June 17, 2005

Sometimes, reminders that "you get what you pay for" come from unexpected directions. I have been on a hunt for weeding tools lately, having been confronted by burgeoning amounts of witchgrass. Which I prefer to think of as b****grass, but I digress. Witchgrass is a crabgrass-looking, fast growing weed that has an amazingly tenacious root system. It quickly sends up seeds on a distinctive frond, which then dries up and blows everywhere. I lack a good botanical vocabulary, so look up a picture of it online and then you’ll see the little monster to which I’m referring (heck, you probably hate it too but don’t know that’s what it’s called!). Anyway, I was on the verge of purchasing another $8 tool of dubious appearance when Ken pointed out something else. It was a Japanese-type hand weeder with a triangular blade and razor sharp forged steel. I immediately thought it looked capable of doing damage, so for $16 I bought it. I came home, and voila! began slicing away. Suddenly an impossible task seemed quite manageable. Which got me to thinking….in the old days, there was no Roundup, or power tools, or any of that stuff. But there were files and steel, and I was getting a glimpse of what a well-made, sharpened tool can do. For people that tend acres by hand, having the real deal in hand tools is the way to go. I will be taking a second look at those expensive hand tools in the catalog, since one or two of those is worth a dozen of the others. I found something online called a diamond hoe, which looks really appealing. Payday’s in two weeks!

The new Narragansett eggs came two nights ago. We likely will try an experiment. Tomorrow we are going to remove half of the eggs from the incubator and slip them under the hen, and leave the other half where they are. AFTER candling them, that is, since last time a certain number were infertile. I have nothing to lose, and it might work a great deal better.

The unseasonable rain is not helping my attempts toward tomorrow’s farmer’s market. I hoped to have the apricots from our tree, and now they just won’t be ripe in time. Maybe they can be held over until the next weekend…..we’ll see. Either way, they taste too good to waste. I probably could eat the whole tree’s worth myself. Hmmm. Tonight I’ll go home and start picking everything I can find to sell, and we’ll see what happens. I guess we have to start somewhere!

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