Monday, October 27, 2008

There is hope, yet, for my asparagus

Way back in April, in my earliest days of blogging, I wrote about my sad asparagus bed and how it was too wet and how all my effort at digging the bed seemed to be for naught, since the few stalks of asparagus that appeared were spindly and sad. As a reminder, here's how sad the asparagus bed was:

The status quo remained for the summer, except that my asparagus bed became extremely weedy as well as sad and wet.

But just a week or so ago, I was talking to a colleague (known to me as "the other Sue," though I am sure I'm known as the same thing to her) who mentioned that a lovely Tibetan fellow--the friend of another colleague--had come that weekend and dug a bed out of her lawn quickly and efficiently. At first, I just said, "Wow, that's great," but when I actually thought about what she was saying, it became clear that this might be a solution to my asparagus bed dilemma. (The dilemma being, the current bed clearly isn't working, but what were the chances I would actually dig a new bed out of my lawn?)

This morning, just after 9 a.m., the lovely Tibetan arrived at my door. I showed him the sad asparagus bed. I showed him the spot next to the rest of my garden where I thought a bed could go. About 2 hours later, voila. It's a thing of loveliness, though I suppose it could look like the grave of a very large person, if you thought too much about it. As a bonus, you can see my Japanese maple tree in all its splendor.

I'm just delighted. And after that, he fixed the broken step at the bottom of the basement stairs. It had been rotting anyway, but a visit from two small children who were galumphing down the stairs in pursuit of the cats led to its ultimate demise. It's been covered, somewhat haphazardly, with two pieces of plywood, but now it's covered with a double layer of plywood that exactly fits the space and is actually nailed down. (In this, I am fortunate that Alex stores his circular saw in my garage; otherwise, this would not have been possible on such short notice.)

So, all and all, an excellent way to spend $75. Next weekend I'm going to buy a couple of bales of straw, and one of them will cover up the new bed as well as wherever it is I end up planting the garlic. (And I'm planting extra this year because of my newfound love for green garlic.) The other will go to the community garden, where I spent a lot of time this warm and sunny weekend cleaning up my very, very, very messy plot. I'm going to plant some garlic there too and plot my future there. I had a bit of a garden epiphany in September, right before I hurt my leg, which I'll write more about another time. As always, it's sad for garden season to end, but I have a lot to think about for the winter, and as soon as spring arrives, I can plant another round of asparagus and hope the second time is the charm.


So, I'm going to skip right over the fact that I've been a dreadful blogger of late and just move on.

In case anyone was worried, I am delighted to report that the wood has now all been moved, including, amazingly, some by me. (Yes, Alex helped too.)

The evidence:


There is also a little pile outside the front door, covered with a tarp, and in the garage are the remains of the original 5 cords I bought in late 2004, right after I moved in. (I know, what was I thinking, getting 5 cords of wood at once, especially delivered in December. But it was late in the season, so there weren't a lot of options, and the place I got it from had a 4 cord minimum for delivery, and I thought my tenants would take some. In other words--it seemed like a good idea at the time.) I may move some over from the garage as I use the wood off the porch, but I think I'm good to get through the winter, and that's a relief.

Now, if only my leaves would somehow rake themselves . . .

On another note, I read at Amherst last Monday night as part of a larger memorial for David Foster Wallace. It was a really nice event, overall, with a very multi-layered portrait of him emerging. The other folks who spoke/read were 3 of his friends from college, 2 professors, the visiting writer at Amherst and a woman who graduated from Amherst but was a colleague of Dave's at Pomona for the past three years. They recorded it, and you can hear it online here:
Amherst Memorial Service for DFW. I start at about 13 minutes in.

I'm working on the post I've been meaning to write for the past few months, practically, so hopefully that will be up soon, and hopefully I'll reform my sluggish blogging ways.