Today was the day we broke ground on the first field. Despite the overwhelming rains this November, the day yielded sun and beautiful PNW Fall weather. By mid-day, the Mountain was out, surveying our efforts to till and amend our test field. Herb Beck, of Herb's Land Improvement Co., our personal hero and local farming expert, was on-site with his Kaboda to help give us the best start.
Herb had helped us through the site selection, the soil sampling, and now, amending. All critical to the success of our much-hoped-for sea of peonies. Despite my lousy arithmetic and a last minute change in path size which doubled our field square footage, the first day went smoothly and left all of us delighted with the sound of the wind and the grass; the smell of the tilled up soil; the peace of Farming Vashon.
Day 1 was also the first opportunity our kids had to visit Vashon Peony Co. We were so excited to share the farm dream with them and just have them run for as long and as far as they could. They did. Ran all the way to the giant evergreen in the back acreage, then came back to watch Herb and his tractor before having a picnic, meeting great neighbors, and playing pirates in an old feeder.
It was easily one of the 5 best days of my life so far.
At the end of day one, a brilliant sunset tried to reach out and touch the mountain before leaving Herb and I to finish spreading amendments. One with a flashlight and one with a dream of making it to Camp Colvos Brewing before the 6:20pm ferry back to Southworth. We added lime from Wilco and additional lime from Kathy's Corner as well as a blend of OMRI mixes to hopefully get somewhere close to the requirements laid out by our soil samples/suggestions processed through Wilbur-Ellis and the Cooperative Extension Service Soil Test Interpretation For Peonies made available by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I'll have to top dress when I hill the rows this week, but still, so close!
Herb, who stayed late to help me fertilize rows even in the dark, headed home only to return Sunday afternoon to work in the lime and fertilizers (as close to a 5-10-10 organic mix as I could cobble together.) Meanwhile, I headed to Camp Colvos Brewing, mind still blown by seeing my first sunset on Vashon. I walked into Colvos dismayed bc I had expected to order at the window only they had returned to indoor seating (Huzzah for the non-filthy!). The once-again-awesome staff ignored my muddy state, made me feel welcome, and informed me they even still had lobster rolls. The best day got better. I made the 6:20 ferry home to Greg and the kids with the lobster rolls and chicken mushroom pie in toe and a sense of peace I'd never felt before. All I have to do now is everything else! And if a pretzel with beer cheese sauce got lost on the ferry ride home, well... sorry, Greg, not every day can be totally perfect. ;)