Well, said plans have been scrapped, and one fine 65 degree day, I took on the task of putting things back. This pile of dirt was light and beautiful and full of rich, organic material. I've babied this dirt for three years. You can't buy dirt like this, I'm telling ya. (Note: You probably can.)
I started with a mix of what we had in the yard, organic potting soil, and a few other soil amendments. Since then, every time I plant a new crop I add compost to replenish what has been taken out by the growing plant. I also regularly fertilize with compost tea. This dirt is full of calcium from crushed eggshells, and other great organic things from my worms. (Read: Worm poop)
The point of this post is to give you a little info on how to get this rich, black earth. When I put my garden to "bed" in the winter, I take finely mulched leaves and layer them on in a depth of about two inches. I give the whole thing a good watering, and know in the spring it will have broken down into more rich loaminess. (Loaminess? I don't know who says that besides me.)
Back to the task at hand...