Feeds:
Posts

Posts Tagged ‘walla walla’

Root digger

Digging carrots

One of things that drew me to farming with horses is the endless possibility for creating new equipment that is easy to understand and manufacture because of the simple mechanics. This year, I set out to make a new implement. Drawing from my experiences on a tractor-powered farm in California and some advice from Teague and Kosma, mule-powered farmers in Twisp, and Jason Salvo, a tractor-powered farmer in Duvall, I decided to build a horse-powered root digger, known to some as a bed lifter. I hoped that not only would it provide us with another job to use the horses in which we had been previously using hand tools, but it would make these digging jobs faster and more efficient.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Emily & Liz arranging flowers in the farmstand
This year our good friends Nat & Matty built a new farmstand on the property, and it opened this summer, right when we started bursting with produce. It was built from rough cut black locust lumber from trees that Andy took down on various jobs this last year. We had a portable mill come early this year and prepare all the boards and studs. Then in the spring, our buddies dug a large hole along the driveway and built this structure halfway underground, covering the stand with top soil and native grasses and flowers. It helps keep the north-facing stand cool on the hot days, and serves as the on-farm CSA pickup and the flower arranging area on days the stand is closed, which helps free up the relatively cramped root cellar. It has been a welcome addition to our farm as a place to market more of our produce and flowers locally. We’ve had fairly steady customers, and hope it picks up more when the farmer’s market ends in a few weeks. Roots, tubers and garlic are some of our largest crops, and we are planting our hoophouses with winter salad, so we expect to offer food into December this year.

Open Wednesdays, Thursday, Fridays from 2-6pm. Cyclists get 10% off. Join the farmstand email list here.

(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 »

spreading manure

We’re back in action here at WTF, with Joel and I returning for our second year and Liz joining us for her first full season farming. We’re busy doing lots of horse work this time of year, so everyone is getting time with Dandy & Avi. On our to-do lists are seeding a new pasture, and mowing, spreading manure, plowing and discing in the lush cover crops on the fields that will grow our summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, sunflowers and squash.

In my spare time, I’ve been spending hours in the shop. I am cleaning and painting an old planet junior seeder I purchased over a year ago, after John helped me fix it up and build a tongue. I’ve also been playing with my straddle row cultivator, working on a set-up for a furrower attachment to dig potato trenches, and putting on new cultivating sweeps that run under the soil surface, called “southern peanut sweeps” (more on that in a future post). And last weekend, I spent a day building a stone boat, or sled. Heavy, sturdy and basic, it can serve many purposes and will last a long time. It runs on two railroad tie runners, and can carry everything from hay to heavy tools or …stones. It is a good, hard pull for one or two horses, so it can be a useful exercise tool as well. I copied the one at John’s, which we use frequently there for feeding in the winter, and keeping the horses in shape.

Next week we’re all heading off to the Small Farmers Journal Horsedrawn Auction in Madras. It is a wonderful time and a good opportunity for learning, networking, and buying equipment, and we’re all looking very forward to it.

(more…)

Read Full Post »