Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Happy Tiller strikes again!

Yesterday was the 7th month anniversary of knee-day. Knee-plus-seven-months.

Well, spring has REALLY arrived at my house --- I began to till the garden last night. Now this may not seem like a challenging task to you, but you need to understand a couple of things.

One, I garden in 3 to 4 ft wide raised beds, with grassed paths in between. These are ground beds (no board or stone edges), raked into raised beds. I typically till them at the beginning and end of the season. However, last year, I had to hire someone to till them for me. Why? Because my knee would not tolerate the strain.

Two, when I till, I straddle the bed. The width of the bed is just about at the maximum stretch that I can do comfortably, and still operate the tiller. One of my primary reasons for going through with the RTKR last fall was that I could no longer garden in the manner to which I was accustomed. This includes tilling the beds twice a year.

Please think about the stress that my straddle-the-bed tilling style produces on the knee. I am leaning and pushing on the joint with my legs splayed out at significant angle. The tiller (Troy-Bilt, rear-tines, 8 HP) is pulling itself forward. I use my body to guide the tiller and keep it on track.

Last night, I was the Happy Tiller once again.

I also weed and plant using that same straddle the bed position. Again, there is a fair amount of lateral strain on the joint. And, happily, I can once again work the garden from that position.

Ah, Spring.