Over the past month we've just about got all of our tillable land worked over for the first time! It is necessary to work in your cover crop well enough in advance of putting in your main crop so that it will compost and add all of the nutrients that give it the name of "green manure".
We are loving our new PTO tiller as it cuts the amount of times that we have to pass over the field up to 75%! It works all of the cover crop (and other organic matter) into the soil and leaves a perfectly smooth fluffy seed bed in one pass!
Turning ground...you can feel the powerful throb of the tractor, you can smell the indescribably good smell of fresh turned soil, you feel the sun's delicious warmth--with the wind gently blowing around you--you have dust constantly blown into your eyes, you get sun burnt for the first time, when you're finished you are a dusty, sun-crispened, uh "saddlesore" farmer. In short it is one of the most enjoyable chores on the farm!
Another major chore last month was putting in our onions! First we unrolled mulch over a prepared four foot wide bed
Next we piled dirt onto the sides to hold the mulch down
Then we came along with onion plants and slid them through their hole and stabilized them in the dirt.
The benefits of planting intensively in a bed are neat! In four 100' long beds (including paths) we took up 6/100's of an acre. If we had planted in conventional rows we would have covered a full quarter acre--that's over three times more efficient! Watering conservancy, weeding time, and many other things are similarly made more efficient.
Spring flowers are blooming on the farm--tulips, jonquils, quince, forsythia...
...blue violets, and many other flowers are blooming!
The greenhouse is almost overflowing with young seedlings, as soon as it dries out somewhat outside, we will be able to put out Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Boc Choi, Lettuce, and more!
Many are the "interesting" things that I've witnessed around our breakfast table, but this Wednesday I got to see something very (very) "interesting". We have a tradition of when somebody has a birthday we'll have a cake & party in the evening, but in the morning we put one candle in a biscuit, piece of toast, or bowl of oatmeal (whatever comes handy) and sing "Happy Birthday". Dad (Mom calls him a big kid) enjoys a joke (I've got a good excuse) and decided we'd use all...all...lets say all of the "several" candles instead of just one! He enlisted Caleb and me (Adam) and we poked candles into biscuits for several hours (just kidding) anyhow when we finally finished lighting them all we sang "Happy Birthday" as we watched the huge conflagration on the table--upon Mom trying to blow them out, we learned that (honest injun' we had no idea before) they were relighting, sparkling candles! After several, several tries (including her dumping a pitcher of water on it) we ended up throwing it out in the yard! Ahh...the joys of farming as a family.
Colvin Family Farm (CNG)