Thursday, March 27, 2008

So I traded our nice, pretty 8N Ford tractor for a big, burly, ugly awesome International B414. More horsepower, diesel, better transmission, more...character. After having it two days it began to leak fuel from the injection pump, so I spent a week fixing it. Last night as it was getting dark and I was at my wits end, I finally bled out the last of the air and she started right up. I love these old tractors: the simplicity of the technology is comforting. It's quite a learning curve but once you figure out the basics it feels great.

Apart from our spinach, things are looking and growing great now. I just found a source of rock dust in McCalla, so there's another organic amendment located. One of the biggest challenges we're facing is where to get some of our trusted amendments like feather meal (natural source of high-powered nitrogen). Slowly but surely we're sorting it out.

Spring has definitely sprung. Happy days.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

on the farm

ah, onions are coming up big now, greens are going strong, & lots of things are getting ready to go in the ground. seems like spring has indeed sprung here on the ol farm.

so the redneck barbarians who lived here before us left little trash dumps for us to dig up and haul away. a couple of them have some interesting junk: i'm guessing we'll reuse or recycle about a third of what's there. thankfully, none of this nonsense is near where we are growing food. it'll take a week or so to clean up the mess they left behind.

buddy, our 250 lb potbelly pig, seems a touch unhappy. his tusks are growing out, and he has a mohawk - that's the good news. he does like to be fed, so feeding time sees him grunting away with satisfaction. i built him a new trough yesterday and that seems to enhance the experience for him. i've heard that pigs are inherently clean beasts. i wouldn't say that applies to buddy, exactly, since he does like a good waller now and again. but it might be true in a general sense. he responds well to a good brush down, especially on the flanks. but who doesn't?

our chicken house is going through major renovation. a student from new college, piper, is out here a few times a week and is helping us get our chicken and rabbit systems going. we aim to get 8 hens, a rooster, and at least 2 rabbits for our vermiculture (worms). we got 1000 red wigglers in the mail last month and have started them. they make twice as many of themselves in a month, with adequate vittles & space.

we're both working hard teaching, but coming home to our lil farm is really the life. peace.