Fall planting grape hyacinth, day one

So a few things we’d talked about before have changed a bit, as we decided where to start planing the grape hyacinth (muscari).

This is the area we settled on, before clean up.

Two summers ago, this area was quite overgrown. Some of the lilacs and carigana I cut back have started to encroach again. I deliberately did not mow around here, because I wanted to see what would come up.

Not much, it turns out. Lots of crab grass, and a few of a type of wildflower we have all over the place.

In this area, there are rows of trees planted varying widths apart, with a path to the old garden that splits it into east and west sides (this is the west side we are working on). After clarifying where we wanted to keep walking paths, one of my daughters and I started raking, and I also cut away some of the encroaching lilacs, caragana and the maple suckers that were coming up.

The row of elm and maple on the left has a narrower space between them and another row of trees to the north. Then there is a wide space that will be kept open as a walking path, followed by several more rows of trees planted way too close together.

We will be planting a bag of bulbs on either side of the row of trees on the right of the photo, and not too close to the lilacs and caragana. We want to encourage them to spread outwards from that row of trees.

There was quite a lot of debris, so we ended up using the firepit to burn it. When my other daughter was able to come join us, they continued the hard physical labour, while I tended the fire. 🙂

This sort of stuff makes for a very smoky fire!

After the dry debris on the surface was raked away, they went over it with a thatching rake to get even more up, and try and loosen the soil. The piles from what were not appropriate for burning, so they’re going to be used as a sort of mulch, elsewhere.

The girls even kept going and raked up the next area we’ll be planting in.

Just not today!

They also remembered that auger I bought, intending to use in the old garden area. On realizing how much rockier it was than expected, we never did.

So I got it out, attached it to our drill and tested it.



That didn’t work. Too many roots! The auger would jam and stop turning, almost immediately! Those circles you see where as deep as I could go before it got hung up and starting making some very unfortunate noises.

Which may well have been a good thing, I guess.

After scattering a bag of bulbs fairly randomly in the prepared area, the girls got to work, digging 4 inch holes manually (the recommended depth for muscari) and planting them, while I continued to tend the fire.

We are now down a trowel.

There it is – with the rock that broke it!

We have another one, but no one can remember where it ended up, so they found another tool and continued.

Hitting a rock like that with the auger probably would not have broken the auger.

It would most likely have broken my drill, though!

Here is one section they worked in. It’s hard to tell where they planted the bulbs from the ground scuffed as they worked! It was a very difficult job, with many roots and rocks in the way. The soil is very hard. I know, however, that grape hyacinth can handle that, since I’ve seen them growing in much worse conditions!

The entire area has been watered and, tomorrow, we will work on the next section.

The crocuses will also be planted in this side of the maple grove (the east side still has piles of dead branches waiting to be chipped), but the iris and tulips will go someplace much more prominent and visible. They don’t have the spreading habit the grape hyacinth and crocuses do, so we’ll be more particular about bulb placement, too.

I’m so happy! When I was a kid, going through catalogs, grape hyacinth were among the things I always wanted to grow. When living in Victoria, BC, where they grew like weeds on the sides of roads (which is how I know they can handle the hard soil of this area just fine!) that only solidified my desire to have them. Now we finally do! And with a couple hundred bulbs planted, I think we can be assured of a decent number of them sprouting next spring.

As long as the skunks and squirrels don’t dig up and eat the bulbs!

The Re-Farmer

Fall clean up: cucamelon surprise

The frosts we have had didn’t quite kill off the cucamelons, but they are certainly beyond being able to continue producing.

There were still a few left on the vines that were big enough to withstand the frost, though!

They were still tasty, too. 🙂

After taking down the yarn net I made for a trellis, I started pulling each of the plants up.

Which is when I found a surprise.

They have tubers!

When I looked up how to grow cucamelons, I found one site that said, if you lives in a colder climate, you could dig up the roots and pot them. Kept in a cool, dark place over the winter, they could be started indoors for better transplants in the spring.

I don’t remember the site mentioning the roots were tubers!

When I kept finding more, I decided I would try it.

These are the biggest ones that I found. After trimming away the vines, I filled a couple of deep buckets with peat (we still have most of a bale) and planted the a bunch. I fit about 9 tubers between the two buckets. That left a few littler ones that I decided not to bother planting.

