April – We dug up a barn and planted carrots

Every year when it’s time to start digging in the garden, we hit rocks – more like boulders, and we dig them out. This year was no different – in fact – even worse.

I bought a broad fork – a pitch fork looking contraption with an ergonomic handle that’s made for gently lifting, fluffing, aerating the soil so that you don’t disturb the soil layers and all those earthworms as much as you would with a tiller. That was the plan.

Last weekend I started with just one bed in my vegetable garden – it’s 4′ x 20′. With the first thrust of my broad fork, I hit a rock so I went for my favorite shovel – the pink one that my sister gave me. It’s narrow, pointy and just the right size for me to get some leverage. I dug down and pried and prodded until I got the rock out. Whew. And then it happened again and again and again and again. I don’t know if the broad fork tines are longer than the reach of the tiller, or if the winter weather had heaved the rocks closer to the surface, but I think we dug up the foundation of an old barn. The rocks ran in a straight line – right down the entire length of the bed.

Chris said I was digging too deep – that vegetable roots only go so far, and the vegetable bed would be just fine if we left the rocks there. But I rotate crops in the garden – and this year – carrots need to go in that plot. And carrots won’t grow if they hit a rock. He pulled out his tractor with the front end loader – and as we dug, we filled the bucket – four times!

And then I started on the next bed… and there were more rocks, more tractor loads to haul out, and one rock in particular that won the prize. It was too big to haul out. We worked for about 4 hours and finally got it upright to take up less space, but now it looks like a tombstone in the garden.

The soil is gorgeous now. All the digging and prying and prodding may have disturbed the soil layers, but we mixed in compost and wood ash and planted the carrots. They better appreciate all that hard work and grow like never before!

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Prying up a rock with my favorite shovel.
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I needed help getting some of these out.
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The broad fork just kept finding more and more rocks
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We filled up the front-end bucket 4 times and hauled those rocks out of the garden. They better not be back again next year!
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This rock got the better of us.
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It was bigger than we could haul out.
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These – we hauled out.
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This one is staying put – right smack in the middle of one of my garden beds. It looks like we buried someone there!

8 thoughts on “April – We dug up a barn and planted carrots

  1. Your farm is half garden, half quarry!

    That “headstone” rock could be fun to decorate at Halloween!

    After all that hard labor, I’m sure you will have another banner harvest this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why didn’t you just build a barn and plant your veggies elsewhere?🤣 (Just kidding you know)
    That was an incredible amount of rocks, where did you put them? Or will you make a path or something with the flat side?

    Like

    • If I’d known the barn was under there, I might have put the new barn in its place – leave it to me to pick the rockiest place on the farm to grow my garden! We moved them over to the rocks from old springhouse, but I might use them for a rock wall or a path later this summer!

      Like

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