>Free labour? Bring it on!

>Last weekend a couple of teenage boys ambled up our driveway while we were in the garden and passed me the bill pictured above. Later that evening I called the number and, sure enough, no joke. Human teenagers willing to do hard physical labour for no money. And no catches. I asked.

Recall that we actually have two plots of plowed up soil in the borrowed backyard but that we are only using one right now; the other is just planted in a harvest wheat cover crop. When Ron rototilled that section in June, he complained bitterly about the size and quantity of stones battering his equipment. After we decided to concentrate on the other section, we virtually abandoned the wheat area; we didn’t even bother watering it. All summer long, the section – and its abundant stones – festered.

Now the wheat has a flattened look about it. Pastor Andrew plus 3 teens hopped out of a mini-van at 10am sharp and, after we gave them a quick tour of the garden, got right to work in the wheat field. As soon as 4 or 5 pails of stones were filled, I hauled them to the rock pile using the BCS/dump cart. We probably removed 10 loads or over 3 tons of stones. The teens also collected half a large garbage can of garbage and an almost full bin of metal for recycling. They also removed a lot of small blackberry shoots that had sprung up over the summer. Even Laura helped out, gathering dozens of small treasures of glass; bottles, marbles and pieces of old Chinese plates.

Apparently this wasn’t the teens’ worst job during their 10 day stay on the island although the worst one also involved stones. After digging them out of a stone retaining wall that was built on the wrong side of a property line, they had to haul them up to the top of the property, on a hot day. One imagines the rejoicing when that job was done.

Before they left, Pastor Andrew invited us to an open-house BBQ on the weekend at the church (although we won’t be able to make it). Instead, we dropped off a 2 gallon ice cream pail full of salad mix to the church to feed all those tired teens. Thanks again to Philip, Cory, Tessa, Vanessa, Kurtis and Pastor Andrew.

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