Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 1, Mound 1
The Ingredients, (not pictured: 39, 3 cubic foot bags of Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost)
Day 2, Mound 2
Rocky and Joanne Doke, the Gardeners of Mercy, Lifesavers, and Incalculable Help

The Impossible: Two Days, Two Mounds, and 120 Cubic Feet of Soil Amendments!

Good evening, Pumpkinistas!

I am extremely happy to report that the giant pumpkin vines that I'll be growing at the Great Park, as part of my activities as part of the UCCE Master Gardener program, now have a place to grow.

In truly incredible and magical fashion, two square holes, that measured 4' wide, and 5' deep, Saturday, are now completely filled in, replete with mounds about 20" tall.

The odyssey began Saturday afternoon with my arrival at the Great Park, where my elation at finding the two holes dug perfectly was tempered by my discovery that the soil from the holes, (that was to be mixed copious amounts of soil amendments generously donated by Kellogg Garden Products, pelleted sulfur, agricultural lime, and Gardner & Bloome organic fertilizer) was located approximately two football fields away from the holes! (I realized immediately that I need to clarify my instructions in the future.)

So, I began moving the soil back to the holes, mixing it with some of the 40, 3 cubic foot bags of Gardner & Bloome Soil Building Compost, sulfur, lime, and organic fertilizer, and filling up the first hole. It was a truly artisan process to mix up just the right amount of each ingredient and it took more than a few tries to get the process right. Luckily, the weather was cooperating with cool winds and temperatures. As the sun began to set, Mound One was complete! I replaced the orange plastic safety cones, ecstatic that I could still walk, and began mental preparations for Mound Two.

Day Two dawned with me able to get out slowly out of bed. Dressing was a bit of a challenge, since my clothing seemed to have put on an incredible amount of weight overnight. After the morning's workshop at Batavia Garden, including a brief aside about the challenges and final triumph of Mound One, I set out to conquer Mound Two.

I was just putting on the final touches on Mound One, when a white Suburban, driven by Rocky and Joanne Doke, part of the morning's workshop attendees and gardeners of mercy pulled up! I could hardly suppress my tears of joy and thought I might be hallucinating when they began unloading a wheelbarrow and shovels! I think there was some involuntary tearing anyway...

We quickly began the process of filling in the second hole, pausing now and then to chat, document our collective mound-building effprts, and keep hydrated. Before we knew it, we were taking victory pictures, and cleaning up! My gratitude for the Dokes' generous help and sacrifice is indescribable.

Miracles and magical things do happen. (Without them, I would still be working on Mound Two!)