A lot of heavy lifting

by Mars

Building raised beds is a creative and fun project, but when they’re built they need to be filled with soil. Given the wet weather we’ve had so far in May, it has prevented us from spreading out the physical workload and today it caught up to us, leading us to wheelbarrow over four tonnes of soil and compost to fill our new raised beds.

Despite the exhausting work, what was remarkably gratifying was that we filled some of our beds near the vegetable garden with our own soil and compost. When we first moved in, we had a lot of green waste from our gardening sessions and after some careful deliberation and thought we allocated a space for our compost heap that was set away over 100m from the house in a spot that would not be visible.

While this was a great location because we would never see or smell the heap, its location, in hindsight, could have been a bit more practical, because what we didn’t take into account at the time was that soil is heavy and that we would have to wheelbarrow it up the field to where it was needed. This explains why my Apple Watch was very pleased with my exercise and walking/step quota today.

The compost heap we initially created was about 4x2m in size, and it’s remarkable just how much soil and we were able to extract from it to fill some of our raised beds. It’s also great know that everything in it was all our green, organic waste that has been processed and broken down by armies of hardworking earthworms.

We have, over the course of this summer, trebled the size of this compost heap and we hope that it will satisfy all our future soil and compost requirements.

We managed to fill three of our six new raised beds, and it’s a relief to know that they’re done. The remaining three will be easier, because they are the smallest, and when they’re full that should be end of the heavy lifting tasks this summer. Then we will do it all again next year, when we add four more raised beds down by the vegetable garden.

And just for good measure, to wrap up a very successful day, I planted out our pumpkins in the largest of our raised beds, with a variety called Mars (I couldn’t resist).

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