Over the past few months, well-intentioned people have given us a lot of, "you shoulds". This is my term for when everyone has a recommendation on something expensive you should "really" obtain. We'd need to win the lottery to be able to fulfill every recommended piece of equipment someone has recently recommended we buy.
Our property is 4 acres. When we bought the land, the majority of the pastures and garden plots were overgrown with prairie grass and 8' tall weeds. We decided to rent brush mowers and a tiller in November to get things more manageable.
With temperatures starting to warm up, with fear we've started to see green grass and weeds peeking out from our fields. We knew the clock was ticking to build a game plan and start working the ground for our flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Stubbornly, we tried first to do everything by hand. I used a hoe to do several rows in our main vegetable garden to get a head start on kale and lettuce. Together, we spent 2.5 hours hoeing a patch roughly 20' x 8' wide in the flower field. With aching backs, calloused hands and general frustration, we decided it was unreasonable to complete the whole field by hand. At least, I was glad we tried to prove to ourselves this was a category of need that truly required the right machinery.
Today we picked up our first mechanized tiller. At under $600 from Rural King, she is a gem! Two hours of work got knocked out in 20 minutes with a reasonable level of physical effort. In fact, I dare say, tilling was fun.
Guys name the cars and boats. Today, I named my first piece of machinery. I call her Judy, after my mom. Both are hard-working and get stuff done! Three cheers to welcoming "Judy", and may her tenure be productive in our first year on the farm.