Strength and the Farm


I am not naturally endowed with much upper body or core strength. I’ve never been able to do a pull-up or even hang from a bar for more than a second. My core strength was once mediocre, but two pregnancies have left me longing for the good old days of even mediocre core strength. And, let’s be honest, my back has seen better days.

Most days I can get by without strength being an issue. I can do all the daily chores around the farm and even hoist a 50 lb feed sack when needed. But occasionally something big or heavy needs to be moved, a 5 foot ground rod pulled up, a gnarly tree root pried from the ground, or an onry buck put in his place. All these things require brute strength that I just do not possess. Fortunately, Bones is all about mechanical assistance and has taught me how to work smarter.KIMG1488.jpg

Take this heavy pallet we needed to move. 8 feet long and built to be extremely sturdy, this sucker was heavy and awkward. We tried hefting it together, but I dropped my end almost instantly. Then Bones suggested we use a metal barrel to move it. So we laid the barrel on its side and,together, we hoisted one end up onto the barrel. It rolled like a charm!

And then there was the greenhouse we needed to relocate. Carrying it was out of the question so our choices were either dismantle it or drag it. Dragging seemed problematic due to the unevenness of the ground and the fact that we would have to take it uphill. But with the help of strategically placed skids, a couple of ratcheting straps and our Subaru, the move went smoothly with zero back pain for the movers!

For things like pulling ground rods or other posts from the ground, Bones has rigged up a selection of levers and fulcrums that practically pop the rods straight out. And when I was struggling to dig an awful Paulownia root out of the ground, she rigged up a wench that jerked that sucker out of the ground like a twig.

Subduing the buck often still comes down to brute force, fortunately I have a slight size advantage on him, though his horns are the great equalizer. But I keep a length of baling twine in my pocket with a slip knot in it so I can easily lasso him. Once leashed, he is much easier to control and return to his proper pen.

Sometimes I wish I were a little stronger, but there’s not much I can’t do around the farm, even alone, with a little mechanical aide.

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