The buckets are now being repeatedly watered, to get as much of the peat to absorb moisture as possible. Then, they will go into the old basement (where the cats can’t get at it!) for the winter.

The next thing to do was to prepare the retaining wall blocks. When I placed them last year, which you can read about here and here, I filled the bottoms with mulch, then topped with peat. As expected, everything settled a couple of inches, so they all needed to be topped up.

For that, I wanted to use the soil from the remaining tire planter, so the retaining wall waited for a bit, while I dealt with that.

Which will get it’s own post.

It turned out to be a pretty big job!

Once I had the soil, I loosened and broke up the peat layer, topped off all the blocks with soil, then watered them thoroughly, to help it settle in.

After giving each block a thorough soaking, my daughter and I made a dump run, giving the soil plenty of time to absorb the water and settle. Once back, I topped up the soil again, then gave them another soak.

The cucamelons are now all cleaned up, and the retaining wall is ready for whatever we decided to plant here next.

Oh, I almost forgot!

One of the other things we transplanted in the area where the surviving fennel seedlings.

This is the biggest and strongest of the 4 that survived.

I admit, all I did with them over the summer was water them. I suppse they’re still edible. If nothing else, I think the fronds can be used as an herb, and there are plenty of those! 😀

The only thing left in the blocks are the two with chives in them. I will be leaving them for now, but before winter, those will get topped up with soil, too.

Another job off the list! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Potato beds put to bed

Today, we took advantage of the warmer weather and dug up our two potato beds.

The first one got done fairly early in the morning, before we headed to the city. Having already dug up a few of them earlier, I had some idea of what to expect, but I have zero experience with growing potatoes the “Ruth Stout” way.

I first pulled up the potato plants, then carefully used my potato fork to lift off, then “rake” the mulch away. Here, you can see some of the potatoes I uncovered in the process.

I also uncovered several chilled little frogs! I carefully moved them to the mulch by the squash, where they could warm up in the sun.

I also uncovered slugs.

I did not rescue them. 😉

Almost all the potatoes I found were just sitting on top of the soil! Some took a little more raking away of the mulch to find, but not much more.

What had been rock hard ground when we started, the mulched soil was so much easier to work – even with all the rocks.

I took advantage of the situation and dug up the entire plot, so I could pull out as many weed roots as I could. The crab grass came out pretty easily. Then I hit a solid mass of roots near the surface, with a tap root of some kind that continued deep into the ground. I could not get it out with the fork! If I’d had the spade handy, I might have been able to cut through it, but since it seemed to be dead, I left it. It will be buried.

I did find a couple more potatoes in the process!

The end result looked like a 4×8 foot grave! 😀

When I finished pulling up as many roots as I was able, the mulch all went back – along with the potato plants that had been pulled up.

These are all the potatoes I got out of the one bed.

Also, note the one slightly darker potato with the arrow pointing to it. I’ll explain that, below!

When we got back from the city, I continued working on the second bed.

Once again, I was finding most of the potatoes on the surface of the soil as I pulled away the mulch.

These are all the potatoes I found, before I did any digging at all. Unfortunately, quite a lot of them had holes eaten into them. 😦 After digging, I found maybe 5 more.

Speaking of 5, do you see those 5 darker potatoes on the side?

Those are the original seed potatoes! The other bed had only one. While they had stems and roots that I broke off of them, they are just as hard as the day I planted them. I found the remains of some other seed potatoes, all mushy and used up like one would expect at the end of the growing season.

I got two 3 pound boxes of seed potatoes, which gave me 3 row of 6 potatoes in one bed, and 3 rows of 5 potatoes in the other, plus an extra. That’s 34 potatoes – and 6 in total never grew more potatoes!

As with the previous bed, I dug it all up, finding a few more potatoes, a whole lot more slugs, and pulling out weed roots.

Would slugs be the cause of those holes in the potatoes?

This bed had quite a few more rocks near the surface that I got rid of, too. My fork was hitting many more as I dug down, but I didn’t try to get them out, since we will continue to build these beds up. The mulch and old potato plants went back over the soil.

I then took all the harvested potatoes and laid them out on the dry straw mulch between squash beds, so they can cure (is that the right word for it?) in the sun. Except for the tiniest ones, which will be cooked and eaten right away. 🙂

I then had the 6 original seed potatoes. What to do with those??

