Wednesday, July 2, 2008

mechanical cultivation

This morning I took the Cub tractor out with the "sweeps" on it, to go through the winter squash field again.  The purslane was trying to grow back.  But not anymore!  It was a lovely dry, hot day, and now the only weeds left in this field are between the plants, which we'll have to go through with our hands or hoes and knock out again.
It was challenging to operate the "sweeps".  While steering with my right hand, avoiding hitting any of the squash plants, trying to keep a straight line several inches to the right of the line of plants, my left hand was on the depth adjuster, making sure all the blades were deep enough to scrape every inch of the surface, but not too deep that they would damage the tender roots of the squash.  I made 2 passes on each row in either direction.
Here is one toolbar-- 2 of these get hooked up under the tractor for "sweeping".
I then removed the sweeps & put on the rolling bed-marker.  Nick had been chisel-plowing & rototilling all morning, and we needed to plant into 4 of the beds today, so I marked the beds.
I took the tractor with the basket-weeder and cultivated several rows of carrots, herbs, beans, leeks, and parsnips.

Then I planted, by hand, a 200' row of cucumbers (spaced at 4" apart), and another row of summer squash & zucchini (spaced 8" apart).
And a nice view of the harvest bins, stacked up in the barn.  Every few days we take these out to the field, fill them with vegetables, put them in the cooler, then bring them out to distribute, spray them down with the hose, dry them in the sun, and stack them up again here in the barn.  A nice, satisfying routine.

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