Helping Hands

Although gray, the temperature is pretty mild so the boys and I went outside today to do some chores we’ve, er I’ve, been putting off.

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We moved some straw from the chicken coop to the herb spiral and started to cover the whole with wood chips.

This will keep the soil nice and moist so that, come planting time, it will be loose and easy to work with.

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The cats were a big help.

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The chicken coop was in dire need of a cleaning, so we shut the chickens in their run and got to work.

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While I scraped and pulled all of the dirty bedding out, the boys helped spread it in the spot the chickens had just vacated.

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Once all the hay was spread and the coop cleaned out, I started to lay more cardboard paths.

The cats, always ready to lend a paw, got involved.

They paced back and forth, inspecting my work and occasionally correcting the placement of the straw or attacking a villainous piece of cardboard that had the audacity to move.

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The boys, after spreading the straw bedding so vigorously, wandered off to dig a hole in the yard.

“We are planting an apple tree, Jake,” said Joe.

I watched as Joe directed the dig. They each took turns scooping a shovelful out and Joe encouraged Jake when he did a good job. I heard him explaining that roots would grow down in the ground from the seed they were going to plant.

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“Mom! There are worms hibernating!”

He ran over and showed me his find.

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Once they were satisfied with the depth of the hole, Joe marched inside to get the seeds. He planted two, “in case one didn’t grow”, and put the worm back in the ground “to help the tree grow”.

He then patted the dirt over it, watered it and marked it with a flag.

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I had not planned on turning our chore day into a lesson.

Joe took the initiative and started the project. He worked with the tools he had, taught Jake a few things about roots and praised him when he did a good job.

He was very proud of his work.

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I was too.

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