Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weekend Farmer

I arrived Friday around noon, making seriously good driving time for a Friday in October. Waste no time now, there's work to be done.

The first thing I noticed was a bale of straw that had sprouted. S'pose it's good to wait two weeks, given a little rain, before spreading your straw. Happens to be the five dollar bale, which means you get what you pay for and I won't be using these cheaper bales. I once used uncomposted horse manure for a soil amendment and I paid for it with a year of weeding out oats.

The landowner, Andrew, lent me his pickup truck so I could pick up a few loads of compost from the town compost facility. Nice guys, low price. But again, I got what I paid for -this compost is made mostly from leaves and pine needles. The man at the booth sold me on the unscreened -he said it was better composted. But, after getting it home, I realized that it was full of pine cones that then needed to be removed or they will interfere with bulb development. In the end it is hard to argue with 8 yards of compost for 64 dollars, but next time I will take the screened.

 The dumping, one cubic yard at a time.

Two yards of compost in the back of a pickup is a little daunting at first. But I got my rhythm down, and the whole bed was empty in about a half hour. I tried to shovel some of it to where it was needed, but that wasn't possible everywhere. 

A four cubic yard pile that could have been eight. I lost an hour trying to find a place called tractor supply in search of lime. The last load, then, needed to wait until first thing Saturday morning.

The sun finally set low enough to stretch out beneath the clouds that hung on to the Catskills all weekend.

In the neighbor's field, raking shadows, and an invitation.

To the deer. We'll soon find out how much interest, or hunger, will drive them to taste garlic. They are abundant here, very, and can be seen day and night.

Earlier in the day a tractor arrived, sitting idle until a quick operator's lesson at dusk. It's a party only after the heavy equipment shows up. Off I was into the early night throwing levers and moving compost by the beams of a John Deere.


  1. Love that picture of the bales and tools, and sunlit field in the background.

    Really - half an hour for that whole load??? Superfarmer.

  2. Its my favorite too. Half an hour. Other friend on site commented on how fast I was going. I had a goal in mind -make it to the facility for another load before closing. I didn't make it.

    I am the human plow (trademark)!


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