I’m becoming an expert at throwing rocks.
We’re doing a deep dig on all the garden beds. Usually I’d do this by hand, cussing and sweating and getting frustrated with each metallic ringing “ping” of the shovel hitting the umpteenth rock. In past years I would spend about four hours per bed, getting a nice 24″ depth with enough cleared rocks that I could pass a pitchfork through the soil like a knife through butter.
Digging, by the way, is grueling work:
Shovel. “Ping“. Bend. Pitch rock. Fork. Repeat.
But as much as I love / hate the old way, I simply do not have the time to prepare the garden beds with that much attention. I’ve got families to feed! I need cleared beds and i need them fast! So we’ve employed one of those bucket diggers to loosen up the soil. Stubborn Boy runs the bucket and I jump into the pit, chucking rocks aside like a crazed octopus on a sugar high…
But still inefficient. After I hurled the rocks out of the bed, I still had to move them OUT of the garden, which basically meant we handled each rock multiple times.
So finally we got smart about it. We rented a tractor with that huge dump bucket, so now I just ready-aim-fire and toss the rocks right into the bucket. Now I don’t mean to brag here, but my aim is getting pretty good with those rocks, and I’ve only been at this a couple of days.
So then my mind starts thinking about my boy cousins growing up and about how awesome they were at playing baseball. My cousin Alvin could hit a baseball clear into another corn field, and my cousin Gary could whip those pitches so you’d never get close to touching balls with a bat. While I might not be *quite* ready for the major leagues, there’s something to be said for natural pitching skills developing as a result of clearing rocks from land.