Yeah. I planted them, almost the same way they were planted in the original beds. The only difference is that I did loosen the soil a bit, first. Not to bury the potatoes – there are so many rocks along this end, I could barely do more than scrape away the mulch on top! No, it was so I could push in the bamboo poles to mark where they are. Even then, I don’t think the poles will be able to stay up for long. I could barely get them into the soil at all. No matter how I shifted and searched, I kept hitting rocks just inches below the surface.

What will most likely happen is that the potatoes will freeze over the winter, and nothing will come of them. Another possibility is that they will be protected by the mulch and, as soon as it gets warm enough next spring, they will start growing and we’ll have early potatoes started.

We’ll find out next year!

As for now, the potato beds are put to bed for the winter. I don’t know what we will plant in those spots next year. We do intend to do potatoes again, but in a different location. We don’t want to entice the Colorado potato beetle by planting in the same location again. We didn’t see a single one this year, but one of my neighbours a mile up the road mentioned that his potatoes had been decimated by them! My parents always planted lots and lots of potatoes, and I well remember going through the rows, picking off the beetles or their larvae, and hunting for the eggs to crush. Even with several of us doing that every day, some years my mother had to resort to using a poison powder of some kind, to get them under control.

I’d really rather not have to deal with them at all, if I can avoid it!

As for the squash, for now I have stopped harvesting any more of the sunburst squash, though there are a couple of zucchini that are almost large enough to pick. I prefer them when they are quite small, but with the sunburst squash, I want to give them as much of the remaining warm weather as I can for them to grow. As I write this, past 6pm, we are still at 21C/70F. We are supposed to stay fairly warm over the period covered by the long range forecast, with no more frosts expected overnight. That should give our produce a bit more time before we have to harvest what we can, then prep for the winter – and next year’s gardening! 🙂

Our first year gardening since moving here has been quite interesting, and quite the learning experience. We will, for sure, continue using the Ruth Stout method until we are able to start making the accessible raised beds that are the ultimate goal. The extensive use of mulch is making a very noticeable, positive difference in the soil, even after just one year. My mother may be disappointing in our gardening, compared to what she had here, years ago, but I’m happy with our progress so far! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

New garden plot, ready! (video)

This morning, I was able to finish prepping the new garden plot!

Woo hoo! It’s done!

Well… okay. Maybe not. But it’s almost there.

At this point, there are two things that need to be done to the area. One is a thorough watering before planting. The other is to adjust the acidity. Hopefully. According to the meter, the soil has a pH of 7.5. This plot will have beets and carrots in it, and the packages say they should be in soil with a pH of 6.5

From what I’ve been reading, I could increase the acidity several ways. One it to add compost or wood chip mulch. Which is interesting, because the whole reason the soil here is so soft is because it basically is compost. This area had firewood on wooden pallets, with whatever organic material (leaves, needles and grass, I would figure) was under the pallets. Which means it should be more acidic than alkaline.

Another thing that can be done is to add sphagnum peat moss. We would have to buy that, because there isn’t much left of the bale we got last year.

Other suggestions are for additives we would have to hunt down and buy, and that’s just not going to happen right now.

There was even a suggestion to water the area with highly diluted vinegar, but that tends to be a short term solution.

I might just have to go with what we’ve got.

The seeds we have that are supposed to be planted as soon as the ground can be worked are parsley and carrots. They should already be in the ground right now. 😦 The parsley was to be planted in a different area. As for the carrots and beets, I have 3 varieties of each, and I’ve plotted out 6 rows. They are cross marked, making a grid of 6 x 5 squares, as I was thinking of working in square foot (ish) plots rather than single rows. For the carrots, and any other really small seeds, I plan to use this method of planting.

Then I have to find a way to cover them, to protect them until they sprout. I could lay a board over them, but if I can find some, I think I would prefer to cover them with semi-transparent plastic row covers.

We shall see when the times comes.

For now, I think it’s time to go soak some carrot seeds!

The Re-Farmer

Spring clean up started

I finally got to get outside and start doing some dedicated clean up around the house.

But first, I must share this adorableness.

Two Face is getting all of the love from her siblings as she recovers from her visit to the vet.

Speaking of visits to the vet, we discovered our inside mama cat has been throwing up, so we are stopping the pain killers the vet gave us to try with her.


