When you're sent home from work early as it is the end of the pay period and you've put in too many hours, and you are dead tired. So, you stop at the nursery on the way home, to get a whiff of something pretty and badly need to get outdoors, and probably buy some bulbs as well...
And then you finally get home, throw on your gardening clothes, and get to that weeding/thinning project that has been on your mind for awhile now...
And you end up totally filthy, totally refreshed, and totally happy!
After your shower, you lay on the sofa and open up "Dave's Garden.." yep, THAT'S a REAL gardener! (Voice of experience here.)
When you are talking to the guy who leases the grazing rights to your pasture and admiring the new baby in their family when the fellow mentions that the big hay rolls in the holding pen are getting really old and would I mind if he burns them. But you ask excitedly if you could please have a couple of the rolls for your compost pile. He looks at you like you are nuts but says well, OK. Hmm really, you want those????? ☺
Hay is sold to feed animals- horse quality means properly sprayed for weeds, and bugs that give animals sickness. Cows arent as tummy challenged as horses, and some hay has that nasty sorghum Johnson grass which just NEEDS an excuse to sprout and take over your yard (so will coastal bermuda, by the way) dried hay is very resproutable... See how it was grown; so you arent spreading grass burs and cockleburs and and broadleaf poisons for a garden area.
Ahhh, well I'm safe with these two rolls then. They came from my pasture, only spot sprayed for goat weed. These bales are at least two years old--in fact Chuck thinks the bales should be even older than that and they look it. And they will be composted in a big pile with goat poo and bedding and oak leaves. Maybe some cow poo and always looking for whatever else the chickens and goat don't eat. Turned by front end loader on the tractor (DH loves doing that so I try to make as big a compost pile as I can). Last year the pile got plenty hot for good compost.
Thank you for explaining. But we try very hard not to use hay that doesn't come off our property as we think we are removing nutrients from out own soil when we sell out hay off. This way when the cows and goats eat it they return what they don't use to the soil where the hay came from. Chuck thinks we're kind of nutty Yankees, but he goes along with it now as he saw something about that on RFD TV.
About fifteen years ago, I read that you know you are a real gardener when Roger Swain from PBS' The Victory Garden started to really grow on you. (He's extremely knowledgeable and I thought he was a good host, but everyone seemed to really miss Jim Crockett and/or Bob Thompson). And, well, he looked a bit wild compared to the other two!!! ☺
Oh, and I knew I was starting to achieve real gardener stage when I learned that you don't really need to compost goat poo and started to look at my goats as multi-taskers!
When your DH forgot your birthday for the third time, even though he was reminded about it every time well in advance. So, to make it up to you and without even asking, he buys you a used tractor just for your garden--veggie and flower--and the goat pastures. With used implements. He knows this is what you would really want even though you hadn't said anything about wanting another tractor. This tractor is just for you as DH has taken over the tractor he bought for you for Christmas several years ago and now he won't let you use it even though you know how to operate a tractor pretty well! Oh, and you are very, very happy with getting a used tractor for your birthday(s). LOL!
My mother designed and sold T-shirts that say:
"Gardener: A person who sits in a yard and cannot leave well enough alone."
When we re-did the back yard, we put in a little patio. Yeah... the longest I've sat down in it is probably 5 minutes. Why? Because my eye wanders, and I see something that needs doing. I may pull it out and plant more vegetables!
The ONE stink bug you find indoors finds it way to your seedlings, and you shriek in horror, because to you, it truly IS a life-threatening situation...and dear hubby gives the bugger the old "Burial at Sea" treatment while you calm down...!
Go to the fabric store and buy yourself a length of cheap tulle (bridal veil fabric). Have your DH make my portable mini greenhouse (if your seedlings are still in trays). Cover the greenhouse with the tulle. I've rejoiced several times this season when coming upon a stinkbug caught in the tulle.
You and you husband's idea of great fun is to spend your precious Saturday outside all day, putting together things you bought during the winter, and attacking the weeds in your veggie garden...and also scrubbing out your bird bath and saddle-soaping your garden boots when you are dog tired...ah! Now, that's LIFE!
Oh, forgot to mention, hearing all the cars go by, on frivolous errands...and you are thinking of your dad's words: "You HAVE to work the earth."
When you scrounge around for old tires in the ditches, old lumber and used buckets from friends who no longer give your strangeness much thought, old gutter and lengths of pvc pipe from wherever you can find it, big containers from the dumpster and bread trays and cardboard from the local store. You grind, saw, hammer and hang it all. Fill them all with compost from the muck pile behind the barn and the old woodchip pile the tree trimming company was good enough to dump beside the road years ago. You add seeds you have traded for and bought and with hard work and the help of the good Lord you end up with nutritious food that is safe to feed your family and you wear the most satisfied smile while you watch them devour it all.
I just wore out a used to be yellow #2 pencil that Ive been using as a planting stick for about 5 years, Lisa. And, I can ever tell anyone which spoons, knives, forks or scissors I have used on my plants. PS i do have a dishwasher with the temp set on high.
It's already dark out, mosquitoes are biting your neck and arms, thunderclouds are forming overhead, & you're perched on the fence with about a 6" clearance to screw in ten feet of 2x4s, eight feet off the ground, without falling into your neighbors yard, dropping the drill, or getting eaten alive.
My neighbor across the street came and cut the lumber for the top of the t-frames and put the 45° angles on the "y" supports. He used my equipment, cause he doesn't have any and, I'm not that comfortable with the table saw, yet -- especially cutting such stout lumber. But, give me a minute...
Then, he came and helped me lift the T-Frames into the holes he made me dig with the old iron post hole digger that weighs 30 lbs... He held them there while I screwed them into the ends of the bed. He was in his work suit heading to Bible study, and, well, I had on the yard clothes, LOL!
Finally, one of my girl gardener groupies came last evening just before dark, and helped hold up the 2x4s while I drilled them in.
I still have to run 3 lengths of 9 gauge, 165 lb. test wire through the eyebolts, from end to end. Just looked, and it's raining out...but, the lion's share of this project is DONE!
When it's past the date for your average annual last frost, there is snow predicted, and every surface of your dining room table, kitchen and pantry is covered with lights and trays of seedlings waiting to be planted.