Sow: do over Sunday

This weekend was not particularly good for productivity. Saturday, we plowed through all of the chores by 3 pm and decided to chill for the rest of the evening. And there was a great rainstorm.

Sunday, neither of us wanted to do anything. But after all the rain, our rain barrels were all full (overflowing actually), except for one. It was the one that we have been talking about moving for a while now—it was over by the peach and plum trees. So first, Bruce needed to move a sprinkler. Lots of digging. In the heat. And a trip to the local big box home improvement store for more PVC pipe than we actually needed.

Once the sprinkler move was done, we moved the rain barrel. Which also meant changing the gutters. While Bruce worked on that, I was in charge of leveling the ground, putting down stone, and leveling the blocks that the rain barrel sits on. The photo below is a bit misleading—it needs to sit on blocks for gravity help the water flow from the hose when you’re filling watering cans and buckets.

We have two of this type of rain barrel. Photo from

We have two of this type of rain barrel. Photo from

Anyway, once we had it in place and the downspout was fixed, we filled it up with extra water we captured from the overflowing rain barrels (we used big buckets and our reno trash can). Well, it promptly sprung a leak! And it had a hairline crack. Ugh. Bruce has repaired it temporarily with silicon and I ordered a replacement this morning. One step forward, one step back.

As if that wasn’t a big enough trial in the triple digit heat and soggy humidity, I noticed that Stock Tank #3 wasn’t draining properly. Malfunction! For some reason stock tank 3 was not draining at all and turned itself into a tomato and pepper killing, foul smelling swamp. After digging up and moving the transplants that were drowning, I dug out a quarter of the wet dirt and mixed it with dry dirt from an empty planter then cleared the drain. It seems to be on the way to drying out. Fingers crossed. It did look better this morning.

Both Bruce and I were exhausted from all of the digging and the heat. But I have to say after being covered in mud for the better part of the afternoon, it sure felt great to shower.

As for the do over, even though it’s Monday, I’m going to treat tonight like it’s Sunday. Water the garden. Putter around. Watch a little tv. Turn my brain off and rest my sore muscles.


Sow: eat your yard

I love this TED Talk from Pam Warhurst, founder of Incredible Edible, an initiative in Todmorden, England dedicated to growing food locally by planting on unused land throughout the community.

Although I first watched it ages ago, Sue from Daily Echo reminded me of it the other day. It was one of the inspirations behind the birth of the Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm (along with our raging desire for tasty and beautiful produce in North Texas).

Please have a watch. Even if you aren’t too keen about digging up your own front yard, if you see your neighbors doing it, hopefully you will encourage them. Besides, if you do, they’ll probably give you some of their bounty.

It’s raining tonight here in North Texas. I’m glad for the water and the pollen scrub. My allergies have been going so insane that my boss gently suggested that three weeks of being snotty is not normal and I should get checked out before I hop on a plane. Turns out we are having some of the worst allergy conditions ever. Hopefully the rain washes away some of the ick. The rain barrels are full again. And I don’t need to water the Urban Farm tomorrow.


Full disclosure:
We are not digging up our front yard and planting food. We have too many trees and lovely native North Texas plants. But we will continue to add to the backyard!