Today Kel and I got stuck into the weeds popping through on the garlic and after this week’s steady rain there was some suspicion there’d be more to come before we could say “Hey, lets go get a pie”.
It’s a kind of cheap path to enlightenment, weeding. You find yourself becoming so zen that as you pick them out, you actually silently forgive the weeds and decide that if any more pop up you’re just going to be the best of friends. This is also known in some circles as Weedephrenia – a condition that befalls the lazy farmer who is wet through from the rain and doesn’t want to do it anymore.
It’s also more common in Winter. The triumphant harvest is still months away, and the pioneering spirit of the sunny planting season has long since faded from memory. The drudgery of getting up on a Sunday to drive to somewhere cold and wet to pick weeds out of the soggy dirt feels insurmountable at 7:30 in the morning when you’re still warm in bed. But in all seriousness, there’s just no denying that once you’re there, with hands in dirt and the only sounds being the wrens flitting and the worms munching, you feel more deeply contented than if you were doing anything else at all in the world.
We also had plans to fertilise today, so went to (large household hardware chain store) and bought some liquid fertiliser with the highest N to PK ratio – another gift to those illustrious weeds. But with the rain pouring down and the challenge of the water tanker overwhelming us (no spray nozzle, flat tyres, boggy ground) we abandoned that plan for another day when the garlic patch had dried out a bit. And we figured if we couldn’t get the water tanker going, we could at least do it by hand with some backpack pump spray bottles from (large household hardware chain store) in the next week or two.
We took a break for tea and pie supplies and discovered Karl Stefanovic being all humble and flawed on the front page of the newspaper. I guess in some way we’re all just trying to be a better man…
In the meantime, weeds were forgiven, some philosophy was had and a few big world problems solved. So really, when you think about it, that’s not a bad result for a wintery day in the life of some humble little garlic farmers.