Thursday, March 18, 2010

Digging up what's buried

3/18/10 Thursday
We’ve been getting lots done. I am both blessed and grateful for Alan being here. He knows we are short on cash till I sell the truck or the stocks inherited from my dad but is working anyway, and working hard. Without him I would be struggling and in reality not keeping up with what must be done to get our crops planted. Last year I got so depressed that pretty much nothing got done. Depression is such an impenetrable wall once it gets to a high level, where even getting out of bed requires effort as you wonder “why bother”. So God, in His mercy, is helping. With the depression I went through last year what I needed most was just for others to encourage me, to simply talk and help me think straight. But this year looks so much brighter and we are encouraged. I have a tractor that works with a disc and plow to use with it so that greatly enhances our ability. Plus we had some funds and were able to buy seeds and other things needed. As soon as I can sell the truck and trailer we’ll have funds needed to buy fertilizer and other essentials, along with badly needed labor. We need to build fences, a chicken coop, extend the garage to provide storage and the greenhouse/work area where we will start seeds and process what we grow. Plus there’s the store building down at the interstate that needs lots of work done to make ready for the farmer’s market.

We’ve been working on setting up the drip irrigation for the 60 wind break trees. That involves digging four hundred feet of trench by hand and hooking up each individual drip emitter. Lots of back breaking work there. I’m used to the pain but it sure got to Alan. He’s unaccustomed to this kind of physical work but you can bet that by the end of the year he’ll be in good shape.

A lot of what we’re doing involves digging up what the wind and sand buried. It’s amazing what has disappeared just since fall of last year. I’ve found hundreds of feet of this black tubing we use for the irrigation that only a small piece was visible. When I started pulling it I discovered there was a whole lot more beneath the surface. There’s a picture of a bicycle that only the front wheel and part of handlebar is visible.

Much of the drip irrigation I put in last year, or the year before, is buried so we are having to uncover it to repair or even know where it goes. As we are able to plant wind break trees over the years, and as they slowly grow to an effective size, this will become less of a problem. In the meantime it’s a constant battle. I’ve learned to create these areas on stilts where we can store things above the ground. This allows the sand to blow under and not build up so bad.

Yesterday I plowed a lot of furrows for the garden. That was an adventure of sorts as I tried to follow where the furrows had been before. The wind, sand, and rain has flattened much of that so it was hard to see. Plus the old furrows were created by hand with the tiller and a hoe so were closer together than works well with the tractor so it kept wanting to slip into the furrow I’d just plowed. When I make the furrows for where we will plant blackeyed peas this year they will be much farter apart.

Alan and I inventoried the seeds we have this morning. Just doing that brings home how much work there is to do. There are almost two pages worth of seeds, and that doesn’t cover the old seeds we have from 2008 and earlier. I am so blessed to have Alan to help and suspect that if I didn’t I would be fighting depression again as I face tasks I’m unable to finish. The words “He needs to get a real job” still ring in my ear as I work to create this farm. That’s the way it is and in fact something most people who strive to create hear, the negative and judgmental spirit that inhabits many. The sad thing is that they don’t even recognize it and think they are giving wise advice. I’ve been reading in the book of Job lately and find a similar thing there. It’s a hard book to comprehend but I’m beginning to see what it says.

There’s work to do so time to go.

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