For seven springs in our old house, we attempted vegetable gardens. Some years it was a monumental undertaking, some years we briefly stabbed at it, but there were seven gardens planted there.

When we first moved, in there was no yard, no driveway and no paved road. We spent many an evening of our young married life chucking large rocks across the street to the empty field. What we didn't chuck, we used to make perimeters around our intended gardens. We'd lived there about eight months before they laid sod and they just plopped it down on top of a layer of weeds gracing the top of the poo-brown clay that smelled about like it looked. Needless to say, it was not successful.

In trying to grow something in that yard, we soon discovered that the rocks were not only on the ground. An inch or two under the ground was a solid layer of limestone. Dowlan took a steel bar and jammed it into the earth to break it up, then we dug it out in giant chunks. More layers to the perimeter, more rocks chucked across the road. We'd then lay good dirt on top of the clay and try to mix them together.

When we planted trees, it would take several hours to get a hole deep enough plant the tree. We'd buy one per weekend.

So, when we first looked at this house, one of the many wondrous appeals was the fenced off 40x50 foot garden area on the southwest corner of the yard. The woman we bought the house from told me that this had been her grandfather's garden and his father's before that. Over seventy years of gardens were planted in this plot. The soil is fertile and can grow pretty near anything.

Over the weekend, we grabbed the shovels and gloves and all five of us got to work. I'm in love with this dirt. Even the girls can use a shovel in it. Getting the grass and weeds of it has proven simple. Such a different experience than our last garden.

We had a good time out there, all five of us.  Even before the chainsaw.

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