Yesterday was a very busy day. I was intent on getting an area of my yard ready for the fall planting. I wanted to have a weed free spot that would hold not only some raised beds, but some containers as well. I plan to use both methods on my homestead.
The day was very overcast but always quite humid. I went out around 8:30 and raked the entire backyard which had a nice accumulation of leaves and some pinestraw. I put some in a pile for future composting needs and used the rest to further fill out "Pumpkins Poo" spot.
After I finished raking, I started hand weeding the "Fall" section using a small hand weed puller and scissors. Let me tell you, this is NOT easy or for the faint at heart. And speaking of faint at heart, I discovered something else in my yard yesterday, but more on that later.
Although the area that I was working in did not have a lot of grass, it had lots of roots, and tuffs of grass and weeds in scattered areas. This is only a partial area. It looked something like this:
So I took to the ground alone at first but later on in the morning called in my trusty "Farm Assistant" (ie, "Teenager) to assist.
After much toil we yielded good results which I neglected to take a good before and after picture of. But, it did get us ready to face the task that was the goal: The laying of the weed material: The blackened area is where we used to burn things when we were allowed to burn and weren't under drought conditions. As you can see, the tufts of weed and roots are gone.
Here it is after completion from two different angles.
So now that I have the beginning touches on my area, I can start to fill it in. I won't have to worry as much about the weeds and things growing back, plus it gives me a nice visual to build from as to placement and what types of plants I will use there. I will still need to put a fence around it since Pumpkin and other animals won't be able to run through or pick over the plants that will go into the raised beds, or the shorter containers. But one step at a time. I still have fencing left over from my last project and just need a couple more wood stakes and some bird netting as I have a lot of fence sitters in this area.
And back to the faint of heart portion of this story. While doing the weeding yesterday, I saw something in the yard that looked very odd. I had seen many various types of bugs in the yard including a spider that had a body that reminded me of patent leather. I'm serious!!! But among the tufts of grass there was something that looked like a grasshopper/spider mutant but different from any grasshopper/spider mutant that I had ever seen. The antennas were longer and looked thicker, more rigid, and its body looked like it was plated in armor. I mean when you live in the country and are exposed to all sorts of wildlife, insects, etc. you never know what will show up. So I watched it, it watched me and I couldn't figure out if it was alive or dead at first. So I got a stick, starting poking it and upon further observation realized that this is what it was: (this is also a close-up of the weeds that were pulled as well)
From first glance and with sweat in your eyes (yeah, that's it sweat) could you tell that your nine year old left his toys out and your puppy found it and deposited it in your work spot? Nah, me either!!!!
So after a day of discovering a "new" species of insect, and after raking and laying weeding material, I came inside and did what every homesteader/gardener/farmer does:
I MADE CORN!!
I de-cobbed( is that a word?) it and sauteed it in some butter, and had it with a T-bone steak and a small baked potato. Can you say DELICIOUS!!! Because it was.
All in all it was a very good, although exhausting day. Today, I am feeling the work in my knees, thighs, and upper back and shoulder muscles. I wanted to go out and do some transplanting today, but might need to give myself a day of rest in-between for saftety sake. After all, if I throw my back out again, everything will come to a halt.
It is just so difficult to not go full tilt when you are working on a dream, but especially a dream deferred. This is my passion, rapidly becoming my heart, and even though long coming, my life.