Sunday, May 27, 2012

For Merlyn

He mowed the lawn the day his wife died.  My father-in-law loved to garden.  Being outside with the green grass was a way to cope and a way to heal.  Before he retired he was a building contractor, so working with wood jostled around with the earth for first place in his attention.

When the Things I get to do today include any sort of wood project, I often feel like he is still with me, giving a nod or a smile, usually pleased as a papa that I'm doing what he loved to do.  Our sharing of interests meant that he understood what I would enjoy for a gift:  for Christmas one year it was a Makita cordless drill.  Before that he put together and gifted me a compost sifter!

"Fine" soil clods

Let me tell you about compost sifters. They, along with our physical effort, take lumpy, clumpy compost and turn it into fine, lovely 1/2" minus material to sprinkle around plants.

narrow clod bed

They do the same thing with clods of dirt, which is what is usually available to me when the seed packet say "plant 1/8" deep and cover with fine soil." That happened again the other day.

Compost sifter over wheelbarrow.  Ready to sift.
Just use the back side of a rake to work
 the earth through the grid.

And since my sifter is nearly 30 years old and beginning to lose its corners, I'm going to make a new one one of these days.

Finished and fine!

I know you'll join me, Mer, for the process.  Happy Father's Day in a couple of weeks, and thanks for making planting such a sweet process.

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