Friday, November 16, 2012

Taking The Field



A field of any size can be daunting. It is helpful to stake the territory, to frame the work.

Dibbler's delight, a working prototype.

In well-tilled and disced soil, the wheel dibble makes its mark six inches apart, eight across.

The soil here, on this unnamed farm, is like cocoa. No stones, nothing, just pure sandy loam. There are, however, a constant amount of tilled under stolons of grass, or next spring's menace. The tractor belongs to the previous or current farmer, the same man, it's just that I don't know what his plans are.

That tractor made these rows, some better, some tilled too thinly. Of course, I would prefer eight inches of deep tilling, but at best I got five and some rows only one or two. Rows are lighter, deeper, and cleaner at the edges of the field, while the center rows fill wildly with grass. This tells me something about the movement of water through the field, and maybe soil amendments too. Sweet potatoes were grown in the one hundred by 90 foot section I am putting to garlic, and under those rows plenty of chopped orange spud.

We had anticipated rain this past Tuesday, and saw some here in NYC, although less than it may have seemed. I had hoped for a dousing to water in the newly planted cloves and to activate the amendments spread on every row, but the farm received no rain at all. I'll be back out to plant on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. The weather, although cooler than last weekend, looks to be dry. I pop cloves at night, in anticipation.


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