Grit Blogs > Cultivating a Dream

If At First You Don't Succeed, You Must Be a Farmer

Our baby soil blocks 

Sometime in the next few days, Tom and I are going to cut down an 80’ tree.

We’ve never done that before, but there’s a first time for everything.

Our property borders an old garage. The owner mentioned he was afraid a rotted pine might fall and damage the roof.

“So if you could cut it down, I’d appreciate it.”

“Sure,” Tom said.

“No problem,” I added.

As the gentleman pulled away in his pick-up, Tom and I looked at each other. “How the heck do you do that?”

“Dunno,” Tom said, “but we’re gonna try. 

Our life’s been like that a lot lately. Not knowing anything but trying anyway. Like when we sat down to order seeds.

“Do cucumbers grow on a vine or a bush?” I asked. 

Tom took a swig of the ice-cold well water. “Dunno.”

“How about asparagus? Is that a summer crop or what?”

“Don’t know that either.”

We ordered anyway. Then we visited the local Farm Supply store and tried to figure out an organic mix.

We came up with a combination of soils to make our baby soil blocks.

After we planted our seeds in ¾ and 1½ blocks, we covered them up and checked on them like newborns.

We almost sent out birth announcements when some of our seeds sprouted.

Another thing we did and had no idea how was when Tom unpacked his super-duper-raised-bed-builder. It gathers dirt, piles it, lays irrigation hose, and covers it with black plastic. I understand the next model up does dishes.

Next year.

We’ve never seen one of those except on YouTube videos. Tom looked at it and put it together. And then he practiced. He’s learning.

I admire him. I tend to give up when the going gets tough but Tom perseveres.

And that’s what farming is all about. Working and not giving up.

Kind of like life.

nebraska dave
6/2/2013 2:17:13 AM

Pauline, you soooo have the homestead genes coursing through your veins. If you don't know how to do something, dig in and find out. Do you still grow tobacco on your farm? I've heard that not just any body that wants to grow tobacco can get permission to grow it. It's a very closed loop crop. Now as for the tree. I would get some good advice on that. Trees can be killers. They twist and turn in some very unpredictable ways. I've been on many chain saw crews after hurricane and tornado disasters and can tell you that a tree of that magnitude is something that will need much safety. If you can rent a cherry picker lift to top off the upper branches first, that would be the best way to tackle a big tree. The best of luck with your homestead endeavors. Have a great day in the garden.