This week we have been having some “fun” with machines. We have two four wheelers on the farm that are essential to all of our humdrum daily operations like picking squash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and almost anything with a small crew. We also use them for pulling trailers, using small equipment and general gophering – which doesn’t sound very exciting, but is very important to keep things moving smoothly.
Well last week we had one four wheeler that we had to take to Beatrice to get a starter fixed and last night we spent much of the evening trying to figure out what to do with the other four wheeler that suddenly won’t start – we still have no answer.
In addition to that we are trying to get a new potato digger running. It’s a giant piece of machinery that is probably 15 feet tall, 20+ feet long, and 10 feet wide. Currently we use a horse drawn potato digger that we modified to use with a tractor. It digs the potatoes, dumps them on the ground, and then we walk, or crawl, behind to pick them up. The new digger, in theory, digs the potatoes, shakes of some of the vines and dirt and then puts them into a bin so that we don’t have to crawl behind the machine on our hands and knees. Well, we got it running this week, but this machine from the 70s needs a bit of work – hammers, chains, straps, and blow torches…. Looks like it should work, but apparently we are going to need a new belt too. Needless to say, we’ve felt more like mechanics than farmers lately. Ryan says “I feel like a lousy mechanic.”
Most of our crew starts school tomorrow, so they have been getting ready for school this week and we already miss them. On a plus note, we are starting to pick vegetables for the elementary, middle, and high schools with college not far behind. There’s something rewarding about seeing a bunch of kiddos who like veggies.
Much of this week includes all the things that go with farming, but not the actual farming itself. So in farming news… we’ve no-till seeded some zucchini and cucumbers for the fall, we had a great watermelon and cantaloupe harvest this week, tomatoes are producing like we hope for this time of year, and we’ve had some great sweet corn growth and are really liking this variety. The greenhouse fan motor that died in the storms last week got fixed yesterday.
Ryan, Katie, and Crew
What’s in this Week’s CSA Box?
- Sweet Corn
- Yellow Onion