Easy yard work in chewable chunks with the right tools…Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner.


The warmer weather has finally arrived.  Wonderful!  I’m certain many of us were out getting dirty, cleaning up our yards, and perhaps readying our garden plots for some flowers and vegetables.  Many of us tend to try and get all the tasks done in one day and end up discouraged and very sore the following days.

I recently read an article which prescribed breaking yard/garden tasks into bite sized pieces which made a whole lot of sense.  The suggestion was to schedule a half hour each day to do the chores necessary.  The more I think about this the more sense it makes for various reasons.

Firstly when I am involved in a particular task my focus is usually on that particular job at hand.  Scheduling this half hour then allows me to clear my head of the challenges involved in my day to day; it gives the opportunity to change one’s mental linen.  Just think of the positives of returning to work challenges with a clearer, new perspective.  Taking this half hour gardening time also gives the opportunity to relax and bask in the peace and serenity that nature has to offer; an opportunity to reconnect with the wonder and mystery of life.  Breaking up the gardening tasks in chewable chunks certainly insure a wee bit of exercise each day which stretches and moves the body and insures one doesn’t overdue it .

Having the right tool for the task also assures the chore is easily completed in a reasonable time frame with less effort and a better outcome.  A couple of cases in point:  I’ve done quite a bit of raking over the past week to allow the ground and grass to breathe and flourish under the weight of the leaves from last fall.  I would recommend anyone engaging in gardening tasks, especially raking, to invest in a good pair of gardening gloves.  These will protect the hands from blisters, dirt and prickly material which can easily penetrate the skin.  Gloves help get the job done safely and make clean up faster.

Have you installed bird houses around your home?  We have several that we have strategically installed around the house and every spring when I spot the return of the swallows I get out and clean out any nesting material in the bird houses from last year andEarthMatters_04_30_13_P1010830rw clean out the inside of the houses with a mild detergent, water and a sturdy bristled brush.  The nesting material that is removed often contains a lining of feathers which I normally will throw in the back field for our flying friends to reuse for this year’s nests.  This year I decided to place the old nesting materials in the fork of some of the tree branches thinking it might be easier and safer for the birds to access.  Any of the anchoring posts for the houses which have been found to be unsteady have been restaked to accommodate our summer visitors.

What are you planting this spring?  Greens, tomatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes will be sown in my garden.  Expanding the asparagus patch is also being considered.  Knowing that growing some of our own food is one of the best things we can do for ourselves nutritionally while eliminating our waste quotient is great incentive to expand our food bearing plantings.  Readers are invited to share photographs of their gardening projects.  Such sharings are a wonderful way to give others some ideas of what and how they can incorporate some fresh food within the time and space that they have.

Your commentary is always welcome and encouraged below or to earthmatters@jmilner.com  Thank you!


cfn JM



  1. Why didn’t you give me that advice yesterday? I think I just finished 2 weeks worth of 1/2 hour bite size pieces. I think I need a coffee…..and a nap….and a shower.

  2. You and many others Reg. Hope you’re not too sore today.

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