Thursday, April 5, 2012

Soil prep continues...

Farmers focus a lot of attention and care on their soil. We read about it, talk about it, research it. We obsess over it really. The life in the soil and the care we put into ensuring the optimum conditions to support this life is integral to the farm. As I mentioned before, tilling aggressively has negative impacts on the soil and the rototiller is one of the worst culprits. It acts as it sounds; rotating tines tear through the top few inches of soil, pulverizing it into tiny pieces so what's left is the softest, finest soil surface. For the microbial, organic health of the soil its terrible. These tiny particles lead to compaction which results in poor drainage, lack of oxygen, and loss of beneficial microbes.

But, for the plants which get planted into newly tilled beds, life is good. The soil presses firmly against seeds for proper germination and the transplanted, young seedlings are coddled into their teens by soft, caring soils.
There are few alternatives to this useful tool on small farms.

Tonight I tilled up beds that will soon be planted to sugar snap and snow peas. I rented a tractor and tiller from a local farm supply shop and took a while to re-orient myself with how best to operate it...

                                ...mainly, how to drive straight so I would end up with straight beds.

Well, I'm still learning. 

As I was driving, I remembered what a farmer in Maryland said lovingly of his intern as she created incredibly crooked rows, "She never did anything straight in her whole life, why would she start now". Ha!

I have loads of rocks to pick this weekend and plenty of seeds to put in the ground over the next few weeks. If you are interested in coming out to the farm to help out, just email me at 

1 comment:

  1. Greetings! What do you think about commercial pop-ups placed on blogging websites?