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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Double digging on Louise's birthday

Today is a special day. It is one of my best friend's birthdays. Louise has been reading my blog faithfully since my first entry. There are few things as encouraging as knowing that a brilliant artist and well-read librarian reads your blog on a regular basis. If I had been on Prince Edward Island today, I would have been enjoying her excellent company. As it was, today was double digging day in the youth garden on Soil Born Farms, so I spent the day outside, immersed in the promise of happy plants! To get myself in a digging mood, I listened to the upbeat and incredibly energizing Vishten tunes all the way to the farm, and by the time I got there, I was revving to get my hands on a shovel and get those beds turned!

It was a rather grey day on the farm, and showers kept moving in over the valley, so we did not get as much done as we would have liked, but we did make some progress, and given that this was my first digging of the season, and the fact that I am in the middle of a 19 day religious fast in which I do not eat or drink from sunrise til sunset, my body was content with having our day cut short by rain. Even the short distance we did cover had us sweating despite the cool wind and rain.

Double digging is a way of mixing the soil up, circulating nutrients, and breaking up the soil so that it is looser and better facilitates the growth of the plants that we will be transplanting out into the garden in the next few weeks. Basically you dig a trench across the bed that is a bit wider than the width of the shovel, piling the soil from the trench on the soil bed. You then loosen up the bottom of the trench with the fork, and once the compacted soil is loose and airy, you move onto the next trench, emptying the soil in it into the first trench that you dug. Sufficiently confused? You have to give it a try. It is really quite simple once you start digging. And your plants will be very grateful, and reflect their gratitude in the form of a plentiful harvest.

This is Guy, my digging partner in crime and director of the education programs on the farm. His faithful companion's name is Natoma, named after a nearby lake.

Despite the cold weather and the rain, it felt really good to get outside today and do some intense physical work. I have been feeling really discouraged about the lack of work opportunities lately. Lots of doors not opening at all no matter how much I knock. So the digging was good for the body and the heart today. 

We also got to see more Sandhill Cranes migrating overhead. They make a beautiful sound -- very different from Canada Geese, and one that I am starting to recognize, when they are passing overhead. Watching them fly over the farm today made me wonder where they are going. Do you know? I will have to look it up. Below is a short video of the Cranes flying over the farm. I could not keep them in the viewfinder the whole time, but you can hear their distinctive call. My apologies for the buckets at the end. Will have to work on my video skills. :-)

It is evening now. The sun will be setting in 15 minutes, and I will be breaking my fast with a nice hot cup of sweet tea. Although I would have liked to get more of our beds done before the rains moved in over the farm, getting home early today meant that I got to call Louise and wish her a happy birthday in person before she headed to bed. I am incredibly grateful that the universe brought Louise into this world on this spring day. She has brought an amazing amount of colour into the world for one woman, she has added beautiful and sensitive songs to the world's melodies, and she has always been good for a cup of tea and a long and deep chat about anything and everything. She also has one of the most enthusiastic puppies I have ever met, which must say something about her too, right?

Spring is on its way. The rains are bringing much-needed moisture to the valley. The sun is setting in four minutes. And I am grateful for awesome, inspiring and encouraging friends like Louise. Happy Thursday, and happy, happy birthday, Louise.


  1. kori, Looking for a post from you from DM. Hope Im looking in the right places! Saw your picture laying the pipe. It looks beautiful - the job I mean. YOu of course always look beautiful! I'm tracking your expedition through the dominicanrepublicexpedition blog. The pictures are fantastic! It looks just as I'd imagined, except more posh! I look forward to hearing all your stories!

  2. expedition is misspelled. It's spelled "expedtion" in case anyone can't find it. See you Sunday!! Love, mom