A Day in the Dirt

One of the reasons I “retired” from working outside of our home was to get dirty.  That’s right.  On any slightly warm day you will find me digging, planting, weeding, watering, and moving earth.  Yesterday was a banner “dirt” day.

Tools for working the Blackberry Patch.

It was still too muddy to work in my own garden.  I’d planted potatoes and onions last week but still needed to plant seed of various types.  I found FD’s mother working alone in her garden spot.  She has a large blackberry patch and the Bermuda takes over each year so a spring weeding was in order this weekend.   She worked the larger berries and

Mom tangling with the thorns.

I worked a row of a smaller type blackberry.  It is tedious work since Bermuda is an invasive grass.  First the ground is lifted around the plants using a potato fork.  I broke two potato forks in the process!  Agggh!  One, an old antique model where the fork came loose from the handle (which FD assures me can be repaired) and the other a cheap “made in China” issue that was nearly new (and is now toast).  Next, a rake helps loosen and remove some of the dried grass and debris.   Finally, a hand spade is used to dig around the plant and bring up deep-rooted Bermuda grass and also small trees that have managed to secure themselves in the row.  All of this, plus the dead canes from the previous year, are pitched in a wheelbarrow and hauled to the chicken yard for the chickens to scratch through.

Chickens are excellent insect, rodent, and bug catchers.  I always carry a cup or jar with me when I work in the dirt just in case I dig up a fat,  juicy grub or worm for a treat.  The chickens love scratching through just about anything so each wheelbarrow load was greeted by a group of “me-firsters” waiting to attack the pile of discarded grass, weeds and clippings.  I saved my little cup of grubs for the older hens who are slow and not able to scurry to the scratch pile.  I have my favorites, you know…

Hugo and a girl friend sitting in a freshly dug dirt nest!

FD spent the day tilling up one of the two vegetable garden spots his mother will use to plant her garden.

FD manhandling the garden beast!

Mom reminded me in Oklahoma the end of February is the deadline for planting all taters, onions and other cool weather crops.  Being the good son FD is, he made sure her garden was ready for planting today (nothing like waiting until the last minute)!  You’ll note our little ranch dog Zoe in the background overseeing the job.  She’s tiny (a Japanese Chin) but a great companion, always nearby.  She loves the outdoors.

By days end, the Oklahoma wind had kicked up a storm to the north and west, and the dirt was airborne.  A hazy, gray sky filtered the sun, leaving a spectacular evening sunset.  I only had seconds to capture the last of the sun before it dipped low on the horizon, ending another work day on our little ranch.

Hazy woodland sunset.

© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…

2 thoughts on “A Day in the Dirt

  1. Ha! Back in the day I secretly would have liked that comment!! Nowadays, it means it’s time to hit the showers after a long day outside! I do love the smell of fresh dirt, and the feel of cool soil on my bare feet.
    I’m pretty sure dirty girls rock, eh?


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