Thirteen years ago, I went off to the United States Marine Corps, hoping to get my family out of the poverty zone, when I came back I had lost my mind,,,Oh sure, I get paid more money than I thought I would ever earn for the mental disability, but I can't make it stretch as far!
I did think to buy myself a place to live, but what I got was an old gravel pit where little would grow but weeds! I didn't spend a bunch of money on a ridding mower, instead I got a push mower, it took me several years to figure out the old-fashioned reel mowers were best for both me and my small patch of land,,,though some others wondered why I didn't just let the numerous grasshoppers eat all the vegetation off!
I had began trying to control the grasshoppers right off with as natural of methods as possible, as chemicals would just dry out the vegetation to encourage the grasshoppers even more, for several years the flying menaces seemed to be winning the battle, but then, all my efforts began to pay off!
They were eating my crops in my small gardens, and even devouring the new twigs on my trees and bushes what few had even tried to grow here, then I got a backpack sprayer and got serious about spraying for them as well as making homemade bait to poison them, got them under control just in time for the end of the drought!
About the only vegetation the grasshoppers didn't destroy were: Hubbard Squash, Tomatoes, Juniper Bushes, half a dozen of my shade trees, five Native Plum Trees, two apple trees, some Chokecherry Bushes, four Gooseberry Bushes, and a small stand of native cottonwood trees in the very bottom of the gravel pit that God himself must have grown there to give me encouragement!
Now with the return of the rains and winter snow, the quickly drying gravel is full of water high enough to give me a pond which I have some fish in, and the damp gravel holds at bay the grasshoppers instead of giving them a sauna treatment, almost too wet now though!
In the meantime, I had made the most of the rocks left behind in the gravel pit, using them as stone mulch, and am learning more and more every day,,,, especially about how to never trade the rags straight across for the riches, but must mend them yourself to make your own riches, or you will probably get the bottom end of the stick!