My goal for outside had originally been to go around with a wheelbarrow and pick up all the little branches scattered all over the yard over the winter. Once out there, however, I changed tack completely. Instead, I removed all of the rigid insulation we put around the bottom of the house for the winter, removed the straw from over the septic tank area, and cleaned things up around the house.

When our septic failed earlier in the year, and we had to get the tank emptied, I had moved the straw covering the lid over to the side, on top of snow and other straw. As I cleaned away the straw, I uncovered a snow drift! 😀

That’s okay. The straw got moved over to the old kitchen garden, and the straw that was stuck in clumps of snow and ice will just add moisture to the garden. Plus, some of it was already starting to decompose quite nicely. Bonus! 🙂

This is all just the straw that was covering the septic tank area. Later, I plan to cover the rest of this little garden with more straw from the bale we still have in the old big garden area.

The sheets of insulation around this side of the house were held in place with whatever was handy. Bricks, chimney inserts that will never be used (now that is an electric furnace) and little benches we found while cleaning up in the maple grove. They all fit quite nicely together to make a little seating area. 🙂

In the future, we plan to make a path along the house, and a small garden of shade tolerant plants in this area.

On the topic of planting things, I was able to cover a future planting area with black tarp this morning.

The ground here is soft enough that I could actually use tent pegs to secure the corners. Unlike pretty much everywhere else, which is still frozen hard.

One of the things I want to do in this area as soon as the ground is thawed enough, is dig through it a bit more to make sure I’ve cleared out as many roots as I can. There were so many cherry roots running through there, it’s very likely we’ll end up with some trying to grow through our plantings, if I’ve missed any! Of course, we’ll have to be on the look out for any rusted nails and whatever else may have been missed when we cleaned this area out.

Also, the Potato Beetle decided to be part of my “found object” display. 😀

Him and his filthy, filthy nose! 😀

My other goal of the day was to start some seeds, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. It’s time for me to pain killer up again and take it easy, so that I’m not too wiped out to continue tomorrow.

Ah, the things you need to think about when you’re broken. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Garden layout plans

Having received shipping confirmations for the seeds we ordered, the girls and I have been talking about just where we are going to plant what we’re getting, and what we need for what we’re getting.

In the two years we’ve been here, we’ve been working at reclaiming neglected spaces before we could even consider planting anything. The area where there used to be a huge garden has had more and more trees planted into them – without adequate planning, unfortunately, and causing a lot more shade areas I remember used to get much more sunlight. We currently have some spots here and there that we will be able to plant in, rather than one big vegetable garden, like my parents had for so many decades.

This is what we’ve come up with.

At the top of the sketch is the area we mulched over, then covered with tarps, last summer. This is where we will be planting the varieties of squash we’ll be getting, and the birdhouse gourds. The two giant varieties of sunflowers will be planted in a part of the old garden that I was finally able to mow last year. It’s more lawn than garden now.

The house is where the happy little gardener is standing. On the left is the old kitchen garden. This had been mostly a flower garden, though my mother did plant some onions there. The trouble with this location are the two ornamental apple trees. Still, we’ve already got chives and onions planted overwinter in the chimney block retaining wall. In the rest of the blocks, and in the area against them where I’d been able to add some soil to try and reduce the slope away from the house, is where we will plant fennel, and some of the varieties of carrots and beets we’ll be getting (we’re getting three varieties of each). The other area carrots and beets will be added is in the soft, deep, loose soil uncovered when we cleaned up the old wood pile area.

We’ve decided to set up the remaining chimney blocks along the chain link fence, between the fence and the white lilac bushes. Right now, there is an area of lawn just wide enough to get a mower through, but it would be great to not have to squeeze through there with a mower at all, and use the space to grow cucamelons. The chain link fence will be the trellis for the cucamelons, which need full sun. We chose the lilacs side of the gate, as they will not be affected by the shade created once the cucamelons cover the fence (assuming the grow successfully!), whereas the section of fence on the other side of the gate has flowers and haskap berries, and they’re already shaded too much from an elm, a maple and another variety of lilac.

