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A Slice of Humble Pie

June 15, 2015

Blogging is a lesson in humility, a mere week after ranting and raving about dryland farming and irrigation, I’m here eating my words!  I’m extending the drip irrigation from the greenhouse to the dryland garden.  Yup.  You see farming is like driving down a curvy mountain road, or actually driving up a curvy mountain road, you just never know what is around the next corner.

It seems my hubby who’s been complaining of back pain has some serious stuff going on.  What that means for me in the short-term is I need to pick up some slack in his department, so he can continue to do the things I can’t or don’t feel skilled enough at to perform.  So for me to pick up that slack means I need to let things go that I normally do, like tend the garden.  Not totally let the garden go of course, but make the garden a little more automatic so to speak.  Dryland is like organics, you spend a lot of time doing hand work, so drip irrigation will give me some leeway on thinning and weeding, since I won’t be relying so much on reserved soil moisture to keep the plants going.

This is a bummer on several counts, of course my better half doesn’t feel so hot, and I will miss writing about how awesome a dryland garden is, but drip irrigation is pretty awesome too, and hopefully this is just a bump in that curvy road.  I know for a fact that today at 90°F I would have much rather been weeding in the garden instead of hauling and stacking firewood.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2015 7:50 pm

    Sorry to hear about himself having difficulties. Farming is about a lot of things but the military adage “No plan survives the first encounter with the enemy” is a good one here too. Endless flexibility and the willingness to change as needed is the reason some survive in farming and others don’t.

    I feel for you stacking firewood and hope your universe will return to it’s ‘proper’ running sooner rather than later.

  2. June 15, 2015 8:35 pm

    Hey, lady – wish I were closer and could lend a hand. Prayers for your hubby.

  3. June 15, 2015 8:35 pm

    So many trade offs to consider at times. I hope this works out for you anyway 🙂

  4. June 15, 2015 9:04 pm

    At least you are honest about the process. That is always easier than pretending nothing has to change. 🙂

  5. Bev permalink
    June 16, 2015 1:10 am

    We call it “shift and juggle”. As things happen in life, and needs (or wants) arise; we must change our strategy to meet the current challenge. Farming is a tough job–and summer is a busy season. Good luck with the firewood, and also the hay season coming up. Remember to ‘work smart’, rather than work strong.

  6. Carrie permalink
    June 16, 2015 1:18 am

    Hope hubby gets his back sorted; back pain is a right royal pain in the a*.*!

    Steve Solomon’s original(?) book on dry-land gardening was entitled ‘Gardening Without Irrigation: or without much, anyway’ – so consider yourself to be doing for us the “or without much” part of the tutorial. 🙂 (For those who want more, Steve’s book is still available in the Soil and Health Library [] in the Sovereignty/Homesteading section.)

  7. Cookie Roscoe permalink
    June 16, 2015 2:08 am

    The reason you put all that work in is so that when there’s a bump in the road you can handle it. Thank you for another days lesson in Grace. Hope everyone’s good again soon.

  8. deb permalink
    June 16, 2015 2:47 am

    Oh bummer. Not about the garden… but about hubby’s back pain. . ” Automatic” gardening is a great boon for you both right now, and nothing to feel bad about when it allows you to pick up slack elsewhere. I do hope he can get some resolution on that sooner than later. I have been on crutches now for 2 months with no end in sight, so I have an idea how frustrating this is for him, and how he hates putting these tasks on you. And yes, prayers for you both.

  9. June 16, 2015 3:14 am

    I am very sorry to read this…not about the irrigation. You gotta do what you gotta do….but about your husband not feeling well. That is so hard when you have a well-balanced partnership and hard as well when you have to worry while taking on extra chores. I hope he feels better soon and that you get through this just fine. Take care!

  10. Norene Bennett permalink
    June 16, 2015 3:56 am

    Oh, my! So many things in life you simply can’t plan for! Praying for a speedy resolution of his problem, and for you, as well.

  11. bunkie permalink
    June 16, 2015 4:41 am

    Going thru a similar situation here. Sending loads of ‘healing vibes’ your hubby’s way!

  12. Fid permalink
    June 16, 2015 4:58 am

    Hope HD is well soon! Reading through the comments, you sure have a group of lovely followers/friends. You do a great job at portraying farm life with your honesty, word pictures, real pictures and choice of words. I too wish I were closer to help.

  13. Bee permalink
    June 16, 2015 5:28 am

    Been there, done that, after my hubby’s three back surgeries — I have a pretty good idea just what you’re going through, Nita. I’ve been picking up the slack for almost four years now, hence my constant quest to find easier, faster ways to do things. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and say prayers for all three of you, because I know Ruthless will also be doing extra duty.

