Friday, June 12, 2009

Lasagna and other Gardening Adventures

Fortunately for us, the gardening season in Newfoundland is slow to start.  I always fear that I have missed all the deadlines but really, no worries there.  It is still snowing in Labrador and we have had frost warnings for most of the week.  I asked a woman working in a greenhouse if I was too late to plant peas from seed and she laughed at me, "Winter just ended my dear!"  

I have some seeds and some onions to get in the ground.  No potatoes this year - couldn't find any seed potatoes.  Oh well, our neighbor will just have to buy his own this fall instead of stealing ours.

My lasagna beds from last year were full of dandelions and thistles but I weeded them and made one more bed and began to get some seedlings planted.  I am ever hopeful we will be able to actually reap the harvest this year.  It feels like nothing short of victory to get delicious vegetables out of the rocks that go around pretending to be soil here.

It can be overwhelming, however.  My non-lasagna bed that I spent three years just digging rocks out of and adding compost to is looking pretty nice - loaded with fat earthworms.  But the rocks keep coming and the alder trees encroach a little further every year.  I was nearly in tears after one particularly back-breaking weeding session.  It just felt so impossible to carve out a little space of controlled growth amid all this wild landscape.  I used to wonder at why people here would go to such trouble to cut down so many trees and put in a lawn around their house.  A lawn, for chrissakes!  Lawns are like deserts when it comes to local ecology.  I despair over lawns.

Yet, yesterday I finally understood.  This place is so intensely wild that to let everything just be as it is, right up to your front door would be an act of great courage or maybe insanity.  It's simply too much.

Perhaps all this is just me trying to justify that I finally broke down and purchased, used, and fell in love with, a lawn mower.

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