Sunday, July 24, 2011

Farm garden

The garden at the farm is indeed looking good! I'm several weeks behind everyone else, but that is OK. The weed pressure isn't too bad and things look really healthy.

Winter squash in foreground, beets, onions, beans...

Calypso bean

I took a walk and enjoyed checking out the fields and planning future garlic beds. Our newest invasive is horse nettle. Not sure to how to combat that one. I'll have to spend some time online and figure it out. The areas that I cleared of burdock and thistle are looking pretty good.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

New broadfork

We have two new farm implements.

New trailer for hauling (hauling stuff!)

And we decided to experiment with a broadfork. Thanks to Barb for telling us about Gulland Forge. A-used-to-be-in Wisconsin based (now Kentucky) forger and artisan who handcrafts broadforks.

Bill is making great progress on the new ReAdapted shop. Sparky is running again too thanks to a new starter.

In garlic news, we've completed our garlic seed bank purchases. Our MOSA organic inspector called last week and they will be out to inspect in mid-October.

Church/home garden is looking great. I think I've finally gotten ahead of the quack grass this year thanks to the wheel hoe with the tine cultivator attachment. 3 passes have really cleared out the majority of the quack! This is the best looking garden I've had in years. (Although Bill tells me the farm garden is even better! I haven't been there in a couple of weeks; will be there tomorrow.)

Mustard greens, turnips, chard

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Broken tractor

Sparky's starter stopped starting. He is stalled up near Field #1. Bill is on the quest to find a starter that works on a 60 year old tractor - not an easy task.

Garden is looking good. I spent Saturday weeding and enjoying the farm solo as Bill was at prairie plant nursery for a field day with one of his landscape groups.

Sunday was spent digging burdock and cutting blooming thistle. My efforts last year at hand control of the thistle were positive so I've continued another portion of the hillside below the feedlot.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disc'ing and celebrating the 4th

Our disc finally arrived - it was about 3 weeks later than it should have been. Bill was in Wisc and got the call that it had arrived on Fri, 6/24 in the morning. He was supposed to come home that day but opted to stay all day and disc our fields that badly needed it.

With the wise advice of our farm mentor, the plan is now to rake (i.e. with our cultivator) several times to pull the quack grass out. So we did that yesterday.

Bill did one pass and as I was standing at the field edge admiring the soil, I noticed it moving. Like something was burrowing underneath. Groundhogs. If I had a shovel with me, I could have done away with it.

We are having a real infestation of groundhogs at our farm and it is becoming quite a problem. The burrows are everywhere and we often even see them poking their heads out of the burrows. Preferring to not use poison/bait, we've opted for the old-fashioned route. Bill dug out his rifle from his childhood, dusted it off and has been target practicing.

(Yes, our High Life cans from the day before. Our 'end-of-day-good-day-of-work' celebratory beer We typically like microbrews, but on a hot summer day, there is nothing like plunging your hand in an icy cooler and coming up with a can of beer.)

As he was sighting the scope, Bill urged me to give it a try. (It just seems like the 4th of July is the appropriate time to shot a gun, right?) I've never shot a gun before and I was scared. This is an easy to handle rifle and after Bill's gun safety course (he made me repeat outloud the rules, work the safety, load it, unload it, and put it on single shot, etc.) I did it! I didn't hit the target but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I don't think I'll be target practicing on a regular basis, (I'd rather weed the garden). But it was good to try and I might do it again (especially if my friend Mimi comes up to do some target shooting too! :) )

This picture is for my sister-in-law. Pickles enjoying the double full screendoors at our church-house.