Feeds:
Posts

Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

feasting in august

IMG_2719

My memory of August is similar to July. Hot, sweaty, and a bit of a blur. And eating a lot of amazing fruit. Amazing to see these photos now—especially photos of the brassica field—most of those plants are a slimy pile of foul goop after we hit 0F earlier this month with little snow to protect the plants. (more…)

Read Full Post »

first hilling of spuds

A quick post to share a few photos of potato hilling. Here is Emily on the first hilling, May 16th. Second hilling was a week later, May 23rd. Our third and final hilling was a week later, May 30th. At that point, all the dirt that could be hilled was, and we had our first new potato harvest mid-June, two weeks earlier than last year’s fourht of July red/white/blue new potato harvest. Happy that we have managed to move that date up! Now if only we could figure out how to get rid of the potato beetles…

(more…)

Read Full Post »

DSCN2502

Since getting the straddle row cultivator this spring, I have been excited to experiment with different tools mounted under the versatile machine. Like the famed Allis Chalmers G or Farmall Cub my peers of the internal combustion persuasion utilize, this tool can help maximize efficiency in many ways on the small farm. My primary inspiration for getting to know my new machine has been and continues to be the excellent, thorough, innovative Small Farmer’s Journal articles written by Eric & Anne Nordell of Beech Grove Farm. Oh, and by the way–if you’re not a subscriber yet, I highly recommend it.

What follows is a collection of thoughts and photos surrounding our experiments using the straddle row cultivator so far this year at the farm. (more…)

Read Full Post »

This is Joel on our straddle row cultivator, a McCormick Deering spruced up by Marvin and sold to the farm. It is by far the hardest piece of equipment I’ve used yet, in that driving straight, at a slow enough pace, while cultivating a crop under your legs is a lot to think about all at one time. Our mentor, Mr. Erskine, recommends “Don’t try chewing gum while you’re at it, and put away that iPod.” We have spent a little bit of time tinkering with all of the depth and angle adjustments to make the job a little easier and effective, but the bottom line is that it takes some skill to be able to walk your team down the row just right. Of course, it would have helped had we made our original potato lines straight. The middlebreaker is the method we used for opening up a furrow for planting, but I’d be curious to try using the discs we use to hill instead, reversed to open a smaller furrow.

As you may be wondering, sometimes we do chop a plant, and the horses step on them. Luckily, the potatoes are very resilient vegetables, and having been planted thickly, they bounce back well. We also have the advantage of foot pedals that connect to each gang and allow for us to compensate for the machine being too far to the right or left. So despite the small amount of damage to the crop do to hoof blight and disc blight, we’ve managed to hill up our whole potato patch in a couple hours. And kill some path weeds while we’re at it!

(more…)

Read Full Post »