Wednesday, April 13, 2011


We haven't finished plowing the 4 acres yet, but both the horse and the driver(s) has made progress. True to my speculation, number one son is better at handling the horse and plow than I, but I still take my turns now and then.

We made some adjustments which seem to work well. We lifted the plow a bit so as not to plow so deeply. We also set it off to one side so that when the wheel is in the previous furrow, the plow is right on course for the next furrow. Before the furrows were slightly spaced apart.

We are taking Old Man out 3x a day now for about 45 minutes each session. By the time the field is plowed he will be in good enough shape that we could have had it done in 3-4 days.

We got out there as a family on Monday afternoon and planted 1/8 acre in field corn. We plan to do another 1/8 acre Friday, and continue to stagger this till we have about 1/2 - 3/4 acres planted.

So on our 4 acres of leased land, we will have about 1/8 acre in Swiss Chard (which is good in salad or cooked like spinach, or Mrs. Curley likes to make pasta out of it), 1/2 to 3/4 acres in field corn, and the rest in peanuts.

After we finish the field (probably on Saturday) we will level it with the spike harrow attachment. This will go much quicker. Old Man should be able to do the whole field in a day or two with the spike harrow.

It's been quite a learning experience and enjoyable. My digital camera is seemingly dead, but there is a great picture I took of Number One Son plowing with the rest of the children walking along. Every time we plow, any of the children available walk along.

Big Spot is due to farrow on Saturday. We sold off Mij's litter this week. Two sows are due in May, one in June, and one in early August.

Our homestead has never been so beautiful or productive. God is good!

I am still behind in my promise to build an outdoor shrine to the Infant of Prague who has provided for and protected us so much this past year. We have cleared a place under one of the cedar trees so there a space but still shaded. Soon I will get to work on building the structure and landscaping the area.

Back to work ...

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

New Things

No, I am not moving to Maine, especially with 4 odd acres of land next door to get ready for planting.

About 1/8 acre, where we have planted peanuts in the past, has been manured and tilled with a walk-behind rear tine tiller. We will be planting an heirloom variety Swiss Chard in this area.

But now to the 4 odd acres left ... we are plowing with the boys' horse! Yes, we bought a forecart, harness, etc. with turn plow and spike harrow attachments a week or so ago.

Saturday we hooked up Old Man (the boys' Quarter Horse) and tried him out pulling just the forecart. He seem a natural-possibly he'd done this before?

Monday afternoon, we hooked up the turn plow and brought him to the field. Son number one walked beside Old Man while I drove the cart. Okay, there was a bit of zig-zagging at first, and I haven't got the hang of keeping him right next to the furrow, but for a first time, it went well. We only did six lengths on this first day, but that was enough for both of us. Once we build his strength and stamina up, we should be able to plow about one acre a day.

We took Old Man out again this morning and did a couple more turns on the field. We had to get his pony pen mate to walk along side for motivation.

I have a feeling that Number One son will be better at this than I-so I plan to let him take the reins the next time out.

We had access to a tractor, but I think this investment will be more valuable. It certainly it quieter than a diesel engine. You get a workout (even in the cart). And I think it will be more attractive work for young men (and an old man), certainly more exciting.

Hopefully we will have pictures soon.

Oremus pro invicem!