Matfield Green - Our first years

Sunday, May 21, 2006


This morning - not early, since I've been sleeping past my normal 6am attempting to rid myself of a mild but tenacious spring cold - Bill and Pepper and I walked west and then south out on the prairie on the other side of the tracks. The Rogler cows had drifted east toward our property line so we walked swiftly, hoping that Pepper would be distracted by birds and mole holes and leave those cows alone.

Happily, she was and she did.

Reaching the gravel road we turned left and made our way back toward town. At the corner of Egypt Street and Open Range Road, four big dogs can always be depended on to greet us, ready and eager to play with Pepper. The most energetic of the lot is a light brown lab mix a little bit bigger than Pepper. He accompanied us into town, where we were met by the school-bus driver's Corgie, Tasha, who seems perpetually escaped from her backyard pen. She joined our party as we looped through the quiet streets of Matfield Green, and started on our way back home.

I knew that the brown dog was streetwise, but that Tasha might not be so savvy - and that Arlene, the bus driver (and an award winning horse-woman), would worry. So back we went to return Tasah to her pen.

Homeward through what we have named our "south pasture" - full of happy purple petaled spider wort now that we've burned and Bill has removed all of the shady, weedy cedar trees.

We spent the remainder of the morning and early afternoon down by the garden. Bill cut stakes for peas from thorny black locust trees, which have given their lives so that I can have a pond outside my bedroom window. I drove in the stakes, weeded, watered and just wandered around admiring baby broccoli, kale and a few tiny corns.

The garden is beginning to bear fruit. We'll have salad tonight - red and green baby lettuces and sweet young snow peas, and radishes contributed by Isobel Gray, who is clearly winning the subtle but persisent community-wide game of whose-garden-grows-the-most-fastest.

I continue to strain my eyes watching for potato leaves. One bed of potatoes is going gangbusters, but the is almost barren. This soil is hard. The top of it bakes like clay in the sun - I'm afraid that only the most determined potatoes are going to make it through to the light.


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