Who knew gardening required building skills? – Citizen of the Cowichan Valley
When I first started gardening, I realized that planting, watering, weeding and fertilizing were necessary to ensure a bountiful harvest. I had learned it from my mother. What she never fully explained, however, was how involved construction was. I don’t know if she deliberately kept this from me or if she just never thought about it because the construction was my father’s responsibility. So it was a shock when I stepped out into the world and started gardening on my own.
Obviously, it was my parents’ fault that I wasn’t prepared for the reality of beans and peas which mischievously got tangled up and forced me into a long career of stealing ideas from others. gardeners. After my legumes reproduced the Gordian knot, I looked at how other gardeners dealt with the problem and was amazed at the variety. Some built trellises of which the workshop teachers would have been proud (and probably surprised) while others were content to stick poles in the ground and tie rows of twine; a couple drove rebar into the ground and threaded chicken wire out of it. One thing that all of these solutions had in common was that someone had to build something to make those peas peel off and pick them up easily, and although I was still young, I had already learned that when someone decides that something thing needs to be done, it’s usually the someone who ends up doing it.
I had never built anything before. When I was in school, young girls studied “home economics” and left the woodworking to the boys, but invariably, when I asked a gardener how their trellis was constructed, a man was involved, someone. one who had benefited from a workshop course. Maybe when I left home I should have taken my dad with me, but having to fend for myself resulted in a crash course in hand tools with an emphasis on speed and ease.
Peas aren’t the only crop that benefits from a hand trained in the workshop; tomatoes, squash, peppers, cucumbers, brassicas and raspberries produce most abundantly when kept off the ground on a well-built frame. I’ve tried as many different methods as my lack of training allows, and it seems like every year I find myself reinventing the wheel. My efforts are often time consuming and ineffective, which annoys David because it means that I am less available to take care of him. This often leads to the replacement of a rickety teepee bean trellis with a structure that could have been designed by Gustave Eiffel or Shah Jahan.
Due to a few careless words about the small size of my garden, David has spent the last six years chopping down trees, pulling brush, pulling stumps, leveling the land, erecting fences, plowing and plowing. dig, not to mention all the other little things I have. found to keep him busy, many of which involve manure. For some unfathomable reason, the thought that vermin like deer, rabbits and especially crows could steal the fruit of his labors before they pass his lips, causes him great distress.
It took years of work, but this spring we have a huge patch of strawberries that local birds find irresistible. In previous years I have tried plastic tunnels on a PVC frame and then started again when the plastic failed, but ended up with a canopy run over by the cat in its attempt to catch them. birds inside. The idea of it happening again inspired David to go on an architectural frenzy.
He went to Irly Bird and bought a roll of half-inch metal screen with which he intends to cover the entire 60-by-three foot bed after attaching it to a wooden frame , he assures me that it will be portable and absolutely raven proof, a true Taj Mahal. I’m starting to understand why my mom never mentioned construction; it probably tired her just thinking about it, and my dad was nowhere near as obsessive as David.
David has completed what he calls his “prototype,” a wire-and-wood creation that feels light enough and strong enough to defeat a frenzy of strawberry-addicted crows. It would only take six more to cover the whole bed, but at least that occupies him.
David is actually pretty good with power tools and spatial guessing considering he never shopped as a kid. David walks over to his own mixer and has managed to persuade the manager to allow him to take cooking lessons instead because his grandmother warned him: “If you don’t know how to cook and take care of yourself, you’ll have to marry the first girl who asks for you. ”He claims he learned the tools by trial and error, but still has all his fingers, which he uses to produce industrial strength cages that will avoid me. problems in the future and will give me more time to make her tea.
I can’t wait for him to decide we need a chicken coop. He’s probably already thinking about it, but can’t comment on Doric columns or flying buttresses.