Welcome to May! Spring has been arriving rather stealthily, but after four days of rain, it has announced its arrival! The world is green and the sun's rays are warming our part of the world. Just in time, too, for Dan's parents flew from Pittsburgh to Wisconsin to visit us. I picked them up at the O'Hare International Airport on Friday and Dan and I dropped them back off just today, so we were able to spend the whole weekend with them.
The main reason they came was to watch Dan's Pinning Ceremony, the penultimate ceremony that acknowledges all of the hard work Dan has put towards his master's degree. Officially, he doesn't graduate until August, and there's a ceremony down at the main campus next week that would more officially mark the end of his coursework. But as far as Dan's parents and I were concerned, the pinning ceremony was what we wanted to see.
The pinning ceremony didn't take the whole weekend, but we managed to stay busy. On Sunday, Bruce and Sue helped us with our garden! After deciding on where we'd put our garden, the real work began. Dan started by raking the area.
Then we all took turns turning up the dirt. The cornfields here in the Midwest aren't misplaced, after all. We turned up dirt that was dark, rich, and free from rocks. (We think it had been used for the cornfields in year past that surround our house, but it hadn't been used last year.) Actually, we only took less than a dozen rocks out of our 18' by 7' plot. Not too shabby! I think the Sahlis were a bit jealous, to be honest. Apparently their Pennsylvanian soil is a bit rockier than here.
Then, to protect our future plants from herbivores, both large and small, some folks drove some posts into the ground, while others of us took pictures.
Dan had found a couple of rolls of abandoned snow fence sitting around the barn, which he brilliantly re-purposed as garden fencing. We attached it with wire and zip ties. Because not all of the herbivores would be dissuaded by this, we also had to buy poultry fence and attach it along the ground with yet more zip ties.
In yet another moment of re-purposing genius, Dan found an old gate and made it our new gate. Granted, the fencing is a little rag-tag -- a bit reminiscent of the garden fencing I saw in my drives around Allegany County -- but it was brilliant and (best part) cheap!
When all was said and done, our garden was ready. Thanks, Bruce & Sue, for all of your help!