Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tilling with a tractor, but just this once

Our generous neighbor, who loves big machines, took some time out of his busy schedule to chisel plow a new block of land for us. To the south of our 40 double-dug vegetable beds - which took an entire spring and summer, 3 men, many helpers, and several pick axes and man-bars to complete - we now have a 4,000 sq-ft growing space, freshly chisel-plowed. And it took our neighbor a matter of hours. Amazing what big machines can do! I swore those 3-foot metal blades would be no match for our tough sod, clay soil and field of boulders. But, much to our good luck, the machine won.

We spent a large portion of our October-fiesta work weekend clearing boulders, rocks, weeds and roots out of the field with the help of dozens of friends and have continued to clear rocks every time we walk through it. The earth looks amazingly rich, darker than what we tilled up in our double-dug beds. Once we're satisfied with our de-rocking process, we'll form beds, load on manure and leaves, sow some winter rye, top it with mulch and let it sit for the winter. We have high hopes. And we'll never bring a machine on there again.

Many thanks to PD for his love and skillful use of big machines.

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