Friday, July 31, 2015

A Good Farmer's Husband (and the inherent perils)

Guest post this evening—this is Jay, Josh's husband. Josh is off on an adventure that I'm quite sure he'll blog about soon. In his absence, I've had a couple of small projects he asked me to do, including harvesting the garlic in the front yard and hanging it in the garage to cure with the rest he harvested and we hung together, and picking the remaining pea pods. I did that earlier in the week.

I noticed the grass was getting long in the back yard (the only grass we have). Josh does most of the mowing—heck, he does most of the outside stuff. I am the "yes dear" with the outside projects. That is, Josh says, "Let's build an orchard in the front yard." "Yes, dear." "Let's build raised beds in the back yard." "Yes, dear." "Let's add two hugelkultur beds in the back yard." "Yes, dear." And I jump in and help. I help with preparing beds and planting in the spring, and harvest in the fall. Josh does most everything else.

Anyway, I thought I'd be a good husband and mow the back yard while he's gone. While I was mowing, I noticed the ever-present Creeping Charlie was encroaching on the asparagus beds. So I circumnavigated each bed, pulling it up. Between the bed and fence it was so thick, I literally rolled it all up from the dirt like carpeting.

Then I checked out the hardy kiwi Josh planted, for which we built the trellis. I saw that it was doing a great job of vining on the asparagus, shown right. I teased it apart from the asparagus (no small feat!), and trained it up on the wires of the trellis.
Hardy Kiwi and Asparagus at war

Much better
Nettles, right?
I then continued weeding around the beds. When I got to the east end of the beds, I grabbed a weed and tossed it behind me. It felt little thistle-y. Within moments my right hand started stinging. What the...! I ran into the house and washed my hands several times with dish soap. Must have been nettles.

OK, now the Farmer's Husband knows what nettles look like. Be careful with nettles. No more nettles stings. [Yeah, I probably should have warn gloves.]

I come back outside and continue my weeding. A few seconds later, "ow, OW. OWOWOW!" I got two bee stings, one on the back of my left hand, the other above my left elbow. I went in—again—and washed, and checked for stingers. I didn't find one.

I went back out again (can you see it coming?) and got stung AGAIN by a bee—this time below my left knee. There must be a beehive on the east end of the asparagus beds. All bad things happen on the east end of asparagus beds. I took a Benadryl.

I'm attempting to NOT have my lesson be to avoid doing yard work. :o) However, we will need to do something about the bees, I think.

So, I have a lightly stinging right hand, and three stinging welts. What an adventure! However, it's very gratifying to see the kiwi vines getting trained on the trellis. I can't wait for Josh to post pictures in the future when it's really established in a couple of years. Fresh kiwis here we come!