What isn’t anywhere on the sketch is potatoes. We’ve ordered 6 pounds of Yukon Gem potatoes, but they are back ordered. These would not be shipped until the right planting time for our area, so they can go into the ground right away, so I hope they were get more stock before then. We weren’t billed for them, though. The gourds were back ordered, too, but we were billed for those – and I got a shipping confirmation for those the day after I got one for the other seeds. This suggest to me that they may not be expecting to get more of the Yukon Gem variety of potatoes. Depending on how that goes, we might end up buying some Yukon Gold, locally. We shall see.

We ended up buying quite a few plants that are climbers, so we will be building trellises, too. We will have to go through the barn to see what materials are left that are suitable to build with. When we do build them, we will keep in mind that they will need to be moved after the growing season. These are temporary planting locations, and very much experiments, as there are quite a few plants we have never tried to grow before.

With all the crazy stuff going on right now, with the Wuhan flu, shelter in place recommendations and grocery stores in many places being cleaned out of inventory, I’ve noticed quite the increase in people interested in growing their own food, so I thought I’d talk a bit about our decision making process.

For us, we’ve long sought to increase our level of self sufficiency as much as possible. When it came to gardening, this was not something we could do much of. Partly due to moving so frequently, but also because we usually lived in apartments with no real space to grow in. When we did find ourselves living in homes with nice, big south facing decks, we did container gardening, with varying levels of success.

Now that we’re back on the farm I grew up on, we finally have the space for all kinds of things, but with all the clean up needed first, we can only do a bit at a time, so we have to be quite selective on what we choose to grow.

When it comes to choosing what to grow, there are two ways you can go. You can look at the things you buy the most of and, if they can be grown in your climate zone, grow those, thus reducing your grocery bill. Or, you can look at the things you don’t buy, or buy rarely, either because they are too expensive at the grocery store, or hard to find. The grocery budget may not change, but you’ll have a greater variety of produce, and more “treat” foods, which has substantial psychological benefits, too.

We’ve done a combination of the two.

Carrots, beets and potatoes, for example, are things that are easy to find in the stores. At least the plain ones. It wouldn’t really be worthwhile for us to, for example, grow Russet potatoes. They are still pretty cheap at the grocery store, and common. What we’ve ordered are common foods in uncommon varieties.

Fennel is one of those things we buy as a rare treat. They’re not significantly more expensive, but enough that when the budget is considered, it’s more economical to buy more of the cheaper produce.

The squash varieties are similar. We like them, but rarely do. Some, like the pattypan squash, are pretty rare in stores, and more expensive.

The sunflower seeds are intended to play several roles. These varieties are good for eating in general, but we’re going to be planting a lot of these to use as bird feed in the winter. The large size and strength of the plants themselves will act as wind breaks, as well as privacy screens. Plus, we’ll be planting them in an area that the leaves will hopefully shade the ground enough to prevent the grass and weeds in the area from growing. (This is where we’re going to need more hoses; the area is quite parched, and there is no nearby source of water.) The straw bale we have now will be used as mulch, though it won’t be enough on its own for such a large area. We’ll likely use most of that up when we get and plant potatoes. I’m hoping to get more straw or old hay over the summer. I’m planning to contact the renter of the rest of the farm, whom we have been buying our straw bales from, to see if he has any – and maybe some well composted manure, as well!

You’ll notice one of the things we don’t have on our list are lettuces. These are often recommended for new gardeners, as they produce relatively quickly, and with successive sowing, you can have 3 seasons of lettuce. We’ve tried growing lettuces in our container gardens before but, ultimately, find they are not really be worth the hassle. We’ve found them to be fragile produce, both as a plant to grow, easily killed off by too many things, and as produce to buy at the store, which inevitably go soggy before we can finish them. We just don’t eat enough lettuce to make it worthwhile.

Cabbage, on the other than, will be something we’ll grow in the near future. We use them more than lettuce, and they store very well over winter.

So a lot of what we’re going to be doing for gardening this summer is pretty experimental for us. How things work out will do a lot to help us decide what we’ll do next year.

Meanwhile, we will continue to clean up, reclaim space, and work out where we want to plant the things that will continue to feed us, year after year; berry bushes, fruits trees and, hopefully, nut trees.

It’s going to be a fun (and, hopefully, tasty) learning experience!

The Re-Farmer

Some manual labour, and getting things started

After dropping one daughter off at work, my other daughter and I did a whole bunch of manual labour around the yard.

The first thing we did was haul away the stuff I’d clean up in the old wood pile area, including moving the pile of debris to the back of the outhouse, and sorting through the pile of found objects and garbage.

