Rocking neighbors with opening act JP

The backyard of our house was neglected for years before we bought it. We have lots of positive evidence in the excellent soil that has been created by years of unraked leaves composting in layer after layer all over the yard. Unfortunately, we also have thickets of privet, sumac threaded all across the yard, and poison oak thick as my arm climbing our biggest trees.

For the first two years we were here, we focused on keeping the center of the yard and the parts next to the house under control. For the most part, I have just run the mower over the weaker bits, trying to keep them in check. I have also cut down a few small weed trees that were the muscle protecting the weaker weeds.

In part, it was a craving for farm-fresh eggs that started it all. Mama and I decided that we could clear out a corner of the yard and have our own chickens. A while ago, Mama Squirrel and I were in the backyard working on the run for our chickens. Our neighbor from two doors down, JP, saw us out and asked us if we would like some tomato cages.

We figured that we could clear out a small area for a few tomato plants. No problem and fresh summer tomatoes would be good. Except that the small area tuned into a ten by ten plot. Six tomato cages led to tomatoes and about a dozen varieties of other plants. There are more seed varieties in waiting than I can count. There are plans to quadruple the size of the original plot. We have to lay out paths leading to the chicken coop and the compost bin. We have to drag (even more) tons of small limbs to the street. We have to cut up larger limbs (and smaller trees) for firewood for the fire pit we have to build. And we still have to finish putting wire on the frame for the chicken run which our babies are going to be ready for very soon.

And all of this is thanks to the generosity of our neighbor, JP. Thanks a lot, neighbor. Thanks a lot.

Actually, we really do appreciate it. We needed the impetus to start doing something with our yard. We have gotten tremendous pleasure from watching our garden grow and our weeds disappear. We definitely plan to share our bounty to show our appreciation.

Overheard at a Mexican restaurant
Summer Cooking Classes at Encore

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