It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This


Whether I’m simply watering down the foundation for a garden I built over the last three days at sunset or helping a few friends harvest (beer) hops under the cool shade of cottonwood at Crossed Sabers Ranch for the last two, the general good-wind feeling that I’m left with is - “it doesn’t get any better than this.”

I began digging the 12’ x 15’ x 1’ ditch a few days ago, doing the best I could to remove as much of the rock and gravel as possible.

Although we’d been talking about creating a garden at 36 HTR from the first day we landed here nearly three months ago, much like we did at 48B within the first week or so, it wasn’t until I was motivated to do something with the two mountains of rat poop that I recently overturned that I decided that I had to finally create the garden, so that we could do something with all that organic matter that the pack rats had gathered for me.

Hence, I tightly tied on my bandana, as an admittedly-weak precaution against hantavirus, and went to work digging up years of rat poop, baskets of dried grass nests and whatever other natural material these rodents had collected. I placed that at the bottom of the sunken garden and added beds of fallen dry leaves and juniper and piñon needles.

Plans are to see if it is viable to haul up a few fifty pound garbage bags of horse manure from our neighbor, who has saved a year’s worth, to provide the second layer of our garden.

Finally, we’ll cover all that with conventional soil, so that we can plant some herbs and wildflowers.

Likewise as exciting for me, over the last few days was participating in the annual hops harvesting for Beer Creek Brewing Co. Thanks to invitations from Matthew and Rich, the kids and I went yesterday to help pull the buds from the vines and also separate them from the leaves.

As a result the kids got to make new friends, as did I (Peter, Jaime, Dwayne, John, Cory and the other guy from the Living Museum in La Ciénaga; and we all got to experience a little more of what real farming is like.