Dylan decided, for many reasons, to make our main production beds about a 1/2 a mile from the house. One of those reasons being that the soil condition is much better there, and drains better, so it's not as wet in times like this (it has literally rained since we've been here). He has to get the beds prepared this year for next year's production. Our fields are literally ready to be hayed..but can't be because of the rain...so imagine the height of the grass....just for starters. Yesterday, Dylan mowed AN ACRE of open field with our mower...and today we raked it into piles and carted those piles (what felt like 50 miles) to a very large mulch pile in the middle of the field. The mulch will be used on the beds. Now that you have the background...here's what I learned from our DAY LONG experience. :)
-There ARE snakes in Maine. We saw (another) one today. That makes 2 that we've actually spotted, and one that possibly bit Dylan on the back of the leg when his truck was stuck in the mud. Good news? None are poisonous....and unlike Louisiana snakes, they seem to be pretty small. I actually walked up and looked at the one today, then Basil poked it with a stick and it slithered away. This is much improvement from my normal kicking and screaming and running away while kicking my shoes off (don't ask, I can't explain it).
-When you tell the kids you'll buy them a pint of blueberries each for helping, they get really excited. (And yes, they all got their blueberries tonight!).
-After pulling a cart back and forth...back and forth...back and forth...all day over an acre of ground...I can honestly say I know how a horse feels.
-It takes approximately $16 in gas to mow a 1 acre field with our mower to "mulch" standards.
-Dylan is a MUCH faster raker than I am (no surprises there).
-When garden carts say "easy to pull" on the enclosed info, they mean in a flat paved area...with nothing in it. It is significantly harder to pull a fully loaded (with mulch and/or children) cart across somewhat mowed somewhat level somewhat wet ground. "Easy" is not the word that comes to mind.
-It takes exactly 6 Motrin to ease back pains from 1/2 a day of raking and a full day of loading/carting mulch in a one acre field.
-There is no limit to how many times you get to say "Who's idea was this, anyway?" during the "mulch day" event.
-Kids (and husbands) can come up with a song while mulching in the tune of "99 bottles of beer on the wall"...that can go on forever.
-12 year old boys become very motivated when food is involved as a prize.
-There are JUST AS MANY spiders in Maine as in Louisiana...only smaller and they can't kill you.
-An acre is a lot bigger than you think.
-2 and 4 year olds CAN and WILL eat a whole box of chocolate chip Bunny Grahams if left unattended on a blanket in the middle of a field.
-2 and 4 year olds ALSO still have plenty of room in their very small bellies for dinner and blueberries later in the day.
-Dogs like to chase mice...even if the mice are rescued and relocated to the woods.
-A whole day in the field doing mulch gives you lots of time to think about how...exactly...you're going to get all those vegetables back to the house next year once the beds are producing. You hope that it's not in the sorry garden cart that's "easy" to pull.
-Unfortunately, 2 wheel drive trucks will not make it 1/2 mile back into a muddy field to help with the mulch day. Believe me, I asked several times for this to happen.
-And lastly, a family of 5 can actually have a pretty decent day raking and moving mulch on the farm.
Hopefully, this is Dylan's last big field that needs to be prepared for the year, but you NEVER KNOW with him. I think I'm going to start taking donations for some heavy equipment...or farmhands. :)
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )