Saturday was just gorgeous, and having been cooped up in what at times sounded like a consumptive ward for the better part of the last two weeks as my family battled the flu, I had to get some outdoor time. The sun was actually somewhat brutal, but felt so nice, even though it was only in the 50s. I even brought the onion seedlings out for a little sunbath. I think they liked it.
After lunch, I decided to start shoveling out the new garden. My fear is that all the accumulated snow will take well into April to melt, and I need to do a lot of earthworks to get that plot ready, so despite the fact that it meant moving about 600 cubic feet of really heavy, wet snow, I got on the muck boots and started shoveling.
That lasted all of 15 minutes, at which point I realized, “I own a tractor.” It took about a half hour of digging to get about 2/3 of that plot mostly clear. The other 1/3 was difficult to get with the machine because it was really getting slippery, and I don’t have tire chains. So I spent the next 45 minutes or so shoveling the rest out and scraping down to soil as much as possible. End result:
I’ll let it go a couple of days and see if the last few inches of snow melts away. My goal here is to start getting contours laid out for woody beds, so in the mean time, I’ll build my A-frame level and calibrate it. I suppose I could use my builder’s level, but the A-frame is a one-man tool, and seems like it would do the job quicker. Plus, I dig the whole primitive-tooling vibe.
Yeah, I know it would have been better to leave the snow to melt naturally and hydrate that plot deep and slow. The way I look at it, I can supply water if I need it, but I can’t buy time. I’m going to do the same thing on the lower lot tomorrow – it’s much flatter, so I should be able to do it all with the machine. As long as I don’t get said machine stuck in the snow berm by the road, that is.