06 May 2012

Dirt, Transformed

Apples! Magdalena, NM, May 2012
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
-Margaret Atwood

Multicolored Dianthus?? Very cool...
I've been living by this credo for the better part of a month now, squeezing in as much gardening as possible between work, commuting, and family activities. Internship is winding down but has been more intense lately because the suicide risk assessments the agency conducts with kids and teenagers have been on the increase over the past school year. While I do feel more confident in my abilities than I did back in August, I still get a twinge of anxiety right before I head into one... which my supervisor says is completely normal given the potential for intense distress and need for immediate, focused therapeutic response. When I finish a week I'm a bit wrung out emotionally so heading into the garden is not just pleasant but essential to processing everything and restoring my mind and spirit.

Yesterday I built the cold frame/raised bed shown in the picture below because I needed shelter for my veggie seedlings. They weren't getting enough light inside but the sun and wind were desiccating them outside, so I decided to contain them and then cover them with a repurposed screen door that seems to block the harshest light while also gentling the wind. I also watered and pruned our old Macintosh apple tree that had bloomed so beautifully last month but was hit with a hard frost in full bloom -- I figured, no apples this year, and yet somehow enough tiny fruits survived that I'll likely get enough to can some applesauce and spiced apples this fall. So, yes, very restorative....

The new plant hatchery

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