I have been saving and planning on starting an organic mini farm within the next couple years MAX and my original plan was no till gardening which I am familiar with in my own garden. Now I have been double digging for several years and dont mind the hard work and that is how I planned on starting my farm to save myself from the debt of a tractor.
But just recently I found out that I have a rather large hernia that I have been living with for awhile and must get the surgery done soon or I will cause more damage to my family jewels. I have to wait till at least the end of october because of the garden and work before I can afford to take 6 weeks of no physical labor... Not going to be easy for someone like me... Anyway, after the surgery I will be unable to ever work as hard as I am used to or I run the risk of re opening the hernia, there in lies my main problem at this point. How can I garden without a front loader and plow without being able to bust my ass when I need to to get the job done? I dont have the help around to muscle through everything, just me and my lady.
I know there is a lot of knowledge on this site, I have been reading through it for sometime. I am sure I can get plenty of help from you wonderful people. I really need some encouraging ideas because this whole thing has got me in a bad slump and I am feeling depressed thinking that my dream is slowly slipping away. I love permaculture but am scared I have to resort to regular row planting because of the hernia...
Hernias run in my family. I think my dad (full-time farmer) waited three years to get his surgery (until VA+medicare kicked in +saving up). He bought an old-time support truss/brace and soldiered on. But he was of the age that the jewels had done all their work already. LOL
He still farms, feeds cattle and gardens. He doesn't carry two feedbags at a time anymore, and uses a gator to carry things around a lot more. Just like back surgery, you have to be careful--but if you exercise right and use proper form you can do most anything again. After the surgery he still wears the brace to do hard work, like a back support belt. And like a back support belt, it is more of a reminder to be careful than an actual help.
Permaculture and orchards are mainly heavy lifting up front, then easy pruning/maintenance. Hire the hard stuff done.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
People in wheelchairs can garden.
My back has given me trouble for years. Rather than let that stop me, I plan around it. All sorts of ways to reduce the workload. It depends on what you want to do.
I'm putting together a Pick Your Own Vegetable farm. This cuts down the workload-the customer does the bending, harvesting, processing, packing and shipping.
Tools Earthway produces a Precision Garden Seeder that is effective. I've used it for planting beds as well as rows.
This is the Bayou Gardener on Youtube. He's a pretty big feller, see how he transplants onions at 4 mins into the clip. Have a look at his videos. He's never in a hurry, seems to take care of a pretty good area.
Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
I have back trouble myself ken, I go to a chiropractor sometimes twice a day. I am getting a truss this weekend, and my chirpractor says he went ten years being a chiro with a truss on before he got a surgery. basically I need to figure out now how I am going to save my back and my groin in every task I do around the farm. I suppose I could always pay someone to break ground or to make hugels for me, I know I can handle the planting and the picking even but its the setup of new gardens that really has me worried.