Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bringing It Home

It all started with the machine. From the rear loading dock at the studio, handles lowered, loading it into the van. 

Of course, this beast was intended for 80 foot farm rows, but that got nixed in favor of an ever more local farm. A 1989 Troy-bilt 22-inch wide, rear-tined tiller, 8-inch tilling depth, and 7 HP Kohler Magnum engine. Forward and reverse drive gears, starts on the first pull, but a little fussy about the drive lever. More tiller than a twenty by ten foot plot can handle, turning was an effort, possibly creating more work than hand digging, especially when the tiller dug in. Two plots later; that was Friday's work.

On Saturday I pulled out the trenching shovel and began making rows for walking; squeezing as many beds as possible leaves little room but a foot's width.

Once leveled out, I turned to my prototype wheel dib to pace the planting. The clove still needs to be pushed in, gingerly as possible. New signs, smaller signs, were whipped together. My old signs were scaled for a large space and looked outsized in this little plot.

By late afternoon the planting was done, the blood meal was spread, the planting holes filled, and the beds were raked. Yes, those are the crocus (and winter weeds) at foreground.

At sundown I enjoyed the results of my work and wondered how the hell I worked that acre!

My other plot, the new plot, gee-one has subtle differences in soil than the beach farm plot, eff-twelve. It is softer, way softer, richer too, with fewer stones (and wood chips, sucker!). The tiller work was a little easier here without the boundaries of fencing and so was my trenching thanks to the depth of friable soil.

I didn't plant any of my Amagansett cloves here at the beach farm, but for two heads of Spanish Roja. This Rocambole wasn't replaced with new seed as it is notoriously difficult to grow, but I had two heads that appeared exceptionally healthy from the farm. Once peeled, the cloves skins and inner wrappers were a gorgeous mix of rose and terracotta. I hope they do well and although they were smaller than my seed bought at a high price farm, they were in much better shape than much of my Rocambole seed cloves that were beginning to dehydrate.

By early afternoon the fog began to roll in strong, an unhesitant fog horn carrying over the peninsula. It started to feel a little like Amagansett in June.

My orderly rows a contrast to the chaos of wooden and white plastic lattice, coolers, bins, green mesh fencing, umbrellas, and other garden objects. Finished now, but for one bulb of Artichoke I left at home, still waiting to be planted.  All in all, 1184 cloves of garlic (and 18 French Grey Shallots) planted in two plots, or just over 400 square feet. That's one sixth the quantity of cloves I planted last season on a fifth acre (or 8700 sq. ft.) in Amagansett on only one hundredth an acre at the beach farm. Kapow. 

1 comment:

  1. I always do my garlic in October\November. There is some great huge organic garlic I use from the farm they filmed the Village....always pick the healthiest,



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