Country Living Series

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring plowing

Our tractor is down again. (No surprise there.) Fortunately this time it's just the battery, so Don ordered the parts needed to turn it from a six volt to a twelve vote battery system. (Our tractor is a 1949 Ford 8N classic, in case anyone is wondering.)

So some kind friends once again loaned us their modern beauty, complete with a rototiller attachment. Within minutes -- and I mean minutes -- Don had the 12' x 150' strip of garden we'll be planting totally tilled. Wow.

He went over the strip twice. Zip zip! Wow.

He thoroughly worked in all the composted manure he had dumped on the strip last week.

(Meanwhile a neighbor rode by on his horse...)

After plowing, Don bucketed more manure onto the garden strip. Quite a bit more, in fact.

Then he plowed that in too. Now I have a nice fertile strip, ready to plant. (But I won't until June 1. Don't wanna get duped by the current spate of nice weather we're having, only to have it turn cold and rainy like last year.)

After the garden strip, Don turned his attention to the massive beams we moved into the garden last year with the intention of turning them into fruit beds. The tractor died shortly after this (no surprise) so we were unable to move soil into the beds in time for planting.

Don used the tractor bucket to shove and tweak the beams into neat rows, ready to box the ends.

The next step for these beams is to box off the ends, then line them with 1/2" metal hardware cloth (to discourage moles and voles), then line that with newspaper (to discourage the orchard grasses from growing up), then fill with soil and manure. In our copious free time, of course.


  1. Hi, it's Just Me....What 'cha puttin' in your finely tilled garden this year?

    Just Me

  2. A tractor is an amazingly versatile and sometimes indispensable tool. As I'm fond of saying, it's amazing how much you have to have to "do without". There's your next book Patrice! "Simplicity - All The Stuff You're Gonna Need"

    Jeff - Tucson

  3. Yea! for rototillers!

    Love that book title, Jeff!

  4. Jeff's got it. Man, ain't it the truth?

    Right now I could use some goats to mow down a steep slope. Gotta call the neighbor. It'll also give me a chance to find out whether he got the coyote that almost got one of his goats yesterday.
    It did get a few chickens. That's just another element to add to Jeff's list...the critters. Oh the critters of it all....wild and domestic...

    But this is a thread about tractors, and it's good to see Don back on one. I like this one, of course, but there's truly nothing sweeter than a '49 Ford, whether it be a pickup or a tractor. I'll be glad to see the random pix wheat field pictures to come, which will most likely feature that little good tractor of your very own. Yes, I have a soft spot for old tractors. And y'all have a good one.

    This array is really dynamic. I can really get a sense of your place and the space and a sense of presence of the garden. I'm finding myself envying all your nice level open areas. lol

    We had a few nice days, but are now back to cool, gray and wet. We had to tent the tomato plants, who'd narrowly survived last week's generous rainfall. Bees are still scarce. We all want to go out. But it's good for our well, so it's fine. The garden will be there when the rain finally stops for the season. Finally.

    'Till then we won't know what we'll put in or where, probably pretty much like you. (And jm there's another post, possibly another random pix, ? help me out someone... that Patrice did on the garden and what they were hoping to put in this year. It was a bunch of stuff. A big bunch of stuff.

    I'd love it if sometime you and Don would bring us some looks at the folks in your region who use draft animals to farm.

    Keep up the good work, y'all.