I do ninety-five percent of my weeding with the cultivator, above. It’s a good workout, but worth it. I can cultivate my entire garden in under twenty minutes. One pass per week, with a bit of hand weeding around plants as I go, and my garden quickly returns to being virtually weed free.
This cultivator belonged to my father. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had belonged to his own dad, so aged does it look. When Pop died in 2010, I asked my step-mother for only one thing of his: this cultivator. Not only is it tremendously useful, when I am pushing it my thoughts often go to him, the man who taught me how to garden.
Way more than teaching, his joy was infectious. Whether we were planting, weeding or fertilizing or watering, picking or pulling or cutting, canning or freezing, and especially when we were eating the fruits of our labors, his effusive, ebullient, exuberant comments—always joined with big smiles—could only be met with the same spirit.
That same spirit grew in me. I’ve been at it ever since I had my own land to cultivate—since 1980.