Monday, February 27, 2012

Tilling in February

The Monster and I spent most of the morning doing this.

He did pretty good for over an hour but then got a little bored at our slow speed and decided his boot was more interesting than tilling.  This would be how yesterday's casualty in the field happened.

And I know a few of the people who see these pictures are going to laugh at my crooked passes in the field but I promise that is not my fault.  Not even with a toddler in my lap.  The sway bars on this tractor are locked up and my tiller has about 8 inches of sway in it from right to left-I have no control over it.  

We rely on a lot of hand-me-down equipment and this set of equipment is by far the most important equipment in our operation.  

This little tractor was given to us by my father-in-law when we first started building on this property, around the same time my in-laws decided to move to a smaller property.  It has been a workhorse around here and today was no exception.  My father-in-law gives good gifts but this one takes the cake.  The Land Pride tiller we use with this tractor was given to us practically brand new from a customer of ours through Conway Locally Grown.  This gift has meant more to this farm than that customer could possibly have known.  We appreciate it so much and I think of David every spring when we pull this tiller out of the shed.  

I think III thought I was ambitious when I told him how much ground I wanted to get worked up today.  He laughed and said, "It IS only February".  I laughed and agreed.  We have never had ground worked up in February.  Very little in March usually.  Then I realized we need to change our mindset.  We've done a pretty good job selling vegetables the last two summers but still have had a lack of farm income for six months out of each year.  We are working on changing that.  But to have farm income in March and April means we need to be in the field every February.  Or find more fall-planted vegetables and flowers to overwinter and harvest in the early months.  

Today the ground ended up being dry enough to work halfway down our fields.  I'll try to explain what the next picture shows.  III took it from up on the deck of our house.  

The t-posts are the trellis for four rows of sugar snap peas.  They are just starting to show.  Today I tilled several  passes north (right) and south (left) of the t-posts.  This is where we are going to plant the majority of the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and lettuce.  Behind the tractor in this picture are the garlic beds.  Just south of the garlic is a bed of kale and south of the kale is rye/clover cover crop that we push-mowed yesterday and tilled under today.  North of the garlic beds is the area we were tilling in the pictures up above.  This afternoon Jessica and I planted about 500 broccoli, 250 cauliflower and 100 red cabbages in that area.  I'll try to get a picture of it in the next few days.  I'll also try to get a better picture of the whole field from farther away.  

Tilling in February.  YAY!

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