Every newby farming family really needs an experienced neighbour to offer tried and true advice and an occasional helping hand. Luckily for us “Wild” Bill and his wife Marie are the quintessential next door neighbours that fulfill this role.
Bill taught us the benefits of a hinged style hoe for clearing a row of weeds in a hurry – though still with much effort. He has also donated hundreds of heirloom dahlia tubers that are of a lineage that belonged to his father. Back in the day, these tubours were so popular they cost 50 cents each, which would been half an average man’s daily wages, according to Bill. His wife is also generous, she provided us a bunch with of vases and has offered up their pristine and abundant blueberry patch to our kids who pick until their bellies are bursting.
Though some may not consider Bill’s outfit high fashion, I am on a serious hunt for a light weight pair of coveralls. If I plan to be a farmer into my golden year I need to protect my skin and nothing covers skin better than coveralls. They would also keep my clothes cleaner, so less laundry and also allow for a quick change and transformation between farmer, florist, school mom and other less dirty life roles. A hat is vital for out in the field and I am trying to adopt the hat wearing habit. Pockets to keep small tools and cell phones from disappearing into the field are also a must. A careful observer will see a small transister radio in Bill’s pocket. We are definitely in need of this – you see there is no WiFi out in the field so a radio could help ease the burden of weeding and planting.
Yup – Bill has it figured out, and we are thankful he and his wife are our neighbors.