt.  We are fairly lucky in that our land was once farmed and overrun with cows. The dirt is fertile and the rocks, sparse.  It’s biggest problem is that it hasn’t been worked or dug up in a good 50 years.  It’s tough, hard, and riddled with roots.  Tree roots that I have no frickin’ idea where they go to.  The kids and I have a good time trying to get them up, out, and chopped up.  I’m a weakling when it comes to axes, so I really try to use shovels, hoes, and loppers to get them out.  The littles pretend they are snakes and they are mighty adventurers trying to cut through a path.  I jump in with my “sword” and chop ’em up so we can continue on.  Once the dirt is clear of tangles, we just love to sit in it.  Run our hands through it.  The girls will spot a worm or centipede and get all excited.  They follow it to see where it’s heading or squeal for me to move it somewhere else.

I’m anxious to see where this growing season takes us.  I can’t wait to turn the dirt, put my hands in it, to feel what magic it holds for us.  I’m hopeful for a massive bounty, but will be just as content with a rogue pumpkin.


Tory, Sequim, WA

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my non-tree hugging, environmentally friendly, dreamin’-of-farming husband and our four wild, dirt lovin’ kids.  When I’m not writing of the adventures (or misadventures) on our micro-homestead, you might find me stalking Craigslist, Freecycle, or Facebook.  And since I’m all about multi tasking, I’ll probably be out gardening, baking, menu planning, home-educating, exploring with the kiddos, and scheming on how to get chickens past my HOA.

3 Responses to “HOMEGROWN Life: Down & Dirty”

  1. Your dirt looks lovely indeed! We’ve got mostly clay. Evil clay. Whenever I dig up an area that isn’t clay I get all excited at how fluffy the soil is.

  2. Good for you for letting the kids play in the dirt. That’s one of our favorite things, too!

  3. In addition to being fun, playing in the dirt confers some immunity to TB. There are relatives of TB in the dirt (that don’t make you sick), and being exposed to them prepares your immune system to repel TB, in part. So playing in the dirt is GOOD for kids!

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