Doug Peters, a local excavator operator and all-around outstanding fellow, visited us a few weeks ago to offer some advice regarding ditch digging and field drainage. He saw what we are up to, and that we have been stripping turf using roughly the same techniques employed by medieval slaves, and very kindly offered to donate some of his time and expertise to help speed up the development of our farm. Yesterday morning he arrived with his machine, and it was the best morning ever. The miracle of hydraulics accomplished more work in two hours than I’d have been able to perform over many days of hard toil. Turf and weeds were stripped with a four foot wide bucket, after which a large rake was used to loosen the topsoil and remove rocks. I stood and watched, thinking of all the time I’ve spent moving small amounts of soil and rock around with shovels and wheelbarrows. I felt both humbled and emancipated. Humbled to see how weak my muscular body is, and emancipated by the possibilities offered by heavy machinery.
- April 16, 2011 – 10:07 pm
- By Ryan Nassichuk