For the first time in almost six months, I finally got to work on my garden plot yesterday. Last Sunday was our first breath of warm, humid air this year and since then it took me several days to pull my act together. The community garden was bare and quiet yesterday, but not for long.
I started spreading some fertilizer and working it in with last year's soil, and within minutes I caught glimpses of robins creeping around. I know that sounds weird, robins creeping, but that's what they were doing- ducking and weaving behind fences and dried cabbage stalks nearby, hopping around and peering at me like cartoon-character-spies.
I was mystified at first, but soon I realized what they were after. Turn after turn of soil revealed worms, wriggling and gliding away as soon as I exposed them. Worms! This was a miracle to me. The raised beds were just constructed a year ago, so nobody had worms in their plots unless they bought them or dug them up elsewhere and added them in. I don't know if the worms came with the fertilizer, or if they worked their way up through the deeper ground over the winter, but I'm not questioning my good fortune. I don't know much about gardening, but I do know that earthworms are a vital partner and ally, and seeing them in abundance did my heart good.
I only planned to turn the earth and plant some early lettuce and spinach, but I stayed longer than I expected. I peeled off layers as I warmed up, even though the air was chilly. It felt good to break a sweat in the fresh breeze for the first time in months. Torso and back muscles usually reserved for snow shoveling are sore.
I'm looking forward to the hours to be spent in that mere 10' x 10' chunk of earth.
(I'm just sharing this friendly-named lettuce because the design is cool for beginners like me- the seeds are spaced evenly through the strip of tissue paper.)