Saturday, May 17, 2008

98 Degrees in the Shade

2:10pm and 98 degrees in the shade of my front porch today

Suddenly it's hot around here these past few days! Very hot and humid all day. Sunny and beautiful, but so hot that I didn't really want to do much work either inside or outside today. So what did I do today? Well, I will tell you...

I bought a newer used lawnmower (I can't afford a new one!) from a local man who lives a couple of miles down the road. He delivered it to me this morning. I saw it yesterday at his place and decided I liked it enough to buy it. Fairly new, ran well and was a good price. I checked it out and made sure I knew how to work all of the controls and then took it for a spin around my yard and down the length of my 3 acre property. It runs pretty well for a lawnmower and is easy to maneuver. It's a bit smaller in size than my old one, but bigger in horsepower and also in cutting width. I need a good lawn mower/tractor around here to cut down the weeds so I can walk around and also for fire prevention. Fires are a real danger every summer up here in the dry foothills.

So here's my new little lawn tractor:

Not exactly a John Deere, but it is green...

And here is the old one that no longer runs well enough to be reliable and useful to me. It's a good brand name, but the mower is now 22 years old and I am the third owner. It is tired. And I am tired of struggling to get it started and keep it running just to mow the weeds down 2 or 3 times each summer. Still makes me a little sad to replace it with a new one. I grow attached to my appliances. Hard to cast them off. I have relationships with each one and I mourn their loss.

Tired old machine. Kind of sad to replace him...

Then after I received delivery of the lawn mower, paid the nice man and took it for a spin, I needed to get out in the garden before it got too hot and uncomfortable. First I needed to decide what I needed to refurbish my drip irrigation system. So down I went to our local hardware store to buy the parts I needed from Bob. I got various drip fittings, couplers and sprayers, along with 100 feet of drip line and a tangle of the small "spaghetti" line. Oh, and you'll see the chocolate mint treat for the gardener in the photo, too. I need to keep my energy up, after all.

Drip line and accessories

After purchasing the irrigation supplies (and my candy treat) from the hardware store, I visited our local organic farmer's membership store which is located just behind the hardware store in the middle of our small town. It is a membership store that runs on the honor system. Each member pays a yearly fee to shop there and that gets you the combination to the locked door. We pick out our locally grown organic produce, weigh it on the scale provided, write up our own order, and drop our money with the order in the payment box. I usually bring my own canvas tote bag to carry home my veggie loot, but the bag I had with me was already full of irrigation supplies. So I used a recycled plastic bag that members donate and are kept in the store.

Great stuff, organic produce. I grow a lot of my own, but I don't grow everything I need. Check out the variety in the photo below:

Garden peas, spring onions, salad greens & spinach, summer squash,
juicy strawberries and a bag of sun dried tomatoes .

Earlier in the day Jack brought over his weekly contribution to my compost pile (which I will deal with tomorrow morning), and he also brought me some fresh cut oregano from his herb garden for me to tie into bunches and hang dry on my special herb line on my front porch. It's a very low tech drying line. A piece of garden twine strung between two porch posts. The location protects the herbs from beign eaten by deer and rabbits and also protects it from any possible rain showers as it is under the porch awning. With this heat wave, this batch of oregano will be dry and crumbly very quickly.

Oregano drying on the line

Later in the afternoon, following an unplanned nap on my living room couch in the sweltering heat and humidity, I finally got outside to my garden to plant my green bean seeds and also do a little weeding. While there I strung some more garden twine for my snow peas to cling to and climb, and I had fun getting myself all wet starting to refurbish my garden drip watering system. I built that drip system for my large raised bed garden in the summer of 1999, so it needs a little attention by now. Many of the spray heads are clogged up or just worn out. The big lines need flushing out so the debris will not clog things up etc. Lots of work for the next few days. It is a fairly inexpensive and easy care way to irrigate my garden though. Works pretty well most of the time. No photos of the peas, beans or drip system yet. Sorry. I know how exciting that would be for you...

Well, that was most of my day today. It is finally cooling off here in the house. Maybe I will go take a nap or read the paper and relax now. Rest up for tomorrow's chores.

© Copyright 2008 Mountain Harvest Basket

1 comment:

Hardware Bob said...

I think your tractor is sexy.

Good report, thanks for showing me what your new tractor looks like.

I request a chance to put life back into the old retired tractor. The two of us need to bond in privacy and talk to each other, and then there's tinkering with it's governor.