Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Saturday of Work

Doesn't that rich, dark, earthy, ammonia & nitrogen filled mulch look great in the above photo? Ok, Kate looks cute, but come on, that mulch looks good in the flower bed don't you think?

I'm wasted. If I didn't have a lingering cold I'd be wasted from racing at Sundance. Because I do have a cold that seems to enjoy hanging around, I spent the day at home. Luckily, I did manage to get out on a ride this morning. The problem, however, is that the ride totaled a little over 20 minutes and consisted of my riding to & from my daughter's soccer game (she scored 3 goals). Not much of a workout, but given my current condition it actually felt like a decent ride.

Looking back on my day. I probably should have stopped at that point and focused on rest and recuperation. Instead, I phoned a friend who owns a truck and asked if he was available to help me pick up a load of mulch for the yard. You see, at the soccer game earlier that morning, I had talked to another neighbor who gave me the inside scoop on where I could score a full load of high quality, equestrian-based mulch on the cheap. What's cheap? Five dollars. Yeah, crazy cheap and a sweet deal like that could not be passed up. My other neighbor was free, so we jumped in his truck and headed over to 10600 S and State.

The equestrian center is completely hidden from view with the only indication of its existance being a small dirt road and a big, steel gate. We drove in and after a few minutes of searching located the huge pile of compost. I walked over to a nearby trailer and asked if this was the place to buy mulch. An older, rail thin man smoking a cigarrete nodded yes, directed us to back the truck up to the pile and said he'd be over in a minute. He then hopped in a small tractor, drove over and dumped three full scoops into the pickup bed. I gave him $5 and he drove off, leaving us to cover the rich goodness with a tarp, rope it down and marvel at our good luck. What's crazy is that he charges $5 regardless of how big or small your pickup or trailer happens to be - it's $5/load and you determine what defines "load".

Upon returning home the real fun began. Shoveling the mulch into a wheelbarrow, we carted it around to the various planting beds, dumped it out and returned for more.

With two of us working the unloading probably didn't take longer than 30 minutes. What took a lot of time was the subsequent work - which I performed solo - of raking the mulch in the beds or, in the case of our soon-to-be garden, working it into the soil with a shovel. You see, in its previous life our garden was devoted entirely to roses and thus has a network of sprinkler pipe just below (probably no deeper than 3") the surface. Because of this a rototiller was out of the question, leaving me with no choice but to turn over the dirt by hand. Needless to say this was a long, hot, dirty job that took the better part of two hours to complete. Now I just need to dig some furrows for watering and buy some vegetable plants. I'm planning to focus mainly on tomatoes and squash, with maybe a few peppers, carrots and potatoes just for fun.

My back, wrists, arms, shoulders and neck (which I should add got sunburned so I'm now an authentic redneck) are sore and all I want to do now is lounge around the house, drinking water and consuming large quantities of ice cream. How's that for a solid day of training?


Anonymous said...

I got your back there. It's a long hard day playing in gardens!

IamMatt said...
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