Sunday, April 6, 2008


I did my usual rounds at the City Market on Saturday, buying my usual 7 squash for a buck, and 4 dozen fresh eggs for $9, except all he had were extra large, so I spent $12.  I always pick up a couple dozen for my trainer, who also loves those brown eggs with golden yolks.  Range chickens make much tastier eggs than caged chickens.  There were some gorgeous tomatoes, and I regret not buying any, but I was on a schedule Saturday.

For years I've been talking about growing my own veggies.  I have the space for a large garden.  I was shopping for a tiller on Craigslist, but ended up buying a brand new one for slightly more than I had budgeted since Home Depot had them on sale (and they accept Visa).  I ended up with a smallish Cub Cadet front tine one, because the rear tine, self-propelled, electric start models are mega expensive.  A lot easier to handle, but cost prohibitive.  I saw $3 per pound tomatoes at the grocery store, so I'd have to grow a lot to justify a $700 tiller.  (Mine cost half that.)  Today, it rained a bit, which softened up the ground.  I took advantage of this and tilled up the portion of my back yard which obviously was a garden before I moved here.  The grass grows much greener in this particular sunken square.  The first pass with the tiller was pretty rough.  The tiller had a mind of its own, and I had to hold on with every muscle flexed.  That ground hadn't been tilled in 8 years, and I was wishing for the heavier rear tine model.  A black, rich, fertile loam emerged.  After the ground was broken, I made some crosshatch passes to break the soil up even more  By the third pass, I only had to gently guide the tiller.  I think there's nothing more zen than growing your own food.  I have friends who want a garden, but don't have any space for one.  I'm happy to let them plant in my garden, as long as I'm not the only one cultivating and watering all summer.  I'm sure I won't be the only one picking and eating.  :-)

While I was plowing the ground, I thought about how hard it must have been to use a regular plow pulled by a domesticated farm animal.  I remembered the book "Hill of Fire" about a Mexican farmer who complained that nothing happened in his life, then his cornfield swallowed up his plow and erupted into El Monstruo, a volcano.  I just remember how the entire first half of that story is about the tedium of plowing behind a stubborn ox day in and day out.  Thanks to modern gas guzzling machinery, I got the job done inside of two hours.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you finally tilled up that garden area.  Fresh veggies are so much better.