‘There are some of us who like to work in the soil’

Just a few weeks ago the trees were bare and early flowers were making their appearance, but now the mountains are covered with foliage. I guess we were so busy trying to wait out the rain that the greenery has overtaken us. Back in the years when I was planting twenty or more acres in corn, I would have been busy plowing with the old two bottom turning plow, then watching the weather to smooth the ground with the disc and finally planting the corn seed with tons of fertilizer. Those were busy days as we tried to take advantage of the right soil conditions. We could turn the soil with the plow while the soil was still wet, although all the farm work really works best when the soil has the right moisture and warmth. So we farmers were adept at watching and reading the weather. Too many times I would get impatient and try to disc when the soil was too wet and end up with mud stuck in the discs. Then, too, the soil would turn into clods that made working the soil much harder.

Now my farming has changed to mostly raising and harvesting hay. Again the weather plays an important part in the hay harvest. But the stress of getting the spring soil preparation has lessened. That gives me more time for concentrating on the garden work. Even that has gotten so much easier with garden equipment. Instead of plowing with the mule like we did in the 50’s we now have gas driven tillers. I now can run through the space with my tractor tiller in a few hours and have the garden ready for planting. I even use my tractor tiller or the hand-held gas tiller to lay off the garden.

So now that farming and gardening has gotten so much easier you would think that more people would take advantage to raise more of their own food. There is still a lot of work in raising our own beans, potatoes, corn and other things we like. It doesn’t even take a big family all working in the garden, but it is more fun when several work together hoeing and pulling weeds. It can be a together time, a time to talk and share viewpoints, maybe even discuss politics. But it seems easier to buy at the farmer’s market or the grocery store.

But there are some of us who like to work in the soil and watch plants grow. In fact some of us like the growing part more than eating the produce. There is still time to get into gardening.