Newsletter and Photo Album

I churned out another newsletter for my loyal subscribers (the coolest 73 people on Earth) and put together another goodie–a photo album of my farming adventures over the past year. The pictures are broken down by category. I must warn you, however, that these pictures are NOT representative of how smoothly things went this season. Since morale was a little low, we kind of neglected taking pictures of the weeds, the crop failures, and the exploded hoophouse–well actually, I think we do have some pictures of the wreck that was once a hoophouse. Those will be put up soon. Until then, just assume you’re only seeing the “bright side” of farming. It’s much more aggravating than it looks. But it’s still my favorite thing in the world (next to ice cream). Here are the highlights…

Prepping – Tilling, weeding, tomato cages, and the biggest tumbleweed you’ll ever see.

BIG tumbleweed

Planting – Seeds, transplants, tunnels, and me fiddling with an Earthway seeder:

Planting with an Earthway seeder

Growing – All the veggies making their way, before the weeds took over.

Lush and neat...right before the weeds hit

Greens – Lettuce, spinach, and kale, oh my!

Harvesting lettuce

Vegetables – The ones that made it out alive…

Butternut and pattypan squash, zucchini in back

Distribution – OK members…get it while it’s good!

veggies, herbs, miscellaneous table

Pecan Orchard – Earth, wind, water and FIRE.

Burning piles in the irrigation ditch

Miscellaneous – Herbs, flowers, garlic, and a praying mantis (it prayed to catch a bee for lunch and we prayed for the weeds to go away).

Praying mantis stalking bees and hummingbirds

What went wrong – This should’ve been the biggest album. Weeds, oh the weeds…

Weeds took over in July, and that was that.

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9 Comments »

  1. beecharmers said

    Omg and I thought we had the biggest tumbleweeds ever. That thing is huge!
    Looks like it would be fun to burn.

  2. Cathy said

    Give up on the seeder!! My Grandfather had one that we tried for one season and it ended up hanging in the brooder house until I insisted on bringing it back out a couple of years ago. I can seed faster by hand then the time it takes to fool with that thing!

  3. Oh, the burn piles we made! We could’ve heated a whole greenhouse with all that energy!

    As far as the seeder is concerned, it was fine until I tried planting turnips. The damn thing started grinding them like it was a mortar and pestle. I’ve heard the Planet Jr. is better. Planting by hand is fine for a few 20′ raised beds but it can really do a number on your back if you’re planting several 300′ rows in one day!

  4. beecharmers said

    Two years ago we came up with a great homemade seeder for bigger seeds. A piece of pvc (you choose the diameter) one end cut an an angle (making a point.) It needs to be long enough you can use it without bending over.
    Stab the ground where you want the seed, bang the pvc on ground (pops out the dirt plug) put pipe back in hole drop seed through the pipe. Move on. repeat.
    Honey followed behind scooching soil over the shallow hole and stepping on it to ensure good soil contact.
    Man this made planting corn, sunflower, cukes, peas and melons easy as pie. No back aches and a tiny forearm workout.

  5. That probably would’ve saved me a lot of back pain and knee soreness this year! It sounds like you developed a prototype of a jab seeder. I used one once to plant a half acre of pumpkins. You mentioned a tiny forearm workout–this year I found that hand weeding is an amazing hand and wrist workout. I think now I can be a pretty good rock climber because of all the stubborn weeds I fought with!

  6. Chris said

    Hey as far as the Earthway Seeder goes…. Cool idea to keep the seed plate from crushing seeds…. You take a 2 1/4″ PVC cap (you can find it at any plumbing/hardware store) Drill a hole in the center. Replace the bolt that goes through the center of the Earthway plate, get a longer one, and a wingnut. Put the seed plate back on, fit the pvc cap over the new longer bolt and up against the seed plate. Put the wingnut on and tighten just enough that the seed plate still spins as the wheel drives it. Wall-ah!
    We’ve been using this on all of our Earthway’s for awhile and it works great!
    Also don’t be afraid to get an extra set of seed plates and drill out plates to what sizes you need for certain seeds.
    Example: We took a spinach plate and drilled it out to accomodate Beet seeds so it only dropped 1 each hole. It really singulates the seed and we’re not thinning as much as before and saving on seed costs.

    Hope these help. Email me if you need details on plate mod.

  7. Interesting. If I’m understanding correctly, does the PVC cap prevent the seeds from slipping between the seed plate and the wall of the hopper (where they get pulverized)? I’ll be in touch via e-mail. Thanks for dropping in!

  8. bluefoxfarm said

    Howdy again,

    I just posted the Earthway fix over on the farming resource blog that I’m just starting up.
    The post is here:
    http://wannafarm.com/?p=4

    I’ll be adding more innovations and what not as I get them edited. Please feel free to email me with anything you or your readers would like to see added.

    Chris

  9. Steve said

    Sounds like a good tip on the Earthway, both the PVC cap (I need to try that) and getting several sets of plates. I use electricians tape to reduce the seeding rate when planting beans (tape every other one for instance). I use the Earthway for beans, peas, and corn, and beet greens. More or less all big roundish seeds. I use a “pin point” seeder for all the small seeds, they do not make that seeder any more that I know of, but the Glazer seeder is almost as good, I have a Glazer seeder as well for the small seeds, it is the same as the “pin point” only “improved”. Yeah, maybe, but the compacting wheel gets in the way. I still use it on 1/4 to 1/2 acres of carrots, and weekly plantings of arugula, other greens. I also use it for the beets that I want to grow as beets and not as beet greens as I avoid the thinning.

    I also find that one should have the Earthway seeder to your left when seeding. At least with beans, and peas, I find that I want the seeder tilted to the right (toward the seed plate) so that the seeds stay on the plate. It plants denser that way as well for peas.

    Throw out the row marker though. I pre-mark all rows with a crude setup of C-clamps on a tractor, then follow the pre-made row marks.

    Great web site. Good luck.

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