Continue reading

Big garden area, progress

Today, my daughter and I got some progress done on the old garden area that we mulched with straw this spring.

We didn’t put anything under it, so things did start growing through it.

This is taken from one corner, next to the gooseberry bush and raspberries.

It looks a lot worse than it is. Partly because some of the weeds are so big, they take up more space on the surface than what they take up through the mulch. Partly because the mulch itself had seeds in it, and we’ve got oats growing in there, now.

We wanted to cover it, but first, we needed to kill this stuff.

Yes, we used herbicide on it. No, I’m not the least bit bothered by that.

Before we started, we tried to set up a hose to wash up later – and to spray any kittens who might come too close.

I’ve had some problems with the hoses. We’re down to two again, despite my repairs to them. There is, however, a garden tap. Basically, it’s a tap at the garden with a pipe running to the house, then a section of hose that can be screwed on to the water tap at the rear of the house. We’d never needed to test it out last year, so this was a good time to do it!

Yeah. That’s water spraying out of the ground, next to one of the wood piles.

I tried turning on the garden tap itself. Some water did start to come out, which turned really brown, then stopped altogether.

So I tried hooking up a pair of shorter hoses to the house tap, instead. One of them was spraying like crazy at the tap. When I switched to the other hose, it was fine.

So… we were down to one hose. *sigh*

While my daughter sprayed the garden, I worked on taking the pieces of wire that sewed the two sheets of black tarp together, out.

There was quite a lot of it. Some of the pieces were quite long and were done in a running stitch. On one section, there were two pieces used to created a double running stitch!

Getting it out was a challenge.

The kittens were very interested in the tarps!

After I got the wire out – and got scissors to cut away the fraying pieces that were catching on everything, I was able to spread them both out.

When the spraying was done, we left this area for a while, and I went back to working on cleaning around the old wood pile. After hauling another wheel barrow load to the pile near the burn barrel, I took a side trip into the barn, where I’d seen some tarps. The two black tarps are big, but not big enough!

While moving things to be able to access on of the tarps. I took a closer look at the old hoses that were in the way, and decided to try one of them out.

Much to my shock, it works just fine! No leaks or cracks, even though it’s really stiff from being in the barn for who knows how long.

So, we are back to two hoses. 😀

Later, my daughter and I spread the two black tarps over as much of the mulched area we could cover, while still making sure there is overlap. Then we checked out the two rolled up tarps I’d found in the barn.

One turned out to be an insulated tarp. We weren’t going to use that, even if it weren’t too small. We’ll save it for something else.


It turned out to be really huge!

Plus, it has grommets, so we can use tent pegs to pin it down.

We started to do that, but the ground is so hard, we actually bent some of the pegs.

Then, we had a visitor. A mom and her daughters came to look at the kittens to potentially adopt one. They stayed and played with the kittens, and took some pictures, for quite a while. I learned they got our phone number from the vet in town.

I had gone to the vet this morning, with updated pictures of the kittens, and little write-ups about each one, printed out. This family had actually phoned this clinic, asking about kittens, since they are also a shelter, and were given our number.

They will think about which one they will take and get back to us in about a week.

At least I hope so. I’d hate to get ghosted again. 😦

By the time they left, all the aches and pains were kicking in, and I had definitely overdone it on my broken toe, so I didn’t go back to get pictures of the tarps on the garden area, nor get back to working on the wood pile area.

It’ll be at least a day before I get back to it, since we’ll be doing our monthly shop in the city tomorrow. I’ll also be picking up a 5 kilo bucket of liquid honey I ordered yesterday, before we head out. My daughter is wanting to try her hand at making mead. 🙂

Until then, it’s time to shower off the bus spray and herbicide, pain killer up and go to bed early!

The Re-Farmer

Clean up: garden edging

A bit more progress on the garden today; my daughters used some pieces of the trees that were taken down to edge the area we mulched yesterday.

The North end was left alone, since we won’t be going into there much at all, and the South edges were left open a path between the raspberries and the future garden.

The beauty of using these logs is that they are big enough to made an adequate “wall”, but will be easy to move away again, when that time comes.

One of my daughters tried to use a hoe to level some areas, so the logs wouldn’t be more level. The ground is so hard, it just bounced off the dirt!

The Re-Farmer