Last fall Cliff offered to plow my garden, and I turned him down; I think I had some harebrained experiment in mind that would not have required plowing. After letting the idea hibernate all winter, I decided it wasn't a good one and told Cliff I wanted my garden plowed after all.
When the spring thaw came, the garden area turned into a quagmire for a couple of weeks. Then we started getting rain every other day. Cliff was willing to plow, but the ground needed to dry out a lot. I'd watch the forecast, knowing that all we needed was four or five days with no rain: our sandy soil drains really fast. But the rains kept coming. Thursday, after getting home from our motorcycle ride, Cliff suggested it might be possible to plow; the only way to find out was to hook up to a plow and try it.
He took the little John Deere (I used to call it the Jap Deere because it was made in Japan, but some people felt that was a racist expression) and hooked up to a plow the size of Texas. Oh yes, he had high hopes. He managed to make it about fifteen feet before the little tractor spun out. In its defense, it doesn't have the proper tires for such work; turf tires were never meant to bite into the dirt. If I'd had my camera, you would have loved the video of this scene, which was reminiscent of "the little engine that could". But that's rather like a fisherman telling about the one that got away, isn't it?
I helped Cliff unhook the plow, which he left in the garden while he went after a bigger tractor: Since the big Oliver is in an eternal state of being restored, he chose our brother-in-law's Mahindra, which was definitely up to the task.
A big tractor in a small garden is pretty tricky, especially if there are trees and a fence at one end and a strawberry bed at the other. I stood by, letting Cliff know when to raise the plow each time he approached the strawberries, and in less than ten minutes, the plowing was done.
When we first went out to do the plowing, I had suggested Cliff make the garden six feet wider. As I stood there watching the dirt turn over, though, I remembered how much it taxed my knees last year to try and keep up with the gardening and told him to forget the expansion.
The garden is presently covered by six inches of snow. But at least when the weather is right, I can get out there with the tiller. Cliff's job is done.