Growing grass and hand tools


Lest anyone doubt the fertilizing power of the humble chicken, look no further than the photo below. The jungle-like spot is where the coop sat all winter. It used to be a garden bed where nothing would grow.

Huge vegetables to come, once we remove the forest!

The hens’ previous area, our side yard, is also showing a renewed zest for life after getting the chicken treatment.

Meanwhile, the rest of our place, as per usual for this time of year, is growing and leafing and photosynthesizing like crazy. We often begin to feel in May and June as though if we’re not vigilant, plant life will simply swallow us in our sleep. Along with our few tiny tools, we take a brave stand before a voracious forest and declare, Thou shalt not be the victor!

For me, yesterday, this meant attacking the base of our house along the south side, where a weird collection of ornamental plants (put in by previous owners) and weeds are firmly colonized. It’s not a matter of pulling weeds, exactly–they’re too entrenched for that, and I missed the winter window for digging them out–but just hacking them down.

I realize most people would use a weedwacker for this job. More power to them (literally!). I’ve never bothered to get familiar with that particular tool. Instead I use a sickle and a pair of pruning shears.

It probably takes longer and it’s a bit more tiring. Or is it? These hand tools are lighter, and don’t take any time to start up or maintain. And, of course, they use no gas, cause no noise pollution, and release no exhaust. And can you say therapeutic?

Anyone else a fan of the humble sickle?