Life and thoughts from a small-scale organic farm . . . and its farmers

This is a blog that explores ideas around the growing of food and community at Glen Valley Organic Farm.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tractor time on the farm

While we do much of our field work by hand, there is a major task for our tractors: preparing the beds. We have three tractors that do the heaviest work for us. This includes disking the fields in the spring, subsoiling (dragging two long claws through the beds to break deep into the soil), applying compost and then cultivating a shaping the beds.

Above, is a pile of 30 tons of compost ready for spreading on beds prior to planting.

We load the compost into our compost spreader. This is a long job because we have to go back and forth between the farmyard (where we store the compost) and our fields.

While spreading the compost there is a lot of time to watch the crops and contemplate the world. This is my self-portrait while on the tractor last week.

Finally, the compost is cultivated in and the beds are shaped. Our beds are approximately 500 feet long. ideally, we get the beds ready a number of days ahead of seeding or transplanting to allow the weeds to germinate. Then we can plant into a clean bed. That's the ideal -- it doesn't always work out that way.

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