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Saturday, April 18, 2009


Every year since 1969, our neighbor (who is my cousin) has come up with his big farm tractor and plowed our garden. As our family grew, the garden grew in size until it covered about a third of our 1.3 acre homestead. We needed a huge garden to feed five sons and one daughter (especially the sons!). As the years passed and the number of mouths around our table every day decreased, so did the size of the garden. Eventually it was reduced to less than a quarter of its maximum size.
In January this year, the neighbor who has always plowed the garden for us decided to downsize and sold his farm equipment. That meant he no longer has a tractor and plow, and we had to figure out another way to turn over the ground in the garden this year. The month has been cool and wet, so nothing could be done until today. This afternoon Leroy went out to the garden with our garden tractor and a rear-mounted cultivator. It didn't go as fast as plowing, but it worked. Using a downsized tractor to work the ground seems appropriate since we will downsize the garden again this year.

With the way I've been performing lately, I will not be able to do much in the garden this summer so it's no use planting more than we can handle. We'll plant a normal potato and onion crop and a few other things such as tomatoes, cabbage, etc. for fresh eating. But half of the current garden will probably be enough. With all the produce farmers in the area, I can still get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to can without the work of raising the produce.

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