Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Beast

It kicks, bites, pulls, plows, balks, and handles like a mule. It takes all my upper body strength to start with a pull rope, but once that diesel is thumping, it can till all day without pause. It’s cantankerous on rough ground, a bear to turn corners, and can rip your arms off if you don’t pay attention. It’s the Italian invention that helped put Italian agriculture back on its feet after WWII. It’s the Bertolini walking tractor. I’ve always wanted one!

Actually, Ulisse loaned me his to prepare my garden soil, which I’m giving him half to use. This is our barter system. I give the land, water, attention to the crops, he plants what he wants on his half and harvests it when its ready. In return Sally and I get a melon and a tomato or two and the satisfaction of knowing our once defunct farm is producing even more in this world of dwindling resoursces and rampant population growth. It also just makes the place look tidier.

Before I tilled, I had to mow the tall grass with my trusty scythe. Here is what it looked like. before.