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NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Thinking warm thoughts, planning spring garden

My garden is covered in snow, and it's not pretty. We just had a thaw and a freeze, and the snowbanks are dirty and chunky. Fortunately, I know the soil beneath is still resting in its insulated blanket of (dirty, grimy, ugly) snow and ice.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking of tools. As I get older, I need to be more cautious in the ways I bend and straighten and put stress on my body. I saw this article and it got me thinking: what do I need to take care of my vegetables and take care of myself, too?

I like the garden cart in the feature; I have one already. Mine was an inheritance of sorts from my Mother-in-law when she moved from her home to a condo. We sold a lot of their old tools, but we kept this one (and the chain saw, too). I wasn't ready to pass on the wagon to another owner without some serious thought. We found ourselves using the cart for several purposes. It held my tomato and pepper seedlings until I put them in the ground; it was the perfect size for firewood when Chuck cut down a tree. It's held piles of brush and made it easy to drag said brush to the minivan for the trip to the (you guessed it) brush dump. A garden cart is one item I won't need to buy.

When I read The $64 Tomato I considered getting a shuffle hoe. I've applied square foot gardening principals to my small plot, and the results are good: much less weeding. The shuffle hoe, however, will help in the areas that still need help. It might save my poor aging back (oh, I complain!), too, by allowing me decent posture instead of bending or kneeling in the dirt.

I think I'll keep my eyes open for a shuffle hoe. Maybe I'll spot one at a garage sale or auction. If not, I'll price them in the local garden shops; it may be a good investment.

The temperatures may be a balmy 16 degrees Fahrenheit today, but I'm looking ahead to spring.