Tuesday, July 20, 2010

They're Up!

" . . . to plant seeds and watch the renewal of life . . . "
~ Charles Dudley Warner
Just four days later, on July 3rd, we found bean sprouts all over the field! In a couple more days, the sunflowers were making a pretty good show!
The popcorn was a little slow in coming, due to a lack of moisture. But after a good rain, we got a nice stand of popcorn too.

We didn't even know what amaranth looked like. We're learning now!

Not all of the soybeans had come up before the 2 + inches of rain we had. So a lot of the seeds got trapped under the crust that followed. But you can't underestimate the power of a soybean. And especially the combined forces of many beans. See that crack in the picture above?
They just pushed that heavy crust right out of their way, and came on up anyhow! I was quite impressed with their strength!
One thing is for sure, I've learned a lot about depending on God since we've started growing crops. We pray earnestly about the weather during the growing season. But no matter how our harvest turns out, we know that our God provides for us. He is always faithful.

Friday, July 9, 2010


On June 30th, David was busy planting.
Dumping seed into the planter.
"We need to move these levers, right Daddy?"
Sunflower seeds are so nice and smooth.
We planted a small 'test plot' of popcorn. Here they are checking to see if the planter
did it's job properly.
It sure did!

Four hours after being planted, this little soybean is already starting to swell. The soil was pretty dry to be planting, so we were glad to see this good sign!

Examining more seeds throughout the field.

We also planted a wee bit of ladyfinger popcorn, a different variety of soybeans, and some amaranth. So I had the pleasure of seeing my man with a hoe in his hand, instead of the usual steering wheel.


The next step is discing the field. That is basically just breaking up the clumps and clods. Getting a good seedbed ready to go.
David went over the field one way, and then turned and went over it again the other way.

And there it is, just as nice and fine as you could want, it looks just as nice as my garden does after a good job of tilling!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Plowing down the oats. Getting all of that straw incorporated into the soil.

It is so fun to watch the soil get turned over on top of the oats. The plow just slices through it all so neatly.

It's a challenge and a source of pride to keep your rows straight. I'll admit that's something that I never used to look at when driving by crop fields . . . but I sure look now!

Sharp & sheeny.

No, one go-round on the tractor with Daddy wasn't enough . . .
"I wanna go 'long Daddy! Can I? Can I?"

Field Preparation

Sustainable agriculture calls for a game plan. You must feed your soil if you want it to feed you.

In March, David planted oats for a cover crop.
In May they were really coming along nicely!
Checking the root growth. According to my amazing man - who knows so much about plants and soil - roots are a very important part of adding organic matter to your soil. And organic matter is the very life and breath of your ground.

Looking good!

We love our earthworms!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Making Hay

Whew! We've been busy around here the last while! There's been a lot going on, and I've really fallen behind on the blogging! Time to do some catching up!

The first half of June, we were really focused on making hay. Trying to get it cut, tedded, raked and baled without getting rained on somewhere in the process was quite a challenge! Some hay made it to the barn without any extra waterings, but some didn't!

Windrows ready to be baled.

There's no shortage of volunteers to ride along with Daddy when he's baling hay! Did you know that five people can fit in the cab of a tractor??


Loading hay on the trailer.
Heading for the barn, to get the hay under cover.
What a relief to get the hay all made and safely put away! At least until we start on the second cutting . . .