Usually at this time on a Friday night I would be staring at the bottom of an empty wine bottle, but because of a flukey schedule we have to work tomorrow.

Yesterday was the last day of our Golden Week holiday, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. This is the time of year when people, myself included, get their gardens up and running. Until now I’ve contended myself with cultivating a small veggie garden in our equally small yard. But as I mentioned before, this year I was offered the use of a larger piece of land across the street. It nothing compared to serious farmers/gardeners, but it will likely double my previous capacity. I will plant more of the crops I usually plant — tomatoes, cukes, eggplant, various peppers, okra (for my wife), corn — and still have room to spare.

We are using the two freshly tilled rows.


I got up yesterday morning and hand tilled our space, formed two long rows, and covered them in black plastic to keep the weeds down. We had bought a bunch of seedlings the previous day, which I intended to plant later in the day with Chieko and Ray. I returned to the house to eat some breakfast and check in on the fam, then we all went out into our yard. It was at that point that one of the local farmers came up and asked if I had fertilized the soil, and when I was planning on planting everything. I replied no, I planned on adding fertilizer when I planted the seedlings later in the day. Well, that was not acceptable, by any means. And so it was that I found myself trudging to this guys house, loading his truck with several bags of fertilizer, driving back to the garden, ripping up all the plastic I had painstakingly applied that morning, spreading various fertilizers, then standing idly by as the man brought in his motorized tiller and chopped my soil into two perfectly parallel planting rows. I thanked him profusely. I’ll put the plastic back on later, as I have to wait several days for the fertilizer to take effect. I just hope our seedlings will last that long.

But that’s the kind of hospitality you find in Japan, wherever you go but especially in the more rural areas. I don’t doubt that it would happen in America, too, but it’s nice to experience it here s well.

So the proper garden is on hold for a few more days, but I’ve turned my sites to something far more exciting. With our yard now no longer being used as a garden, I came up with the ingenious idea of creating a BBQ paradise for us and our neighbors to enjoy this summer. I had a vision, and it is coming to life.

$30 in sod created a nice lawn, and $5 in giant sunflower seeds will create a BBQ sanctuary once they grow up around the edges of the grass. I am beyond pumped for this.


My only concern is that our yard has practically no drainage, and I’m worried once the rainy season swings into action that the grass my not make it. We’ll think positive for now, though. So much potential there.

That’s it from here, I think. It’s getting late for a school night. There will surely be ample future posts updating all I have discussed above! Good night.


7 thoughts on “Groundwork

  1. That is some sorry ass looking sod! I thought it was concrete patio blocks at first glance. You need that rainy season in a hurry. 🙂

    1. i know, it’s pretty bad looking, but starting to green up a little…what do you expect for 30 bucks?

    1. You misunderstood Grasshopper. We were being encouraging, knowing you would turn that poor starting material into a lush carpet of deep green grass.

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