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Saturday, May 14, 2016: Shovelling it

I love how my cohousing community works together, even when it comes to shovelling horse manure. When I’m feeling depressed, I tend to hunker down at home, but this afternoon I emerged to pitch in with our ambitious landscaping.

Colin and Wally picked up a couple truckloads of well-aged manure mixed with sawdust and straw from a Southlands (South Vancouver) horse farmer. I joined other volunteers shovelling it onto tarps in the back lane and then wheelbarrowing it to our raised beds where we’re growing fruit and ornamental trees, vegetables and flowers.

With guidance from Colin and Donnie, I helped spread the manure in the garden beds. The idea is to enrich the soil and also add a top layer of mulch to try to retain moisture during these increasingly warm days and the prospect of a long, hot summer. The front lawn is already suffering from the heat.

With water restrictions in Vancouver beginning tomorrow (Sunday), we’ve already set up rain barrels purchased from the city to collect rain water for the gardens. During this first year of our garden the plants are pretty vulnerable getting established. Keeping them adequately watered will help a lot.

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Also today, we celebrated two birthdays – Jude’s third and Josh’s 41st. There was an abundance of cake. One highlight of Jude’s was a parade of decorated scooters and bikes down the courtyard.

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The birthday parade heads down the courtyard toward the common house. We’re serious about kids wearing helmets.

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Jude blows out the candle on his birthday cake flanked by his mom Zoe and brother Marley.