This space has changed so much since that June day two years ago when we first walked this property and thought maybe - just maybe - this place was The One. Here, in this particular spot, was an overgrown, many years neglected garden so thick we could barely walk through it, and an outbuilding that only the bravest amongst us traveled to in order to explore it.
Before we even moved into the house, we moved some chickens in here. (What can I say? we were excited to get started!) Knowing that, ultimately, we'd want chickens to be on-the-go, rotating pastures...but for starts, this seemed like the best place. It was what we had ready. We "fixed up" that outbuilding to work for the laying birds, and watched as they transformed this space with their foraging and walking about - over the next year and a half - into something else altogether.
Last years garden parcel (just outside of this fenced acre), now that it has been tilled (by the pigs) and is in a healthy state, will become an extention of the 'orchard' we are growing and cultivating. And I've moved my sights on a more permanent, fenced-in garden space here. With the chickens now moved out and on their way to pasture rotation, that garden transformation has begun. It's a full acre - the back half of which we'll separate for turkeys or other rotating-through-animals as needed, and the other half...for forever garden. Vegetables, herbs, some perrenials, a future greenhouse, and that outbuilding that we'll transform into the cutest little garden shed there ever was (trust me, it'll be cute, just give me a year). I'm excited.
Reading all of that through sounds complicated and tiresome. Oh, but it feels anything but, I have to say. It feels alive, and on track, and in motion. It feels so good. It feels good to be nurturing this land as it transforms, to be digging in the soil that our chickens have been on, our sheep, and other livestock years before that, to be making steps towards a vision of a dream one growing season at a time.
As our days get crunched far beyond our expectations and plans, sometimes things happen later or slower than intended. Such is the case with this years garden. We just last week moved those chickens out of here, and just last week, were able to fully claim the garden as my own (temporary fencing not-so-smoothly divided garden and chickens for a month or so of transition time). All of that means that I lost a few things along the way - the peas were almost all eaten by the chickens flying over the fence, the tomatoes were half drowned before we realized we had a drainage problem here, nearly everything got planted later than it did last year, and the kale mysteriously disappeared too (I blame just one chicken named Angry, who really isn't angry, just very smart). But that's okay. All in good time, all in good time, we remind ourselves. All in good time will this garden feed our family. All in good time will there be a new roof on this 'garden shed' of mine. All in good time will there be permanent pathways and a little table under the roof of the garden shed at which I'll sit and drink tea (and spin? oh yes!). All in good time will vines cover the fences and gates and arches be built and on and on and on the garden dreaming goes.
Because for now there are weeds to pull in between nearly every vegetable growing. For now there is more cardboard to lay down. For now there is much mulch to be found. For now there are big boys eager to help me hoe another row. For now there are little boys to share my garden tools with. For now there are little girls who would like some help wrapping twine for her pea trellis, and another trip to the nursery for her favorite snapdragons. For now there are babies on my back, singing and pulling my hair. For now, there is another day to be had. One row at a time.
I love this garden of mine.