Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pay Dirt

I often joke that Jon's second home is an organic dump just a few miles north of us called, "Soilutions". I call it an organic dump, because they only sell certified organic material by recycling materials from yard clippings, feed stalls, landscaping projects, etc. More details are on their website:

The past month or so, Jon has arrived home with trucksful of native mulch, compost, and topsoil several times a week to dump into our new vegetable patch to help nourish and turn over the soil before we put in our plants (they're still in pots while we fix the soil). Today, I joined him at Soilutions to check out the scene, take some pics, and meet his "second family".
The reason we have to supplement our land with all this soil is because whoever occupied our land before must have used it as a construction dump. We imagine that they probably razed the previous house to the ground, dumped all the scrap into what we had planned to be our next vegetable patch, and probably didn't clean it up for many years. Jon has been digging for weeks, cleaning up countless cigarette butts, lighters, rusty construction nails, and pressboard around the areas we'd like to plant.

Needless to say, we're not planting in those areas until they're clean and new soil replaces whatever toxic mess is leftover. In order to apply for organic certification, we have to show that the soil has been "clean"--free from pesticides, chemicals, and waste such as what we're finding now--for at least three years. This farming gig, it's a journey....

So we'll plant this year's vegetables in the adjacent plot, which hasn't been polluted by construction waste. But we still need to churn in new soil and compost as the land hasn't seen irrigation or organic matter in decades. This is no small feat...we need all the good dirt we can get--plus, Jon just loooooves to play in it. :-)


The Joffes said...

1) Happy Anniversary! How can it possibly be 5 years already? Dang!! Love your thoughts on the labyrinth. Beautiful, just like the two of you.
2) Your garden/yard/house look fabulous. Well done (I know, it's just a beginning ... but a very well done beginning).
3) Hi truck!! We miss you and are so happy that we took you out to the farm country where you could play with all the other trucks.
Love and miss you guys bunches!!!

Jonathan, Jennifer, and Christian Lucero said...

Ooh, he let you into his "man cave" ... his "inner sanctum" ... his "paradise" ...

We love you!

Whenathan (or would that be Chriwhenathan?)

Karen said...

Val, I am so proud of you. You finally made it to Soilutions!

And by the way, the truck smells mighty pretty.

Anonymous said...

Truck, cave, man, pretty. Hmmmm. Something--not right in that string.

Time for a little Sesame Street "One of These Things (Is Not Like the Others)" fun...sing along and guess with me:

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?


Besides, the truck no longer smells pretty. After a few days of hauling in hot weather the mix of dirt, sweat, sunflower seeds, and leather gloves--with a touch of Australian--has returned her cabin into that wonderful scent of generosity and sharing. Beauty!