Guys are supposed to be useful. A good friend once told me that. Yup, he was a guy, and he was beyond useful. He was useful with a capitol U. If anything was broke, he could fix it. If anything needed to be improved, he’d improve it. He’d come over my house, check the drains, electrical wires, plumbing, heating, cooling, locks, etc, etc… all for the fun of it! Any of you ladies lucky enough to have a man like that? The type of guy who knows how to do everything around the house… including all the things you couldn’t, wouldn’t and shouldn’t do. The type of guy who putties wall cracks on a Sunday afternoon, and enjoys reading manuals for assembling desks and cabinets. Hey, does this sound like heaven, your husband, or a handyman?
Whatever it is, it sounds pretty good to me… After all the years of knowing Foodie, I never would have thought of him as one to get his hands dirty, except of course where the kitchen is concerned. I was under the impression that Joe enjoyed leisure, R&R… spending a Sunday sipping wine, nibbling on cheeses, while I hand feed him grapes. That is why I was pleasantly surprised last spring when Joe volunteered to construct a ten ft. by ten ft. garden in our backyard.
Yup, as usual, Foodie went full out. He rented a $19.99 U-haul, visited a friend’s horse farm, and filled the entire trunk with manure. FYI: horse manure is a fabulous fertilizer as it is super rich in nutrients. However, make sure it is old manure so nitrogen levels are low. Fresh manure has high nitrogen levels and will kill most plants. Another benefit of horse manure is that it is cheap, usually free! Most horse farm owners will gladly allow someone to show up with a truck and shovel to rid them of their animals’ waste. They likely won’t charge you for it, and might even say “thank you.” FYI II: Before we embarked upon this expedition, I made it very clear to Foodie, “I am thrilled that you want to give our garden the best stuff for growing, and, of course, I’ll accompany you to the farm. However, I will not be helping with the shoveling.” Yup, that’s not helping.
In addition to the manure, Joe filled our plot with organic top soil and bone meal for extra nutrients, and peat moss for better drainage. Most of the time he worked without a shirt on. I didn’t mind that either…
We purchased plants and herbs from the Carrboro Farmers Market including tomatoes, lettuce, watermelon, eggplant, basil, thyme, rosemary, lavender and sage which Joe meticulously planted.
While Joe slaved away, I often walked outside to catch some sun.
It did not take long to reap the benefits of Joe’s labor. By May we had a fruitful, lush cornucopia of edibles that we enjoyed throughout the entire summer.
Of course, come winter, the garden dried up and turned into a weedy, barren, wasteland. However, Foodie surprised me again this year with the same good, old-fashioned, dirty-boy, physical labor… Joe ripped out the “old” and prepped the ground for the “new.”
Sorry Readers, it might be another month or two before he takes off his shirt again…