Thanksgiving for the Tractor

The L2250 Kubota tractor being pulled by the very brave Dodge Dakota, being driven by an even braver driver!
The L2250 Kubota tractor being pulled by the very brave Dodge Dakota, being driven by an even braver driver!

It was an exciting day on the farm.  Today we brought home a new (to us) tractor!  Ken’s Mother and her husband, Jan, bought us a used 1989 L2250 Kubota tractor with a bucket loader and two other implements AND it has less than 700 hours on it!  We are quite excited.  She (the tractor) was offloaded after our perilous 5 hour ride (that normally takes 3 hrs) back from Arkansas (where the tractor was).  Not only did we get a tractor out of the deal we also shared a wonderful thanksgiving meal in Arkansas with wonderful family.  We are happy farmers now ready to take on next season with the much-needed aid of our new farm hand.

Ken, Katie, the Dogs and the Kubota L2250
Our new tractor safe on the farm.

Planting Garlic

Happy is the garlic that is planted in the fall!

Today was garlic planting day.  There are many schools of thought on when the best time to plant garlic is.  Some people like to plant garlic in early to mid October, others the first of December.  Either way, garlic requires some planning ahead for a harvest in the early summer.  Instead of eating the garlic that grew last year in the garden, I decided to use it all for seed.  In addition to the seven bulbs I bought at the Small Farm Trade Show from Sandhill, I have about two lbs of my own garlic.

I first cleared out the beans that had been there, harvesting dried bean pods for seed.   Then I used our little tiller to destroy the weed growth from the season as well as loosen up the soil for planting.  If I had access to a broadfork I would have gone down the row with it to further break up the soil.  Oh, I almost forgot the most pleasant job. . . before I tilled I laid down some half composted chicken manure.  Garlic likes compost.  I then mulched the bed and planted the garlic into the mulch.  This mulch will keep the weeds down come spring.

Garlic is a very rewarding crop to grow, lets hope it thrives in its new home!

Tilled bed ready for garlic
Tilled bed ready for garlic
Garlic cloves planted into bed
Mulch was pushed away then the garlic cloves were planted into the bed

Holy Sweet Potato

Today was a beautiful day and we took advantage of it by “putting the garden to bed,” or the not-so-fun way to say it, cleaning up.  We ripped out all the dead tomato vines.  Note to self: do not use that plastic mesh again for supporting the tomatoes!  In  the clean up process we also found more sweet potatoes on some vines we thought had not produced anything.  Lucky surprise.  In between fighting off the chickens and digging the roots out of the ground, in about 30 mins I had another 10 pounds of sweet potatoes to clean and store for winter.  The birds gobbled up the remaining small sweet potato tubers.  It was quite funny watching the ducks and geese try to swallow the long skinny veining tubers, kinda like watching someone suck a very long piece of spaghetti into their mouth! Next adventure in the garden: Plant Garlic.