Another hobby of mine

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nralifer
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Posts: 511
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:42 pm

Another hobby of mine

Post by nralifer » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:25 am

Before we acquired our Avion, my main hobby and free-time-eater-upper was gardening. I like to grow just about anything I can eat. Since the Avion came along, I must admit that the garden has suffered. You know it's bad when you have to mow the garden! I hope to do better this year.... we'll see!

Anyway, related to the garden is a small collection of garden tractors: A 1966 Cub Cadet 123 that has a rear tiller and a mower deck, a 1996 Craftsman GT6000, a 2009 Craftsman PGT9000, and a 1981 Speedex 1631 that came with a belly mower, turning plough, discs, furrowers, and cultivators. I also have a 1974 Troy-Bilt Horse tiller that is pretty awesome. I like each one for different reasons and different tasks:

The Speedex is my hands-down favorite for ploughing because it has good power and it sits up high.... good for not high-centering while ploughing.
The Cub Cadet is great for mowing, although I don't generally use it for that..... I like it best for tilling. It's great to be able to sit on the tractor and let it do the work!
The GT6000 is my standby machine for ploughing, my main cultivator, wood hauler, and general work horse.
The PGT9000 is what I regularly use for mowing.
Of course, the Troy-Bilt is a fantastic tiller.

This time of year is busy for the garden. It is all ploughed and about 1/3 tilled so far. (it is a 50' x 150' area)

There is always something to maintain. Most recently I have been working on the Cub Cadet. It would turn over but not get running. Finally replaced all of the ignition parts: solenoid, coil, points, plug, plug wire. Got it running last night! Probably still need to replace the carburetor.... the throttle shaft is loose, and it appears that there are no parts to fix it. Sounds like it could be a relatively cheap fix, or I could spend several hundred dollars on an original Cub Cadet Kohler carb...... will probably will go the cheaper route..... I just need it to work, doesn't have to be original.

Anyway, that's the latest from the garden.
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

FrancescaS
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:25 am
Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Another hobby of mine

Post by FrancescaS » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:46 pm

Nralifer, are those pictures of your yard/garden? If so it's HUGE! I do love to garden too, I have a minute yard and have not had too much luck growing veggies. I do have some ornamentals that are doing okay, actually they are very old plantings and could probably use some tlc. My yard is mostly FL sand and I do have quite a few large oaks that over hang my back yard and I think the combination can be a challenge for any gardener. But I realize it is a process and so I just have to keep at it. I do have a couple raised beds, but had a lot going on and missed my planting window for the most part.
Thanks for sharing.
FrancescaS
1969 Avion Argonaut
No Tow Vehicle Yet
Tampa, FL

nralifer
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Posts: 511
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:42 pm

Re: Another hobby of mine

Post by nralifer » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:02 am

Yep, that is our back yard, and that's the garden spot one Fall when I was turning it over. The garden spot has grown over the years, mainly because I have the room to do it. My problem is: I usually over-plant (especially lettuce and greens... time-consuming harvesting), then think I need to keep up with everything. It can get very overwhelming at times. Most growing season days, I will get up at the crack of dawn and go outside to tend to things in the garden before going to work.

Like I mentioned before, the Avion has REALLY ruined my gardening enthusiasm the last few years, but I am determined to get back to it this year. I will scale back some (scale back for me, still a huge garden for some), and keep up with up with it like I used to.

On years when I get really serious about it, we can produce a LOT of food! Things that cannot be preserved are eaten fresh. A lot is given away, too. My neighbors really like us! Some neighbors on one side of the 8' fence are a good example. We have gotten to watch their kids grow from infants to not-quite-teens. They will stand on their side of the fence and wait for me to toss bags of produce over to them! They are always watching through the fence to see what I'm up to. We eat a lot of nice leaf lettuce and things that go in a salad.... that lettuce usually gets picked by the 5-gallon bucket full. Last year, I finally relented and bought a commercial-grade salad spinner that can hold 3 or four gallons of lettuce at a time. Saves a lot of time cleaning the lettuce. My normal salad bowl is called a "large mixing bowl" by most folks!

We pressure can tomatoes, collard greens, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, cabbage, green beans, pickled okra..... and a really fantastic mix of tomatoes, okra, onions, and peppers.

Sorry to hear you are struggling with your garden. My folks lived in the Destin, FL area at one time and I remember Dad pretty much gave up on gardening there. If you really get the urge to garden, feel free to bring your Avion to NW Arkansas and stay a week or so! Time it for mid-July......You can park in our back yard and garden to your heart's desire!

I'll add a few more pictures that will show the garden in it's prime when everything is growing like mad, and some harvest pictures. (makes me hungry just thinking about it!)
nra1ifer
1987 Avion 34W
Every day is a good day..... some are just better than others!

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