  14. June 16, 2015 5:42 am

    All the best to your hubby. I can relate a bit, serious back issues going on with mine too. We have chiropractor appointments today, which will hopefully help him out a bit, but I think he suffers more than he lets on.
    Your firewood makes me think of mine, it’s a great summer for drying. Usually we use mostly alder, but hubby took down a couple of doug. fir that were shading the garden, so we have a couple of stacks drying nicely.

  15. quinn permalink
    June 16, 2015 5:43 am

    Sorry to hear about your husband’s trouble – I empathize! Hope he feels better soon. As for the rest, flexibility and the ability to keep putting one foot in front of the other are two basic requirements for any kind of farming, I think. And it’s great that you have alternatives and workarounds, and that you and your husband are such a good team!

  16. June 16, 2015 7:38 am

    Sorry to hear about your husband. I hope he bounces back quickly. I suffer from an occasional bad back as well so I know how debilitating it can be. As for the garden, you just have to roll with the punches. We can’t always do things the way we would like because of circumstances beyond our control so we adapt and overcome.

    I thoroughly enjoy your posts and look forward to each and every one.

  17. June 16, 2015 8:09 am

    sorry but that seems to be the way of life isn’t it!

  18. June 16, 2015 8:52 am

    Sorry to hear about your hubby and I do hope he gets better soon. Your post does answer one of my questions about dryland gardening, it is obviously more time consuming. There is usually some point in the year when I wonder if we should go that route, after a prolonged period of rain and then it starts raining and doesn’t know when to stop and so I guess maybe it isn’t for us, except on the years when it really doesn’t rain. In other words our weather is far too unpredictable to know which kind of gardening to go for. I suppose I should plant for a rain fed garden and if it isn’t happening I should hoe up some of the plants to give the rest a chance. Oh the dilemmas 🙂 Take care of yourself and I pray for a good productive year for you no matter what.

  19. Susan permalink
    June 16, 2015 9:53 am

    Yikes! Back trouble is not something you want to hear when farming. Sounds like you’re a good team, though, and will weather this storm.

  20. June 16, 2015 1:48 pm

    Hope you hubby gets better soon. I have also had to pick up the slack when he has been down with cancer and a heart attack. Just another big bump in the road of life. Take good care him and hopefully he will be up and running in no time. Love your posts on your life.

  21. Karen permalink
    June 16, 2015 2:04 pm

    You set the bar very high Nita, for yourself and for those of us who read your blog and marvel at what you accomplish on any given day. Please don’t forget to take care of yourself, as you go about tending to your hubby and your life on the farm.

  22. June 16, 2015 2:27 pm

    Just recently we sat over coffee and had a chat about what each of us does that the other can’t do and what would happen if one of us was temporarily out of action. That resulted in a couple of lists and an action plan. Each of us is now becoming familiarised with the tasks that we don’t (can’t) normally do. Not trying to put the other out of work just making it easier to fill in any gaps when one or other is injured or ill.

  23. ladybetwixtandbetween permalink
    June 16, 2015 3:58 pm

    It’s always better to be honest! I hope your husband feels better quickly.

  24. June 16, 2015 9:20 pm

    I hope your husband feels much better, very soon

  25. Mich permalink
    June 17, 2015 8:48 am

    Back pain is just total pants, been there still there on & off. Sometimes things have to change to get ya through the tricky bits.
    Hope hubby gets his back pain sorted soon. Bloody frustrating especially when there is always something that needs doing on a farm!

  26. Adam permalink
    June 17, 2015 11:41 am

    Sorry to hear about the health issues.

    I had to chuckle when I looked at the nice picture of firewood……because that is what I am in the midst of working on now as well. I had 3+ cords of rounds waiting to be split and a neighbor offered a wood splitter – and I took him up on it! Now the driveway is jammed 40′ long,10′ wide and 5′ high with split, drying wood.

    It is neat to have the feeling of providing more for yourself – and it results in a proactive way of looking at things when you are working with firewood near the summer solstice – then beginning to think about seeds and growing your food around the winter solstice. It has only been the last handful of years that I have been living/thinking this way and it is pretty refreshing.

  27. June 18, 2015 7:56 am

    my husband has back troubles now and then. hate to see someone you love in pain. and it means i’m on double duty around here and taking care of him until it passes. i hope your husband recovers quickly. my best to you both.

  28. June 19, 2015 2:24 am

    I’m so sorry to read your news, nita. Flexibility is one of your core strengths, I just wish I could send you a few more hours in the day. Take care.

  29. June 19, 2015 8:11 am

    Thanks so much everyone for the kind words and encouragement and treatment ideas. We’re taking everything one day at a time. Thanks again.

  30. Barbara permalink
    June 21, 2015 5:19 pm

    Sorry your husband is not feeling well. I hope everything goes well. Anything we can do to help you? We’re right over in Boring.

  31. June 22, 2015 8:53 am

    Here’s to flexibility-both in farming and in spines-and quick healing. Sending you both good thoughts.

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