“This mild, dry weather is the stuff farmers dream of in the spring. The new field, Super Joy, is 95% plowed, and the soil there is so deliciously friable, now that it’s drained, that we can skip the usual steps of secondary tillage – disk, harrow, shape up beds – and fit it out for planting with one elegant pass. This saves time, and also compaction. Courtney finished most of the field yesterday, with four horses abreast, on a new-to-us tool called the pulver-mulcher. It consists of a spiky roller, followed by a gang of spring tooth harrows, followed by another spiky roller, with a seat for the teamster on top. Mark and I walked out to see it work in the afternoon, and Mark, in a moment of happy exuberance, tackled me, so that I sprawled on the field’s soft surface. The April sun had warmed it and there was there was some spring to the subsoil. It was so comfortable to lie on that I just stayed there, smelling the earth and looking up at the sky. Courtney whoaed the horses and said, “That’s the king-est bed ever. Everyone can be diagonal.” It was truly as good as a mattress, five acres wide.
I’m sorry to report that the rats are back. Last time we had a rat battle, it was when we’d first moved here, and the rats had multiplied unchecked in the granary. This time, they garrisoned in the compost pile. They must have spent the winter in there, breeding reinforcements, because when Mark turned the pile a few weeks ago, they scurried out in all directions. Asa shot one with the .22, Cory killed one with a shovel, and when another one invaded our house, Mark trapped it in the bathroom and squashed it between a plunger and one of Jane’s blocks. Between our brave men and the psychotic cat, Penelope, I think we’re gaining the upper hand…” [Continue reading.]
- The Dirty Life – A Barncast by The Wild Center (essexonlakechamplain.com)
- FarmHack Intervale/Essex (essexonlakechamplain.com)