Sunday, April 27, 2014

Plowing the First Garden

This was a few weeks back but here is where Christian started.  He and his friend Mike spent the previous snowy tuesday sinking the polls into the ground so we could electric fence this year's garden. 

Our good friend George Fisher suggested that we forgo the typical tractor implements and jump right in with a tiller.  We rented this King Kutter from ArborTech in Remington for $100.  A much cheaper option than buying one for a thousand. 

I love insulators... even new ones.  

Since we bought the house last July we had no idea what kinds of volunteer flowers we might see this spring.  The crocus came up first but since then the daffodils, violets, tulips, and many more have made an appearance. 

Mud seems to be the name of the game for this spring.  These boots have been a lifesaver living out here. 

The next series of photos will prove that there are several ways to either kill or seriously injure oneself while operating the tractor and its various attachments.  My favorite is this first one.   I have to admit that until this day I'd never really looked over these warnings. 

Christian soon realized the tiller just wasn't going deep enough into the soil.  So he stopped the tractor and started to make adjustments.  No previous person had bothered to do this so pretty much every single bolt was stuck.  It took the impact drill, a lot of grunting, a lot of mud, and at least an hour to drop down the tiller another few inches. 

Once we were really tilling, I followed behind Christian to check out the soil.  Virginia is known for having a lot of clay and even though this particular piece of land was cow pasture for a long time in the early 1900's we had no idea what we would find... but what we did find were a TON of worms.  I hope this means good things. 

Christian ended up doing at least three more passes over this area until you couldn't see any remnants of grass.  The meat birds... or 'death row' chickens as one of my patient's calls hers, were relaxing in their nearby coop... completely uninterested in the loud tractor. 

After tilling, Christian emptied what seemed like thousands of bags of humus and delicious fermented cow-poop all over where the hops will be planted.   These too got tilled into the soil during a fourth pass the next morning.   

I am fairly certain that I never give this husband of mine enough credit.  We are not (x)-generation farmers.  We're two kids who grew up in Southern California trying to learn how to do stuff that generations of experience would usually make quite simple.   Christian dives in with enthusiasm and a can-do attitude that has proven to be successful every time thus far.  I really am impressed... and proud. As long as he doesn't manage to cut off an appendage with the chainsaw anytime in the future I think we're gonna be alright. :) 

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