Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable Agriculture.’

Baleing Hay, and breakdowns, Now I remember why I like farming so much!

Monday, July 13th, 2009
Lookin' in the sideview mirror

Lookin' in the sideview mirror

Raking ahead of the baler

Raking ahead of the baler

Main Drive Shaft...Now we have Two Oh Boy!

Main Drive Shaft...Now we have Two Oh Boy!

Breakdown and shop time

Breakdown and shop time

Phillips Machine, saves the day

Phillips Machine, saves the day

Making Hay while the sun shines

Making Hay while the sun shines

On our farm we as a family help each other out. My father in law Kay has helped make much of what has become Maize Valley Market and Winery possible. This past week he needed help baleing hay so I chipped in. I thought I was just going to be towing wagons. I spend most of my time at the market and winery and marketing etc.

I was there about an hour till we had a major breakdown. Just like back in the day I thought. This happens a lot especially when you use your equipment hard. We maintain the heck out of it but it still happens. I suppose if farm folks read and watch this stuff you just have to laugh. But we are just putting this blog up for ALL to see and learn so I am not trying to come across like something special, just report on what goes on down on our farm.

I guess it was a good thing I was there as I was able to help out in the repair, via cell phone and google searches from my blackberry in the field I discovered the shaft that broke was a day away and almost $200.00. The cool thing was we were able to tap into our local machine shop and find the same part for about $30.00 and I was able to run over and get it and we were back in business about four hours later. That is a cool part about living near in an area that was once a very heavy steel production center. I love buying steel “buy the pound” vs. covered in green paint!

I don’t know if you have ever “timed” a baler before but I learned how this day, I also used a whole bunch of my vocabulary skills too! After a while I threw the book away and just figured it out. If you ever have to time a John Deere Baler, start with the book then throw it away and use your head.

Last year Kay and crew made about 48,000 little square bales, this year looks like they might close in on 60,000 if the weather cooperates. We got these field done and got about 12,000 bales off of about 45 acres.

Now next week start second cutting, farmers markets, wine pours, vegi harvest, you know life!

No-Till planting, Conservation Tillage, Sustainable Agriculture.

Thursday, May 14th, 2009
Winter Rye "Burn Down"

Did I mention we are basically lazy?? Yea we try and do as little work as possible! Well maybe that is not entirely the case but we do try and get as much done with as little output as possible. You might say that is a strategy we use in some of our tillage practices. Get the job done using as few and the most economical inputs as possible.

The more pale or yellow part of the field has been sprayed, the dark green has not. Glyphosate acts as an amino acid inhibitor, or it prevents the plant from completing the photosynthesis process. The plant starves to death. This way of working or what is know as “Mode of Action”, is very specific to plants and very safe for just about everything else. However just as with anything else if not used responsibly resistance can begin to occur.

It’s cool we still get a crop but don’t have to work as hard. There are trade offs but where we can we try and conserve the soil as much as possible and still sustain our family farm. That is what I call Sustainable Agriculture!

“>