Why is my soil so difficult to work?

Most soils in our region contain a substantial amount of clay. When wet, clay is incredibly gooey, and when dry, incredibly hard. Finding the right moisture level for easy working is a challenge, even for experienced farmers. This is particularly so because spring around here is fairly rainy. There is very little that can be done to make such soils easier to work, but the best of these is to add lots of compost. The best and cheapest compost is made right at home from garden scraps, grass clippings, and non-protein kitchen waste. The simplest method is to pile it all in a back corner somewhere, turn it with a fork once or twice in the season, and leave it until the following spring. Lots of compost on a small area of clay soil will do more good that spreading it too thin, but over a larger area. A full wheelbarrow is about right for 50 square feet.