But perhaps I need to back-up. Why is this all so important to me? I would like to live a more sustainable life. Ideally we would get all our fruits, vegetables, and eggs from our own land. And Walmart would get a LOT less of our money. Further, I want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Which means that I would like to be as local as I can for our needs.
We are failing that miserably at the moment, though. Right now I am in a moral dilemma of choosing between ideology and practicality.
Ideally, we would use beautiful, home-cooked compost to get nutrients back into our clay-packed soil. But I don't know diddly about compost. However, I am a librarian, so I know more than diddly about books! Barbara Pleasant, has written an amazing, award-winning guide to getting started composting. In addition to being a very easy to follow explanation of how to compost, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide is an excellent guide on responsible gardening.
Peat moss is a typical additive to get unhelpful soil up to snuff. However, Pleasant makes an excellent argument for why peat moss is not a sustainable option. "Peat comes from such very slow-growing, slow-rotting plants that it typically takes 1,000 years for a bog to add 1 yd (0.91 m) to its depth." (Pleasant, 232)
So here is my problem. I don't want to abuse 1,000 years of lovely rot just to jump-start my garden, and I certainly don't want to encumber the fossil fuels to bring it here to the homestead. But I don't have any lovely, home-grown compost, yet. We only moved here about a month and a half ago, after all. In the question of ideology versus practicality, I think, at the beginning, practicality is going to have to win out.
That decided, I guess we will be buying a van-load of peat moss and tilling it into our fall garden plots in the next two weeks. But I have a better plan for energizing the rest of the garden over the winter. But more on that later.
For now, I need to finish tilling the fall plots, and find out how to balance the gardening ideas, the general household tasks, and the stay-at-home mom stuff, all while trying to maintain my sanity.