Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weeding the Garden

I wanted to share with you pictures from earlier this summer, when I took a trip home to see my family. My parent's house has an extensive garden, which had gotten a little out of hand.

I decided to do a little weeding.

And of course, being an engineer, and the daughter of my father, I know that every project begins with the proper tools. (Life lesson courtesy of my dad, and it has served me well.)

So what do you do when the garden has random TREES growing in it that you don't want? Maple and oak trees have a pesky way of sprouting everywhere in forest-type areas...

Clearly in that case the correct tool is not a hoe or shovel, but a backhoe.

A backhoe, you say? Where would you find one of those?

In our backyard, of course! My mother insists that it be parked BEHIND the house, so as not to scare the neighbors any more than they already are.

For those of you not, ahem, too familiar with running construction equipment - to operate the rear scoop, you turn around backwards (thus facing the scoop), and the controls are located there. See the above picture.

In the above picture, I am also moving the rear scoop. It's advanced (or lazy...) technique - I haven't turned the seat around.

The steering and driving works as you would expect, with the driver facing forward in the cab. But our backhoe actually has a bit of a bug in the system - the brakes don't work. The clutch does, so if you are on level ground you just take it out of gear.

If you are on a slope and want to stop - well, you have a couple options. The simplest is to just put down the scoop to anchor yourself to the ground.

The above picture is also advanced technique - the other way to stop is to carefully drive forward until you get where you want, then when you start to slide forward, throw it in reverse. Or, you can just make sure you don't ever have to stop. :)

My dad also realizes that having "the right tools" includes clothing - so for physical work, he breaks out the overalls. The overalls are from my Grandpa, who actually is a farmer. He makes sure all of his kids and grandkids are properly outfitted whenever we go visit the farm.

This, in my book, is a picture of a day well spent. The garden was (mostly) weeded, I was dirty, my mother got to take pictures, and all involved parties walked away happy.

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