>Eating an Elephant

I have always disliked the riddle that rhetorically asks how one would eat an elephant. Because, really, who wants to eat elephant in the first place? Besides its marginal flavour and texture, wouldn’t you feel bad about doing that in the first place? But, besides that, who has a freezer big enough to hold 3 tons of meat? And “one piece at a time”? Really? This answer is unlikely to motivate the lazy.

In the same way, I despise the riddle I just made up that asks how one would de-rock a half acre of land on Salt Spring Island. One rock at a time may eventually get the job done but at what cost? A lost season of growing? A slipped disk? Sanity? During the process of removing over 3 tons of rocks – so far! -, you have ample opportunity to consider the question.

The engineer part of me calculates that if there are 4 million stones larger than a golf ball to pick up and we pick up 4 thousand stones per day, then there is a 1000% chance that there will be volcanic eruption that will spew fresh stones before we can get the last of the existing stock off. (Engineering assumption: we are immortal).

The accountant part of me thinks that it would be worthwhile to get a rock picking machine in to do the work. But, Andy, the rock-rake, rockpicker-equipped guy on the island said he couldn’t really help (plot too small for his picker, rake too coarse to help much plus it would bury lots for the future).

The grunt part of me doesn’t think about it that much at all. Thus the job is nearly half done … on the west plot.


I picked up a couple of free sacks of seed potatoes from Integrity a couple of weeks ago that I hoped to plant. They were on their last eyes at the time but they were thoroughly rotten when I opened the bag up on Friday to plant them. But the fingerlings from Haliburton were still ok so I planted 80 feet of them. Here’s hoping.

I also rejuvenated the tomatoes we got from Hali. Even in 6″ pots they quickly dry out unless we water them every day. Which is difficult because I put them on top of the equipment shack to thwart the deer. It looks like it might be several more days until we can set them out so I mixed up a rich batch of kelp water in a pail and held each pot under water while I trimmed the low branches and the suckers. We also brought them home and put them on the balcony so we can look after them better.

Having a farm that is not in the back yard is challenging, just as it was last year at Hali. However, this year the renters, who are so kindly letting us use their backyard, are returning to their home province for the summer so we will be subletting the house for July and August. That will be VERY convenient.


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