Monday, May 14, 2007

A different way to edit a post (hole)

Welcome Wall Street Journal readers! I am really glad you found me out here in the hinterlands. (For the rest of you regular folk, Blog Watch mentioned this little blog, and Phelan and the ubiquitous Susan for a bit about novice farming.)

In my quest to live to a ripe old age, or at least to spend the next 50-odd years still pushing dirt around, I have taken on a new task. You already know about my compost-turning fixation. Pond-digging, ditch-digging and woodchip-slinging are also quasi-regular activities. So here it is:

Post-hole digging. Have I gone on and on about our clay soil lately? And how digging it up is nearly impossible, like digging rock-hard ice cream out of its carton with a too-flexy spoon? Well. Here I am, the day before yesterday. It took me the better part of an hour to dig down 24". I have another foot down to go, and...another 12 post holes for the new/improved chicken run.

This is not a task I relish.

8 comments:

Phelan said...

eww... I to have clay, lots and lots of clay. You are not to work it wet, but when it comes to digging a clean hole, I will get it wet, it is softer to work with and since it's just a hole, I don't have to worry about it clumping and looking a mess. Good luck!

meresy_g said...

Oh the awful post hole digger. An implement of torture if ever there was one. But think of how toned your arms will be! When you can move them again I mean.

cookiecrumb said...

Your arms will be so strong you'll be able to fly.
But. There's gotta be a better way.
(There's not?)

Artemisia said...

Saw you had some bad weather today - just like us. The winds got so strong they pushed a semi-truck over on Rt. 57 and that's not so far from me. Yikes!

Crazy temps also. So hot one day & now it's in the low 60s. My chickens are still not laying & they're almost 6 months old. Buff Orpingtons must be late bloomers. They HAVE to start laying eventually, right? (hehe)

El said...

Phelan, you're right, a wee bit of water does help, but there's a fine balance you have to hit!

Meredith, it's not really bad if you go slowly. And it is my back between my shoulders that seem to really get the workout. Which helps with hoeing and weeding later.

CC, yes, there's a gas-powered auger that I could rent. They come in one- or two-person models. Now, the two-person model IS an implement of torture!! And then there're the kinds that attach to backhoes and such. It seems like overkill (not to mention a real waste of energy). I will just take my time. But I will be able to armwrestle anyone when I'm done.

Artemisia, we just got wet, and we needed the rain so I am not complaining. Nor am I complaining about the cool temperatures! And I seem to remember it took my Ameraucanas a couple of weeks to lay after my Isa Browns started, and they were pushing 6 months too. Once they start though it becomes really fun. Especially with all the weird eggs they throw until they "get it right."

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

El!
So I am not the only post hole digging woman! I think we are in good company!
I have done my fair share and I like filling them up after with cement---not packing the dirt back in. The worst? The holes for the old telephone poles---always so wide and deep. Of course once you get them deep enough it's easy to make them wider isn't it.
Think of the gorgeous shoulder muscles you will have!
Monica

El said...

Monica! We should form a club! And yes, isn't it annoying how big the top of the hole needs to be to get all you can out of the bottom. But telephone poles: wow. (bow down slowly)

Rurality said...

Congrats on your WSJ fame! (I tried to click over to read it but it only showed me the first little bit.)

This place doesn't have quite the amount of clay that our old place did, but it makes up for it in rocks. BIG rocks.