Why I Went to College

Growing stuff is hard work.

I grew up on a “commuter farm” — 30 acres of bare ground 11 miles away from the two acres my family lived on. I learned to drive on a tractor and I could back a flatbed trailer around a corner before I needed a bra. Note: I cannot do this now. “Use it or lose it” conveys a true concept.

I cut hay, baled hay, bucked hay, herded cattle (on foot, four-wheelers hadn’t been invented and horses were expensive), treated sick cows for pinkeye, picked lavarock out of fields, even irrigated once or twice.

This is why I went to college and studied a physical science. Small-scale farming is hard.

When you get to the size of factory farms, you can get machines to do just about everything. When you have 18 acres in alfalfa and twelve in pasture? It’s not practical to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a haywagon. You pick up the [bleep!]ed bales and toss them around by hand. Mom was 5’4″ (163cm), so our bales only weighed 40-50 lbs, rather than the 90-100 lb standard size (AKA 20kg vs 40kg).

I bring this up because Spooky Man and I are starting a bit of a garden this year. So far, I have a 12×6 ft plot forked and tilled, some compost worked in, and 8 plants planted (2 raspberry and six cherry tomato plants). Really, it’s not big.

We still need to put together the two planter boxes of strawberry plants. Then there are some onions and some kind of mixed seed tape (Spooky Man bought it online, so I’m not sure how it’s supposed to work).

It will get done, but not today. My back is complaining. Loudly.

Stay in school, kids. Ow.

Update, May 2nd: The strawberries and onions are in the ground. I received line edits, so the seed strips will have to wait another week.

1 comment so far

  1. A Smith on

    save me some cherry tomatoes! Love them fresh from the garden

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