Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My Dad's Tiller Is Better Than Using A Mule, But Not Enough!

Today I began my garden. I know, I know, it should have been done weeks ago. Give me a break, OK? I'm a newbie.

Anyway, getting the ground ready was an adventure. My dad had plowed it and disked it, but tilling still remained to be done. And there is another chore that has to be done at my parents' house when gardening - rock removal.

Once upon a time when folks were hollering, "There's gold in them thar hills!" There was a gold mine on their property. Apparently the field that became the building site for my parents' home and also the spot for my garden was where they threw out all of the non-gold rock. (Too bad they didn't overlook some of the gold!) Thus, there are abundant stones in the dirt. Even though we have been collecting these stones and tossing them out for years, every time you till the soil there they are again. It is like they are reproducing like potatoes!

So my activities today centered around doing things that my body hasn't done in a VERY long time.

The most fun chore was wrestling with the tiller. It is one of those self-propelled jobbies that I remember from ads that insinuated that using such a machine was supposed to make tilling such fun. Don't believe it for a second! The thing was about ¾ as ornery as a mule. It liked to run right along and it was all I could do to hold it back. It also turns out that it is a little underpowered. This means that it likes to cut off whenever it hits something (like a rock or a clump of grass, which, I will remind you, are quite common) that it deems too hard to try to move. Then there was the fun of trying to get it to go in a straight line. Like the title said, it's better than using a mule, but not enough.

Tomorrow I get to pick up stones again (Anyone know any sinners? Just kidding. ) And then I get to till it all probably two more times. This will in turn bring more rocks to the surface which will have to be picked up.

I'm actually thinking about doing like the folks in Scotland do and just give in and start making stone walls with them. I had been wanting a stone retaining wall for a raised bed at my home. (Don't ask me when I'll start that chore.) Today, no kidding, I picked up enough to probably build 2-3 feet of wall.

So depending on how long it takes me to get moving in the morning after my extended workout this afternoon, I hope to get the entire garden ready to plant, and I even hope to get it planted tomorrow. I will be utterly useless tomorrow night, but hey, you gotta die of something, right?

Updates tomorrow...

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