This is the fifth in a series of posts on Happyday Farms, the CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) located up here on Bell Springs Road, run by Casey, Amber, Lito and Courtney.
Loaded to the Gills
I observe much of what goes on at Happyday Farms but I am no longer in the organized work force, at least as far as the mechanics of the farms itself are concerned. A veritable gold mine of available opportunities exist for a guy like me, who has exited crew status, and gone solo.
I enjoy working on a crew, but I can no longer hold up my end of the deal, so I bailed. By that, I mean I can no longer measure up to the standards that I set for myself about fifty years ago. More likely, I can still maintain the pace, but the price I pay, particularly during the days that follow the labor, is too steep.
On the other hand, I can still do some pretty substantial damage when I am allowed to go about the chores on my own terms. Being sixty-one years old has its advantages. Take weed-eating for instance, please. It is some of the most taxing work I have ever engaged in because of the nature of the beast.
Extending the device out in front of me creates tension on my back, which in turn begins to ache. It doesn’t take long to begin hurting, and from there on out I make constant adjustments to ease matters in any way I can. I hold the contraption with my left hand and operate the trigger with my right. After a few minutes, I reverse arms.
When working on a slope, while facing the upside of the site, I will extend my hand half-way down the shaft of the weed-eater, so as to lesson the weight, and operate the machine from a different angle: anything to shift the focus of the pain to another spot.
The bottom line is that I never work more than ninety minutes at one time on the weed-eater. When it runs out of gas, I put it down and either quit for the day, or move on to any one of a number of tasks that accompany the clearing of the weeds.
When Casey and Lito rented the excavator and carved the terraces into my backyard, what we call the West Forty, they had to contend with a lot of existing elements. There were at least a dozen raised, redwood beds, complete with the gopher-proof wiring; there was also a fair amount of decorative manzanita, much of it forming the beds into which soil was put, and vegetables grown.
All of the detritus from the former yard had been shifted and sorted according to whether it was reusable or not. If it could be recycled, it all got stored in an out-of-the-way nook of the yard. If it was dump material, it just got moved out of the way, and ignored. Now I am working to get it all centrally located out in front of my house, so as to get Casey’s utility trailer front and center and loaded to the gills.
Mind you, I will not be the one towing that baby to town. I have rarely been called upon in my life to tow something behind me, and have determined at my advanced age, that I am not going to start now. I leave that up to the younger set.
How much weed-eating is there? Let’s just call it job security. The biggest problem Lito says they have are the quail. They travel in bands and can go through a row of tender, young sprouts like Sherman though Georgia. One way to discourage them is to eliminate the tall grass which they use so effectively to hide their whereabouts.
So I am on a mission to minimize the ease with which the quail can gain access to the garden. Anything I do is that much less that Lito or Casey has to do, so they’re not worried about the pace. Neither am I. Those days are gone forever-over a long time ago.