We have now reached July and there is still not a definite answer to the question of whether or not we will have fall sports and if so, when will they begin? Many local school districts are saying that they hope to begin in early August, so we will see how things progress there. In the meantime while I wait for all that to fall into place, I must turn my attention to the garden.

One thing for sure is that my flower and vegetable gardens are starting to produce blooms and produce, so I will be busy working during the upcoming days. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed tilling, planting, sowing and waiting to see the fruits of mine and Vicki's labors become a reality. Now I am just hoping that we can keep up with it all for the next several weeks. 

My years of being a dairy and grass farmer still seem to be a strength as I appear to have not lost the the magic touch in growing grass. Back in the day, I wanted to grow grass, now I am attempting to keep it from covering me up. After all the rains that we received the past few days, the grass has made a dramatic comeback from near extinction, especially the notorious crabgrass. 

I am sitting here writing this column and dreading my having to break out the garden hoe once again and declare war on the grass in the garden spaces. It's hard work, but once I get it all done or most of it done or part of it done, it gives a sense of major accomplishment. Right now, I'm not sure which of the three are applicable. Time will tell, as well as my aching back. 

The great thing about growing up on a farm is getting to drive and/or operate various types of machinery and tools, but I gotta be honest, after all my years of farming, using a garden hoe ranks pretty much at the bottom of my list. 

I never liked hoeing in the garden as a kid, didn't like it as a teenager, resented it as a young adult and now as an old person, I still have a dread of breaking out the hoe. 

I'm not sure why I have built up such a resentment for a common, ordinary tool. I mean after you get done working with this instrument, your flowers and vegetables look so awesome as they are allowed to grow unhindered by the  grass.

I guess using a garden hoe in my case is much like having to take medicine to get well. It's tough at the first, but when it's all said and done, the end result is tremendous. 

"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the cornfield," President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said.

I think the same could be said for a garden hoe, it looks like a pretty inconspicuous tool, but when you take hold of it and start using it, you find out really fast what manual labor is all about. 

Another person once said "Gardening requires lots of water - most of it in the form of perspiration."

I say a hearty amen to that as I face the garden hoe work ahead as well as the gathering, but in the end, we will reap the harvest and it will all be worthwhile.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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