That would be picking rocks and rolling them down to the creek!
Twenty-six loads of rock came out of my little plot over the past week. Now if only it would warm up enough to feel like spring!
Last weekend LLM accompanied me to go looking for a tiller. I had contemplated renting one, but by the time I rented the thing for a couple days to get this plot ready, I could easily buy one. So I figured for the price of one year’s garden, I’d just purchase a tiller that will last me for many more years to come. I had found a Troy-Bilt rear tine tiller on Craigslist for $400, but upon inspection found that it wasn’t worth near half that amount. So we moved on. There are times it really pays to have a man around – I don’t know the first thing about machines, so it was nice to have him by my side to poke and prod and look at things I wouldn’t have thought about. It’s probably a good thing that one didn’t work out, because I know for a fact after trying to use LLM’s tiller last spring (which is also a rear-tine model) that I probably don’t have the strength to power through a garden with that style. The other option, for those not familiar with rototillers, is a front tine. It’s a little easier to use because the tines rotate forward (as opposed to backward like a rear-tine) so they act sort of like “front wheel drive.” It helps propel the machine forward through the dirt.
Earlier in the morning I had taken a run to Home Depot to replace my dilapidated rake, and noticed a couple smaller tillers in the garden section. This is how I figured it would cost me less to buy one than to rent one to get this plot ready. So after the run to look at the Troy, we took a spin by Home Depot and bought a little one for $319. There’s a whole long story that goes with the experience at Home Depot – but for the short version, it included a fork lift (driven by a “licensed” fork lift driver), orange flags, closing off three aisles of the store, and a kid who didn’t know his arse from a hole in the ground. If I wasn’t so excited about the garden, this might have irked me a bit. But looking back it was pretty funny. Also a significant testimony to the decline of our society… *sigh* 😉
In the end, the tiller found its way into the back of LLM’s truck, and we made it home where he promptly put the thing together for me and (without my even asking!) proceeded to till the plot three times and help me pull six wheelbarrows of rock. This is saying a lot because earlier in the day he was saying how he really needed to get home to try to finish moving.
Tomorrow’s the last day for LLM at the Sanctuary. He’s a little stressed out and unhappy this week. Understandably. I’m going to miss weekends up there – walking out to the point above the Clark Fork River, driving up to the Sex Peak Lookout (yes, that’s the real name), picking huckleberries up Beaver Creek, cutting firewood in the mountains, Brokey-Buck (our resident deer with the broken leg), working the giant garden… It’s a sad weekend knowing that the Sanctuary is coming to an end. 😦
So long, homestead… may we re-create you again elsewhere.