As is usual for me, I was prepping the garden for planting. My original thought was to just till it all under. But on closer inspection, much to my dismay, I took a good look at some of the weeds in the garden. Some of the weeds propagated by sprouting new plants along the string of roots. To till these weeds would equal an explosion of the weeds in my garden. Think weeds on steroids. I had no choice but to weed it by hand carefully pulling whole roots of these obnoxious weeds.
Mel's thought was to put weed killer all over the area undoing my four years of labor and expense building this five times larger area of organic garden than she initially had. I just wasn't having that. I am so much healthier with less allergic reactions by eating chemical free.
Mel hates weeding so she decided to plant fresh eating vegetables is self wicking, 5-gallon buckets this year. She thinks it will be easier on her. Me, I'm planting the old fashion way of dense, companion planting in a cross between row planting and square foot gardening techniques. That's how I grew 100% of our needs in tomatoes, corn, herbs, garlic, and green beans that has lasted us 18 months in 2017 on less than 1/4 acre. So I have to pull some weeds. I'm out in the sunshine, communing with my Heavenly Father, doing what I always dreamed of doing. Our approaches to gardening are different, but that's okay.
Getting back to the subject at hand. The law of Diminishing Marginal Return states...
The law of diminishing marginal returns states that, at some point, adding an additional factor of production results in smaller increases in output. For example, a factory employs workers to manufacture its products, and, at some point, the company operates at an optimal level. With other production factors constant, adding additional workers beyond this optimal level will result in less efficient operations. www.Investopedia.com
In the chart above at the beginning of this post, I use age as an additional factor that impacts production. On my urban homestead in my 40s, my garden grew to 1/2 and acre. Then, I hit 50, While I still produced the same but over a longer period to get it done, my family dynamics also changed due to marriages and grandchildren. By my mid 50s, I started having strokes impacting my production further. I went back to a 1/4 acre garden again which was fine as an empty nester. The strokes continued to occur, but my stubbornness wouldn't let me sway away from my goal of living the most organic, self sufficient lifestyle I could.
Now, I'm in my 60s for a few more years. In pulling the dandelions, plantains, wild violets, grasses, wild strawberries, and assorted other weeds from my garden which is much less than 1/4 acre, I'm hit with more diminishing return on a daily basis.
Monday, I pull four 5-gallon buckets plus a 3-gallon bucket of weeds. The 3-gallon bucket feeds the bunnies (2) and chickens (17). We do have 15 more chickens and 24 quail, but they are too young for the fresh greens.
Tuesday- my lower back and thighs are a bit worse for wear, I pull two 5-gallon buckets plus the 3-gallon bucket of weeds.
Wednesday- I pull a 3-gallon bucket and a 5-gallon bucket. I've gotten only a little over half the garden done.
Thursday- I pull a 3-gallon bucket. I had a doctor's appointment 36 miles away so the rest of my day is shot.
Friday- is today. I've managed the 3-gallon bucket already, but the rest of the day remains to be seen. I'm hoping that the rest of yesterday will enable me to pull more. At this rate, it will be summer before I get my garden weeded. 😒
I know the garden will eventually be planted. I'm too stubborn to allow anything less. We've got to have a fantastic harvest this year to make up for the dismal failures of last year. But the law of diminishing marginal return and age are working against me.
Nothing is impossible.