The task of controlling the weeds on the non-vineyard property has come to me. I attack about 1.5 acres with a weed eater, whacking away weeds along the fence lines, trees (not too close!), around the house and barns. Then there’s hands-and-knees work, pulling weeds around the roses, blueberries and newly planted fruit trees. Controlling the weeds isn’t just for appearances. The gophers, moles and voles just love it when we let the weeds get tall and develop nice, succulent roots for their enjoyment. We want to encourage them to find their meals somewhere else.
To get ready for a day of weed-eating, I slather up with sunscreen, pull my hair back, dress in a long-sleeved shirt and coveralls and pull on my big boots. I wear a hard-shell safety helmet with heavy ear protection and a mesh face shield. Then I add UV protective safety glasses and heavy gloves. These items become important when you’re hit by flying debris in that one spot you didn’t protect.
Farming can be very hard on your hands. I thought callouses were de rigueur but found out that’s for farming men, not necessarily for farming women. I like to smooth on a good coating of some Udderly Smooth Udder Cream on my hands and slip on a pair of non-latex gloves under my work gloves. Now, I can have nice cuticles as well as a clean fenceline.
Finally, I strap on my hori-hori knife and my pruning shears, because I don’t go anywhere without them.
As they say about aging, weed eating isn’t for babies. But add the right equipment, the necessary precautions and a beautiful sunny day, and the rewards are worth it.