I grew up watching westerns, any spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood. An older John Wayne also had me enthralled with tales of gunfights and arduous cattle drives. The one thing that most of the westerns had in common was that it was not cool to be either a farmer (sod buster) or a sheep rancher. As a child I always wanted to be one of the gunslingers of days gone by, but alas, I have become a sod buster and chicken rancher (wrangler) instead... and proud of it.
We (I), perhaps foolishly, decided at the last minute to expand the gardens, and so sod busting has been my spare time hobby of late. I needed a sunnier location for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants to grow and will hopefully have it ready in time for the June planting of those three. This "needing more room" seems to be a yearly occurrence for me.
One of the benefits of removing tons of sod is the great mulch pile it will create. By the time I'm finished we should be set on that front for at least a couple years.
Unfortunately, I did disturb numerous "Carabus nemoralis" or European ground beetles hiding in the grass. If you come across any of these guys, leave them be as they are a most excellent nocturnal predator of cutworms, maggots, and other garden pests.
I also ran into these not so beneficial little crickets, but had not the heart to harm little Jiminy and let him live to sing another day.
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