Nothing better than a rainy day to do gardening. Stuff sticking to you. Muddy boots. Compost and clay welding
into the wrinkles in your hands and that filmy part around your fingernails. That’s all good, but the best is that a rainy day is perfect for moving all kinds of plants and getting seedlings divided and planted around.
I got to work in my little backyard garden in Columbia in the rain today. Here’s what I did: separated and planted out 20 cabbage seedlings from a community pot, dug a big hole and buried my bokashi compost mush, divided asters, pruned roses, raked the yard, moved a big piles of wet oak leaves and water, moved some year old Smyrnium seedlings, cut the grass, pulled, chopped with a spade a ton of turnips then covered that all with compost, divided more stuff and took divisions to some friends. Me and the little terrier-esque dog Gussie were drenched and covered with organic duff — green, brown and bits of pink from the turnips. Gardening is getting into a zone. Being part of wet and sweat. The donkey zone. (Donkeys, unlike goats who are totally afraid of even the slightest drizzle, love getting wet and dirty. In case you didn’t know but are thinking of getting one or the other, you better have a shed if you decide on goats, otherwise, they’ll be standing on tip toes, on your porch. Seriously.)
I called my Momma once when I was this dirty and asked, ‘what are you doing?’ “I’m chasing your donkeys,”she said. Now don’t feel sorry for her because she’s exaggerating. She may have been in the rain, on the dirt road that snakes around the farm, with the donkeys. But the truth is, you can’t chase a donkey. You can only lead him home with a bucket of feed or some cookies. You can’t chase a donkey and you can’t force a garden. That was just Momma being dramatic. Coerce it, talk to it, lead it with chocolate chip cookies or corn. Plant, divide, cultivate it in the rain when all those roots, leaves, microbes and worms don’t have a bit of stress from too much sun or heat.