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TexasMadness Profile
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"Field crops" garden


My old garden spot in the backyard hasn't been actively used in two years now. It was too far from the house to be well tended and it was also a bit ambitious once we got the farm going. But now that we are wanting to grow more and more here at the house, we are revamping the spot. Our 'kitchen garden' will be in the front yard (still working on getting that done!) and the "field crops" will be in that spot in the backyard. Also, the farm is wanting to plant some things they can't grow well, so they are sending over workers once a week to tend the garden!

Today was the first workday. Here's the spot in the far corner of the yard. The yellow flower is mustard that has come back year after year. I collect the seeds for cooking.

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The area had been growing lush weeds - the perfect green manure. So they picked up some debris, got some of the rocks lining the old beds out and tilled.

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The area is only half done where they were working and that was only about a 1/4 of the entire garden. It's going to take some work to get it back in shape! I'll keep you updated on the progress though!
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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Re: "Field crops" garden


Excellent that you'll get some help tending the garden area at the house. I wish we had more help here. DH does [sign in to see URL]% of all that gets [sign in to see URL] tilling, disking, planting, [sign in to see URL] fertilizing and picking. He even helps me with the canning/freezing. Tell them they can come up here to help, [sign in to see URL].



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Re: "Field crops" garden


I love the idea of extending the farm into your garden! If it works for things they cannot grow there, even better!

I bet it's lovely to see your area getting better use than just lying fallow.

 emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: "Field crops" garden


It is going to be so nice to get that going again. Our main veggie garden in the front just isn't going to be big enough for corn, potatoes, onions, etc. And the farm struggles with growing crops that need an alkaline [sign in to see URL] we struggle with crops that need an acidic soil! So we'll grow tomatillos and they'll grow blueberries and we'll trade! emoticon
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TM, that is fantastic that you can now grow much larger crops and you even get help! emoticon

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Re: "Field crops" garden


Well, the weather and the machinery simply has not cooperated lately with working in this garden. It rained HARD every Monday night for a few weeks meaning the workers couldn't run the tiller in the muddy ground. Or, when they could, the tiller would break! My dad made some serious repairs to it (replacing some parts instead of just rigging it) and brought it over yesterday for a test run. I had thought the workers were going pretty slow, but it became very obvious when my dad was "behind the wheel".

The workers tilled about 1/4 of the garden in 4 hours. It looks great - they did a good job - but it just seemed like it was taking forever. I was inside working so I wasn't directly supervising - and now I know I should have been. In ONE HOUR, my dad did the entire rest of the garden! Granted, it wasn't a final till - that still needs to be done. But another pass with him doing it will take just another hour. I have no idea why it was going so slow before!

So the whole thing is tilled, just needs a final pass and then we can start [sign in to see URL] week hopefully!

Oh - and irrigation! We are going to trench a line out there and install drip tape. I'm soooo glad to be having the workers do that. I'm not going to be up to swinging a pick ax for trenching for awhile now! emoticon
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Saijen SilverWolf1 Profile
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Are the workers being paid by the job, or by the hour, or are they volunteer? If by the hour, that explains a lot right there. If not, sounds like they're just taking their time because they can.

Glad your Dad got that initial till done. That's kind of what DH is doing today with the tractor (ripping the garden). It will take 2 more passes, with different attachements, but at least the first one is done. It's suppose to rain tonight and tomorrow, so it will be next week before he'll be able to do the other 2 passes.

I do love this time of year. I love the smell of the freshly tilled Earth. Just something about that aroma that sooths my soul!

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TexasMadness Profile
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The workers are WWOOFers which are essentially volunteers, but they get room and board for their work. We've calculated that they get "paid" almost $5 an hour for what they are doing, plus they get the education of working on a farm, which is typically the main reason they do this kind of work. So while not volunteer in the strictest sense, they aren't getting cash for their work. I don't think they were goofing off - they just don't have the experience with the tiller. I mean, the thing is self propelled so it goes at the same speed no matter who is running it. And I could hear that they did in fact run it for the full 4 hours (2 hours over 2 days). I just think they went over and over and over the same ground even after it was done because they didn't know better! I certainly should have been checking on them more, but I had a big project and just couldn't. I'll be a better educator in the future though!

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[sign in to see URL] sense. If one has never tilled a garden, or watched as one was being tilled, it's not something you just 'know' how to do. I can see where 'over-tilling' could be a problem. A lot of people probably think the soil needs to be super fine in order to plant (like a lot of packaged potting soils)..which, truly, isn't the case for a garden.

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TexasMadness Profile
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Re: "Field crops" garden


It's getting done! This weekend, they trenched the line from the house to the garden shed so there would be a permanent water source. Last time this area was planted, we just had hoses leading out there. But our mower has a lot of lift and will pick up the hose and cut it sometimes so it was a pain to ever mow around the hose. And the sun also does a number of it so it only lasts a year or so. But now we have PVC pipe underground!

The house is on the right and the shed on the left. It was over a hundred feet of trenching in my clay, rocky soil. A lot of work!
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And the line ends in a box in the ground (freeze protection). There are two taps - one for a hose for hand watering and the other will be hooked up to the irrigation lines ones those arrive.
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And most of the garden is ready to be planted. I still have some mustard growing in one area that I'm going to collect seed from, but that should be any day now and then it will get tilled in. There will be ten 50 foot rows and a section at the back for some perennials (berry bushes hopefully!). Willa and our dog Kali LOVE playing in the dirt!
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