Leaf Me Alone, I’m Dusting

Ahhh vacation. I love it!! I’ve been looking forward to working my hiney off during my time off from work. Say wha?? Well yes, I’m working my hiney off… well OK not literally, because then it would hurt to sit down and stuff. But you see, I love to grow food, and when a vegetable gardener has grandchildren, sometimes the garden chores don’t get done as consistently as one would like. This is just fine with me, because I’m very aware that although we currently enjoy “rock star” status with them, we are very aware that this will fade as they grow older. That of course means we spend as much time with them as we can.

I’ve been known to complain about how weedy the garden is; and my Beautiful Girlfriend Wife Lady is very tolerant of my whining. She just says, “oh well!!” Then of course I reply, “well work greatly interferes with my free time.” I don’t think she’s gonna let me quit work for a while yet; and I know all too well that it would economically hurt our ability to retire with any peace of mind. The garden, then, becomes a balancing act between normal chores and family stuff.

Fortunately, my Amazing Honey Pie has been kind enough to refrain from making any plans for me this weekend. Well, we both had grandiose plans for our deck. A wonderful fellow cleaned it professionally and we were hoping to stain it. This has been in the works for some time now; but of course Mother Nature doesn’t really care about our plans. We’re hoping the rain quits for a few days in a row so we can get the job done while I’m off (the stain company says the deck should be rain free for at least two days).

So you know what I’m doing, right? Yes!! I’m staying very busy with the Leaf Brigade! What? Never heard of the Leaf Brigade? Well neither have I, because I just made it up. I’ve been busy weeding… chopping many weeds with my hoe, and pulling many others by hand. Some weeds will die after being uprooted. Those I just lay down on the soil. Others, like quack grass, are more stubborn, and go in a bucket so I can let them be sunburned to death on top of the compost pile. After weeding, I water where the weeds were removed and cover with a nice thick layer of leaves for mulch. Those I mentioned earlier, the weeds that die when uprooted, will feed the worms after I lay the mulch down. And of course the worms will poop in the soil and that feeds the plants.

Yep, the plants really love worm poop. How do I know this? I ask them of course. “How ya doin’ today, Corn?” “Doin’ good Ken… had a nice bowl of worm poop for breakfast.” Well OK maybe they don’t really say that.

Well I got the corn and the potatoes weeded and mulched; now it’s time to attack the beds in the middle of the garden. There I foolishly let the weeds get at least as big as the plants. These are beds that have somewhat thick plantings of strange things like radishes and carrots. Another bed has kale, turnips, and lettuce. And yet another has lettuce brussel sprouts and pak choi. Anyway, they all look like a miniature forest of weeds and food plants. Rather than replant everything (although some of it may be), I water first, then carefully remove the weeds. After the weeds are pulled, it’s time to sprinkle the leaf dust for mulch.

Do what now??

Yes friends, I made leaf dust today. Wouldn’t be the first time, won’t be the last. You see, I’m one of those weirdos who uses leaves all over the place in the garden. I literally take a lawn mower and mow the leaf pile to grind them up. Then I sift the chopped leaves dust through a sifter I made that sits on top of the wheelbarrow.  I like to share pictures of this stuff, so click each picture for a better view if you’re so inclined.

Sifter I build all by myself!

Leaf Dust!

The end result: Leaf Dust! Delicious with milk and sugar and a few slices of banana on top. NO!! It’s for the plants; where it’s too crazy to try to place mulch between the many tiny food plants. If I don’t weed, I ain’t a gonna get no food. And if I don’t mulch, same as it is now, I’ll get lots and LOTS of weeds.

Weeds are OK, but all those veggie plants are a bit more delicious. Don’t you agree?

Well, at least I don’t have the same garden problems as Porky Pig…