Front-Loaders: Building a Garden the Easy Way

Learn how one man made building a garden a breeze with a front-loader in this edition of the "Last Laugh" column.

| April/May 1998


A front loader is extremely functional.


Marv, who runs a trailer Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, can do just about anything with his front-loader, including gardening. His skill with heavy equipment dates back to service in World War II, when he and his fellow Sea-bees would follow our invading armed forces, and, with the help of bulldozers, plywood, and baling wire, would construct an airstrip, complete with control tower, within an hour of landing. In the old debate about form vs. function — for Marv — function wins every time. If a six-foot-diameter cable spool looks like a table, it is plumped down on the beach for the convenience of overnight campers. If tree trunks or stumps catch blowing sand and stabilize the beach, they are promptly added to our seascape. Viewed from the water, half a mile out, the beach has a certain derelict, abandoned-island charm.

Anyhow, Marv's best friend Poppa was busy spading-up an unused corner of the grounds for a vegetable garden when Marv rumbled over in the front-loader.

"Where you been?" Poppa asked.

"Down to the beach. Those wise-guy kids on their ATVs have been roaring along the shoreline, making a pest of themselves again."

"Did you talk to them?"

"Naw, I just raised a hill of sand from the lake to the bluff: Trapped them on the other side. What're you trying to do?"

dairy goat


Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.