Saturday, May 19, 2012

Digging In The Dirt

The latest addition to Z Food Farm is The Celli Spading Machine. A description from a web site: The Celli Spading Machine is an articulating spader. The spades work like a hand shovel on a crankshaft. Each spade shovel takes a turn entering the soil, so very little horsepower is needed to operate it. This makes it the ideal primary tillage tool for low horsepower tractors. It can also till damp ground to open it up and dry it out for early spring plantings. These are the two main advantages over the chisel plow.
Like the chisel plow, it can be adjusted to till deep or shallow and can till one bed at a time. The Spading Machine is the ideal tillage tool because the spading action completely loosens the soil across the bed and its motion does not compact or smear the soil at the bottom of its travel."

While there are various other points of interest about the spader, there are two that will be mentioned-- 1) Using a spader saves time. Since time is a precious commodity for a farmer, this is a very good thing. 2) As implied by the last sentence of the description from the website, the spader is less invasive of the soil. Less invasive tilling allows for a healthier soil. Another very good thing. It is quite an amazing implement to watch in action.

Before getting to the spader, here is an updated picture of one of the hops plants. They are growing rapidly. Once they are trellised they can grow upwards of 20 feet. To quote Homer, 'Hmmmm, beer'.

The brand new spader. It was not intentional, but it nicely matches the color of the John Deere tractor.

This is what the soil looks like after one pass of the spader. A second pass will break the soil up enough that David will be able to direct seed those crops that do not transplant well.

Here's David working the field.

At this time planting is well under way and continues at a frenetic pace. Also, the next round of seeding has also started. The ongoing cycle of the farm season is well under way. Among the crops that have been planted are: kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, onions, broccoli, carrots, arugula, radishes, turnips, Asian greens, and baby lettuces that will become salad mix.

At this time a limited number of farm shares remain available. If you are interested about information about becoming a member of Z Food Farm you can contact David at-

Happy and health eating to one and all.

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