The new field backs up to George West's fence, so he just took down part of the fence to bring his tractor through to plow.
I walked up there Sunday with Martha. The field is beautiful, with a southern slope, and is already offering up old secrets--so far, a handful of points. This patch of land has obviously been crisscrossed by hundreds of hunters over the last ten thousand years, and, every so often, one lost an arrow or scraper right here, for us to find on this clammy, overcast morning in 2009.
On Sunday, though, there was just a cluster of guys, standing around talking, pointing along the fence row, bending over to pinch and smell a handful of dirt, and occasionally leaning back to laugh. George, Odle, Odle's friend, Tom, Jeff, and Eric. Riley was wandering down the furrows looking for those points, and the dogs were zigzagging haphazardly from smell to smell.
Farmers out standing in their field.
The new field is finally plowed! I spent the last three days with Brooke, Buddy, and our neighbors George and Zach working on the new field. First we "bogged" the one-acre plot, which essentially cuts up the roots of the grass with several large disks. After disking, we spread about 20 tons of composted manure on the field. With our manure spreader in the shop, we did this by hand. Luckily our neighbor Zach saw us, and came over with his bobcat, which saved us days of work. The field was then plowed with a two-bottom plow, which flips the soil over, leaving a mat of exposed grass roots. The plan is that the grass roots, exposed to several winter frosts will begin to die. The compost will not only help break down the dead grass, but will begin the transition to fertile soil, a necessary transformation for spring planting!
(field after bogging with manure spread [pre-plow])
This time of year in the garden, veggies don't need to be picked every day nor do they face the insect problems that they do in the summer. It is easy to forget about all the work that is needed for 1 acre, which is why I just plowed up one more...
Somehow, Thanksgiving is already upon us. I really do try to think of what I have to be thankful for each year. Above all, I am thankful for this farm--its plants, soil, cows, dogs, worms, and the people who help it thrive.