Wednesday, January 11, 2012


2 cubic yards of black gold!
A late Christmas present arrived for us at 8:30 this morning.  Two cubic yards of extra-super-special dirt, black with wonderful organic compost – a fragrant piece of Iowa farmland transported to my California backyard.  (Not really – it’s a local company, and I doubt they import their soil from Iowa – but that’s what it makes me think of.) 

"Don't worry, Mama, I'll move it for you!"
Judith and I watched from the window as the truck dumped it into a big pile in front of the bedroom window.  (For a few seconds we worried that it might actually back into the window...but the driver was more skilled than we gave him credit for.)  Then we got out our boots and went to work!  Our wheelbarrow is broken, so I filled a five-gallon bucket over and over, transporting the riches to various parts of the garden.  The blueberries, the fruit trees, and the vegetable garden all got their share.

The future blackberry patch!
After a little while, Grandpa Tim came with his wheelbarrow to help us.  He did the hardest work – wheeling load after load to the back 40, where I’m joyfully planning my new blackberry patch!  When that area was covered in a foot of soil, he piled up the rest in a backyard dirt bank that I’ll withdraw from as needed.  
Grandpa's helper!
Judith was in and out of the project.  She was very exited to be in the yard so early in the morning...although it was COLD (well, 40ish), and she ran around for quite awhile as I worked.  Eventually she decided she wanted to be inside instead, and I put on a DVD for her.  Once Grandpa came she changed her mind and came outside – she had a fantastic time helping to build the new backyard pile.  She “helped” Grandpa by using her hoe to put the dirt on his shovel, and then led the way to the backyard each time.  I think she said something about making sure they were on the right path (yes, “Diego” is still the primary show that she watches).

The evidence of helping
 All-in-all, a productive (if messy) morning!