Sometimes it rains and when the weather clears you see that you have a puddle in your yard. This is a good thing. Sometimes it hasn’t rained and you have a puddle in your yard and you think cool, a puddle with no rain, that’s interesting. But then you start to wonder where this puddle came from. This mysterious puddle right outside your bathroom window… Wait, the pieces are coming together… no rain, puddle, bathroom, the shower drain was a bit slow this morning… dear crap! Puddle of sewage in the side yard!! Brad called the landlord, the landlord called the plumbers, the plumbers dug a trench diagonally through my garden. This trench also went from corner to corner of the back yard, sparing the giant maple tree but turning most of our grass to mud. The plumbers put down grass seed and straw before they left so the view out the kitchen window is a bit barnyard. But I’m not really worried about the yard; it’s the garden that I’m fretting over. The peas, lettuce, onions, and radishes we had already planted were spared, but a good half of the garden is a churned up mess. Everyone had been telling us how great the soil is in our back yard, and they were right, when we dug up our garden last fall we turned over this beautiful rich dark brown crumbly loam, soft, sweet smelling and perfect for growing. All this soil is now packed around our new sewer pipe at the bottom of a 4-foot deep trench. We will be planting corn, cucumbers, and tomatoes in greasy black clay that smells cold and dead. This was not exactly the plan. We spent last Saturday with our garden partners, Andrew and Adrianne planting cabbage, broccoli, beets and turnips in the bit of the garden the plumbers hadn’t touched and trying to figure out what to do with the rest. Get a couple of truckloads of old horse manure and till it into the clay? Cover the clay with leaves, compost and whatever organic matter we can find and plant in that? Just poke the seeds into the clay and hope for the best? I’m focusing on the bright side--the peas look good, the cabbage plants are in the ground, and the toilet works.