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Just in case you were wondering…sometimes we herd pigs too.

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joel weeding favas in the sunset

You might think that the photos here are from last summer, but I can assure you–they are taken within the last week, early March 2013. Just look at the trees! It has been a relatively warm & dry winter in eastern WA, and it is continuing into the spring.

This year, I bought a couple new tools/toys, and last Friday, Joel and I took advantage of the dry weather to test out the McCormick Deering straddle row cultivator on our small overwintered planting of fava beans. It is very similar to the one owned by WTF, but with some new attachments on the tool bars. On either side of implement, there are two sets of sweeps and in the middle close to the crop, beet knives with guards.

We were both very pleased with the results. The horses were well worked from a day of plowing and discing, so they were quiet and walked straight down the paths for us. Made for easy cultivating. We have a few more adjustments to make, but we are planning on using our cultivators more this year. Especially if the weather keeps up like this.

Later, we’ll probably use disc hillers to throw a little dirt to help stabilize the fava beans, just like when we hill up our spuds. And we’re currently working on an attachment “toolbar” between the two gangs to hold a small furrower for opening up the ground to plant spuds, modeled after Eric & Annie Nordell’s methods. My hope is that it will produce a slightly smaller size trench than our middlebreaker. It can be difficult to navigate the straddle row on the big mounds it makes on each side. More on that later.

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