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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • TROY'S COLUMN — Just call me ‘Mr. McGregor’

  • As has become tradition at the Krause farm, Memorial Day weekend was spent getting the garden planted for the season....
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  • As has become tradition at the Krause farm, Memorial Day weekend was spent getting the garden planted for the season. What started Saturday morning was not completed until late Monday afternoon, and actually there are a few things I still need to do before I can officially call the garden grow-ready. The plan was to complete the entire planting process in one day, but that was one of those best laid-out plans that was just not meant to be. After recalling I had not gotten any gas for the tiller Friday night as I had planned, a quick run to the gas station put me a bit behind schedule, but that, by a long shot, was not the most significant setback of the day. After starting to till the ground, and getting a little more than halfway through, I opted to stop and do a bit of planting – just in case the potential for rain I had heard about actually happened. When I got close enough to the to-be-tilled ground, I discovered that great nemesis of my gardening experience. No, I am not talking about any kind of weed or insect. I’m talking about those motorized pieces of equipment we all need to get things accomplished today. That’s right, the tiller broke down, and as you know I am a gardener with very little mechanical brain. So, after trying what I could, I was left without the tool I really needed to get the job done. Thankfully, I did have a backup plan, as my dad had offered a small cultivator to me to help with the weeding this year. When your garden gets to be as big as mine, keeping the weeds under control is a full-time job. Of course, I should have known better, but I opted to take that cultivator (it actually refers to itself as a tiller) and use it to keep the ground churning. While I kept planting, my Amos willingly ran the “tiller,” and with a width of less than my trusty spade, it was taking him quite a while to make much progress. After making several passes and refilling the tank at least once, Amos opted to take a little break. When he got back to it, the trouble began. Now machine two was incapacitated, as neither of us could get it started. So, we did what we could and then called it quits for the rest of the day. Sunday came and went, with little in terms of planting progress. In fact, I was completely at a standstill with plenty of garden still left to plant. My brother-in-law and father-in-law came to my rescue, so by the time I was able to return Monday after enjoying the Mem-orial Day programs in Wabasso and Wanda I was able to get back and finish what I could. So, a weekend project that was only supposed to take a few hours was hampered by my lack of mechanical ability. I’m just glad I still have my hoe around to work on that next part of the process – after the cultivator breaks down again. Of course, I may not even have plants come up, as I noticed later in the day Monday the Krause poultry were waddling through the just planted earth and that motion of their heads bobbing up and down led me to know there was trouble. I grabbed that trusty spade and chased them out. My best half laughed and called me “Mr. McGregor,” as I did what I could to keep the garden pests at bay. I recall reading the story of Peter Rabbit and thinking to myself what a mean guy that Mr. McGregor was. While he is definitely the villain in the tale, I am beginning to believe he got a raw deal. After all, he is the one who put in the plants with the hopes of having produce at the end of the year. If those hens want to enjoy the garden this time of the year, perhaps they should get some land of their own. Then again, they probably would have better luck with the tiller.
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