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Labor(-ing) day…

September 6, 2011

(Double click on any photo to see it in a larger size)

There was some serious laboring going on around here for Labor Day yesterday.  (Farms aren’t great at recognizing the concept of a three-day weekend.)  That said, it was a nice feeling to see how much progress was made.  Sean was excited that he had planted the most number of seed beds that we have ever done in one day.  He is looking to break that record again tomorrow.

The other nice thing about yesterday, beyond the satisfaction of a solid day’s work, was that the planting was done faster, more efficiently and easier than it has been in the past.  A little technology goes a long way.

The planting was more streamlined because of the new seed planter Sean pulled behind the tractor. Before all of this was done with a bicycle planter, or belt planter, that was pushed by hand as you walk along side the rows.  Belt planters have grooves in the wheels that make holes in the ground and then a seed is dropped in.  The spacing can be adjusted depending on type of plant and the space you want in the rows.  It has worked in the past, but the margin for loss is greater since the depth of the seed planting was inconsistent and the row spacing wasn’t as exact.

With the new planter, Sean was able to plant faster, more efficiently and maintain a consistent height of the seeds in the soil, yielding more product per seed bed than ever before.  The seeds are planted in at a consistent height in the soil, which allows for a greater rate of germination, since all of the seeds will have the same access to water.

He was able to adjust the number of lines of seed per bed, and plant them with exact spacing, which is not as easy to do by hand.  This will also allow for greater cultivation, since there is more product per seed bed than ever before.  Our rows now are straight with a sub-inch row accuracy, which means we are using up as much available ground for growing as possible, without an inch going to waste.  If there is room in the dirt, Sean will find it and plant on it.

The field has gone from this…

To this…

We should start seeing growth within the week and all sorts of things ripe and ready for harvesting in time for the farmers’ markets next month.

Now that doesn’t mean that some things aren’t still done best by hand.  The garlic and I’itoi onions, for instance, still goes in the ground the old-fashion way, one bulb at a time, by hand.  He had to get a little hard labor in there some where, it wouldn’t be fair to have the tractor do all of it on Labor Day.

At the end of the day, he had Easter Egg and French Breakfast radishes, I’itoi and Menegi onions, leeks, turnips and garlic planted.  The best part is that he was able to do all of this and still get home at a reasonable time for dinner.  As much as he likes putting all of this in the ground, I like it more when he is able to get home and enjoy it on his dinner plate. That was our own celebration of labor yesterday.

One Comment leave one →
  1. desertnails8 permalink
    October 4, 2011 11:12 pm

    Wow! Great photos and descriptions of what’s done. Love it!

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