Summer time jobs

The planting is done, so you just have the rest of the summer off, right?

Man, I wish.

Weeds.  They’re everywhere.  And they won’t stop growing.  Ever.  (Well, in the winter they stop growing, but who cares then.)  So what’s a young(ish) farmer to do in order to combat this menace?  Behold, my Weed Fighting Kit:

Your handy, dandy Weed Fighting Kit should include one pair of boots, one pair of pants, a tank of gasoline (they have yet to engineer machines that run on my hate for weeds, but when they do…oh boy, fuel efficient!), a rake, a set of wrenches, one weed whacker, and one weed mower.  The k-truck does not come included, but is recommended.

The most important items for fighting weeds are, obviously, the weed whacker and the weed mower.  Let’s take a closer look at these things.  First the weed whacker.

Weed whacker?  Yeah, you say, we got those here in the States.  No. No you don’t.  You have the wuss version.

Whacking weeds with a rotating piece of plastic string?


Real weed whackers come with ten-inch steel buzzsaw!

The endless joy of trashing into a tall thicket of weeds with this thing is priceless.  And when you graze a rock or some concrete or wood, such an awesome sound.  Like sword fighting.  Aside from the fact that most Japanese houses don’t have a lawn to mow, I often wondered why farmers didn’t have young kids out cutting weeds and stuff in the summer time for a little spending cash (like we would do in the States).  Then I met the buzzsaw and I understood.  Bit of a liability.

The second most important part of a weed fighter’s kit is the weed mower.

This thing is awesome.  The wheels have these spikes on them that allow the machine to dig into the ground so that it can easily drive on the steep inclined areas around the rice fields.  And the handle moves so that you can just hang it from the top of the ridge.

The weeds really never stood a chance once these guys entered the battle.  Here are some pics of the carnage.  It’s common practice for the victor in battle to burn the vanquished in large piles.  That’s also the funnest part of cutting weeds.

This is a major part of my summer farming work.  It takes about a week or so to weed around all the fields we have.  And by the time you finish with the last fields, the weeds at the first fields are back up to their dirty tricks again and the cycle starts all over.  Once the middle of the summer hits, it gets a little easier since there’s less rain and way more blistering sunlight to keep them from growing so fast, but during the rainy season (June into July) it’s a never ending battle.

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