Friday, June 27, 2008

6/27/08 Friday
I worked till 10:30 last night ending the day as I usually do by watering the melons with emphasis on the newly seeded areas. As Cherie and I walked through the garden checking on things I received a shock. Some creature, probably a gopher, had gone right down the row of the Orange Glo watermelons digging holes to the roots. Each mound had two or three, and sometimes four, holes dug around the bases of each plant. What a discouragement. It pissed me off to say the least. I got the gopher poison and placed it in all the holes but don’t have confidence they will eat it. These are shallow holes, not the tunnels they run in.

Today I go into Midland to take care of Steve and Janie’s dogs. While there I will go online and order the castor beans that promise to be a good gopher getter. I was going to hold out till my check came at the first of the month but am motivated now. We will have to fence off an area to grow them and I’ll need help building that. Because the beans and the plants themselves are poisonous it is vital to protect the animals. It looks like the best place to get them will be E-bay because the seed catalogs only sell ten or so in a package. On E-bay I can get them in amounts like fifty or seventy five dollars. That will allow me to use some to poison the gophers and some to plant.

At some point I need to build fences around this garden. That will take money I don’t have yet and physical help. For the gophers the fence needs to include an underground barrier that goes at least two feet deep. Above ground it needs to be fine enough to prevent rabbits and rats out. My grandfather used sheetmetal, mostly steel roofing, that extended two feet into the ground and about a foot above. If I had a trailer I could get lots of the steel roofing and sheetmetal at the landfill. I’ve picked up some but most of what you see there is too big to fit in the truck. Chuck has a trailer I can borrow but it’s one of those made out of a short pick-up truck bed so won’t work for long pieces of sheetmetal. Eventually we will get a trailer, it’s one of those essential pieces of equipment we’ll need for the farm.

I finally got through to Agristar, the firm that provides satellite access to the internet for farms. They have had problems finding someone to install it in this area. The company they said will come out is called “Photo Prescription”. I know Hugh’s Satellite, the provider of the satellite service Agristar uses, was advertising for installers. Evidently all they found was some kind of photograph company that probably is just doing this for a little extra cash. Doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence but we’ll see. Perhaps we will at last get the service we ordered over a month ago. I’ll give them a call in just a few to see what’s up.

Well that didn’t go far. All I got when I dialed their number was one ring and then silence. I tried the number five times with the same result. Agristar’s phone system is still out of service like it was yesterday.

It’s going to be another hundred degree day. Actually the weatherman predicted ninety nine degrees but I don’t see a difference in one degree. As far as I’m concerned ninety nine is a hundred. I’ll get as much done as I can but it doesn’t take long for the heat to render me useless. At least at Janie’s I can enjoy the air conditioning so I’ll head out there around one or so when the heat gets unbearable. Their dogs are digging up the yard real bad, mostly Zoie the puppy. She’s gotten down to were the sprinkler system is exposed and that will get expensive.

Time to get back out there and beat the heat.
The back pain is a little better but it didn’t take long pulling weeds before I had to come in and let the muscles untangle and relax, thus reducing the pain. At least I was able to keep at it till I finished the section that required pulling the weeds by hand. That took an hour. I should take a queue from the dogs. They always come in with me and immediately crash out, getting their rest when they can. I just can’t afford to do that, there is too much that needs to be done and too much that doesn’t get done.

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