Thursday, July 1, 2010

Weatherford Texas




This picture was taken in 1939, and shows a group of men at a Farmer's Market. You can see that someone has brought a calf to sell. It looks small enough that it could be butchered at home. Also note that everyone in the picture is very trim.

Domestic Update:

OK, I think it is important that we understand the nomenclature, so for your viewing pleasure, I present my "grubbing hoe" below. You notice that one side has a flat, sharp head. This is used to get up things like prickly pear. Prickly Pear has a big heavy root, and you need to get the root up, you you have to use this end to grub down so you can pull the whole mess out.


Notice that the other end has a sharp point, or pick. The pick is used to pry rocks out of the ground. You hit the ground with it right next to the rock, and then pry the rock out. Notice the ground around the grubbing hoe does not have any prickly pear or big rocks. This is in the circle in front of our house. It was covered with  cactus, lots of big rocks, algarita bushes, and tassajia. This summer I have been working to clear all this mess out from in front of the house. With the nice rains the last few days, the native buffalo and mesquite grass should come in quiet nicely, and make the circle look good. I don't plan on watering it, but as it rains, it will green up.

17 comments:

  1. PJM: Thanks for the photo. That tool is what we called a pickaxe in Ohio. I dug out more tree stumps than I care to remember with one of those. In the unlikely event that I ever have to use one again, I will refer to it as grubbing hoe in your honor.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Geezer,
    I am truly honored!
    PJM

    ReplyDelete
  3. I knew what you were talking about, I used to use one to dig worms to go fishing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That was called a mattock where I grew up (LA, state not the city) and they are a desert island tool, IMHO.

    I am using my grandfather's and I'm pretty sure that it came from the family farm from the '20's.

    I expect my children to be able to use it. Maybe with a new handle. :-)

    -XC

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yeah that is a long handled pick mattock. A pickax would have a longer a narrower cutting side. A grub hoe wouldn't have the pick.

    Very nice tool and hard to find them built with a long handle like that anymore. I buy them from a local Amish guy who builds hand tools to be used.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Nice website that explains why this tool is so much better than a spade:
    http://www.easydigging.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Also note that everyone in the picture is very trim."


    This comment reminds me of my dad's high school class picture circa 1940. Most of them were farm kids and not one of them were the slightest bit overweight. It is such a stark contract between that photo and the class pictures of today.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The rural fire department in Montana used what we called a grubbing hoe. We used it when fighting wide fires in the rough terrain to form a fire break.
    It had a flat blade like yours on one side that was used for chopping out sage brush at the roots, and the other side had a blade that was turned 90 degrees that was used for copping down trees. Even though we kept the tree chopping blade sharp, it really didn't work very good at it.
    I remember having to sharpen it and putting on it leather sheath (for protection) after every use

    ReplyDelete
  9. O.K. Correction from yesterday. This is what I would call a pickax. Fact is, I have one. It is invaluable for creating a garden where once there was sand, gravel, and caliche.

    And, I sit corrected on the 90 degree bladed tool. As I was typing the above paragraph, I recalled working for the BLM and calling such a thing a Pulaski, not a mattock. Very handy when fighting fires. In general, I find doodad, or pointed thingy, or whatchmacallit works quite well.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pulaski! I never heard that one. I can't wait to use it.
    "Hey buddy, hand me that Pulaski."

    ReplyDelete
  11. I know the grubbing hoe well as I halped my dad dig stumps and later misquite until I thought my arms would fall off. With a misquite, you have to dig deep enough to get the "bulb" in order to really remove it. To get to it required going about 6 - 10 inches down. The soil was extremely rocky so it took many extra strokes with the hoe move the rocks the cut the root. Ahhhh the joy of doing this about 7 hours a day are indescribable.......but my waist and stomach were considerably smaller and firmer.

    Maybe I should get the old grubbing hoe out and go pull some mesquite. Hummm, maybe I'll worry about that tomorrow.....

    ReplyDelete
  12. Al,
    You should join my health club. It is only $30 a month. You pay the fee, and can come to my house, and I will provide grubbing hoe, and both Mesquite AND Prickly pear for you to grub. As you work, I will have a little music playing to keep things interesting. Guaranteed you will lose weight.

    PJM

    ReplyDelete
  13. Pickaxe in Oklahoma and Texas too.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi! I would also refer to this tool as a pickaxe..not that I use ours on a regular basis.
    PJM, thanks for posting the W'ford farmers market today..I live in Weatherford and always love to see pictures of this "little" *snicker* town. Not so little anymore!

    ReplyDelete
  15. My Texan dad called that tool a grubbing hoe. First time I heard the term 'mattock' I had no idea what they were talking about.

    ReplyDelete