Saturday, June 15, 2013
A Bit of True Small Farming
I spent most of today in the field on my old Ford tractor. The couple of acres I had marked for hay seeding and fruit trees is now planted. We used the big Massy to plow and disc it because I have yet to accumulate all the small tractor equipment I need. I could have plowed it with my little two bottom I guess but, well, ahh the Massy was about 20 times faster.
As it turned out however the only thing we had to spread out the oat seed was a big hopper spreader and we didn't have a bar long enough to keep the thing level on the Massy and fit right on the PTO so I broke out the Ford and it fit like a glove.
300 pounds of oat seed with 50 pounds each of Timothy, Brome and Clover with a bit of alfalfa seed we had around mixed in as well. I believe it came out to about three times the minimum recommended amount per acre but I wasn't taking any chances. We did have to hand cast the Clover as we were not certain the mixture would carry properly from the spreader.
There was some overlap as I plan on putting the orchard in part of the area that was sown but who knows how many trees I will find on sale this Summer. I will begin removing the old fence line, which is falling apart, in preparation for turning this section into a grazing paddock for sheep or the Dexters I hope to branch out into. It isn't meant to be a full time pasture but a grazing area I can rotate my stock into which will give the other paddocks a rest period.
After I got the seed all thrown I ethnically engineered a cattle panel and a couple of concrete blocks into a makeshift harrow to level it out a bit more and cover the seed some. The birds were already eyeballing the big oat grains before I got the first pass finished. It actually worked pretty well all things considered. I used my tow chains and a rope to rig the panel off my plow blade so it would swing properly and glide right over the soil when I kept the blade at just the right height. It worked the remaining larger dirt chunks right down that the disc didn't get and cleaned up any ruts made by the larger tractor
It really is amazing how much there is to learn about old school farming techniques and I haven't even gotten past the tractor parts yet. Plows, Discs, harrows, spreaders, bean planters, etc. etc. etc. I can't even imagine doing all that with just a horse.
Of course with a little intelligent rotation and only allowing smaller stock into the pasture I shouldn't have to worry about this paddock again during my lifetime. If I keep those uber destructive horses off of it anyway.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!