Friday, June 25, 2010

In my last post from weeks ago I said I was going to introduce you to the Munroe field. Well, then it started to rain again, and again, and in between drops we hammered away at the fields and frantically seeded and transplanted. The Munroe field is our most developed right now with the exception of the home place and it shows in these pics. The field in the fore ground is full of potatoes and brassicas; broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kohlrabi. Behind that, you can see the remay which covers our third planting of beets and carrots as well as the second planting of Asian greens and radishes. Just out of sight are the corn and squash.

Here is the kale up close and personal.

On the day I took these pictures I was running the cultivating tractor, a 1948 Super A. These tractors are an indispensable component of our weed management strategy. They where originally built to replace the one horse on a one horse farm*. The steering is offset so you can see directly below you, and there are rudimentary hydraulics on the belly and rear of the tractor.

We have an arsenal of tools that attach to a tool bar under the tractor; furrowers, knives, shovels, discs, all of which serve a slightly different purpose. We furrow for planting tubers and bulbs, then cover using blades we fabricated from an old CAT blade. We run knives and sweeps between rows of plants to slice out weeds just below the soil surface.

The whole set up is called "cultivision" in the spirit of that eras use of "-O-rama" at the end of words to create a sense of wonder; weed-O-rama. I always get a chuckle out of that because cultivation days are sometimes long. It is not unusual to spend 5 or 6 ours staring down between your feet at the plants as they pass through the shovels which are passing through the soil at 2 miles an hour or so. It would be like watching sand sift through an hour glass for 5 or 6 straight hours. When you look away everything still appears to be moving in and down; you got "cultivision".

*no horses were replaced during the creation of this post