|The remains of Mt. Crabstick|
It's not rocket science to calculate the volume of a cube: length times width times depth. I divided the total volume of all three beds (in cubic inches) by twelve and then again by three when I learned that one orders dirt by the cubic yard. My result? Over two thousand cubic yards, which, judging from the size of the five yards we actually ordered would probably fill my entire house.
My neighbor, James, who helped us with the shoveling consoled me by saying you can never have too much dirt, and it is certainly very nice dirt. If I were ready to go forward with the backyard kitchen garden plan, we'd be set, but I am so not ready for that. I could put it to use in the existing beds in the back yard, which is probably what I'll end up doing, but I'm not strong enough to push the wheelbarrow when it's full, so I'll be trundling around with half wheelbarrows, which means we'll be able to park in the driveway again sometime in 2014.
Taking Suburban Correspondent's suggestion, I went to the farmer's market this weekend to buy some lettuce plants, which can occupy the front beds until I decide what to plant there permanently.
I used to go to the Charlottesville farmer's market every Saturday without fail, but have become less enthusiastic about it in recent years. Remember when you were in middle school and you'd walk down the hall and see the groups of cool kids who snubbed you, and you felt like a loser? That's how I feel when I go to the farmer's market. It's no longer simply a place to buy local food. It's a place to be seen buying local food.
I bought eggs and eight young romaine lettuce plants and two pounds of locally raised lamb stew meat, which became a civet de mouton on Sunday. It's unthinkable to come home from the market without a treat, so I bought some pastries from a bakery stand. I made a point of not buying anything from the booth that's owned by a Montana-based bakery chain, over which there was an outcry last year. Farmer's markets should be for locally-owned businesses and locally-grown foods and as far as I'm concerned, local ownership of a franchise does not count as locally-owned, especially when that franchise has a shop in town that is open on Saturdays. But I don't know, maybe other people in our community have a different opinion.
It's not against the rules for this business to be at the market. The application does not specify that businesses participating must be local, only that the food is produced locally on property owned or leased by the seller. I guess I was too quick to assume that the owners would be gracious and bow out this year since they can sell all the bread that they want in their store, six days a week and the other vendors at the market don't necessarily have permanent retail space.
1. What would you do if you had a pile of very nice dirt + compost. (I'm thinking I should go ahead with a raised bed or two after all.)
2. Would you be pissed if there was a business franchise at your local farmer's market?