Tis the season to shine up the equipment, change various filters, fix a tire, burn through some serious cash and get some crop into the ground! Yahooo!
Mark and Wendell have been busy these last few days tilling the soil and getting it ready for the big moment of seeding. After spreading the cocktail of compost and mussel shells, they worked it in and are getting closer to the big day. The picture above shows a modification that we've been talking about since we started growing soybeans, but have only now completed, for some reason. It's a pretty simple implement, if you can even call it an implement, and a lot of seeders have them on, and now, so do we!
It's proven to be especially important in the growing of organic soybeans, to have exact sized row spacing and CONSISTENCY. Since one of our weed control methods is to cultivate between the rows it is vital that there be accuracy between them. I've tried to run the cultivator and I have to admit that it takes a very certain, careful personality who is made of patience and particulars. There is a very little room for error when it comes to cultivation, due to the width of the tires and the exact positioning of the teeth on the cultivator. So when the rows aren't consistent, it can mean having to sacrifice an entire row of lush, green bean plants; powerless to the seemingly razor sharp tines that slice the plants right off at the soil surface. Harsh I know. :)
Anyway, as Mark likes to say, he put this row marker on so that even I could seed (how kind), but I should note that it hasn't been me in the past who has seeded with row inconsistency....ahem.
So we've yet to try it out, but if I know Mark, it has been built to an exact science and barring no hydraulic problems (which seem to be a chronic illness around here) will work like the charm that it is. I feel confident I'll be able to show you a field of exact precision in a couple months, even after cultivation.
Mark will really love this picture of himself. I always insist on taking a picture when we finally find a cache. This demonstrates his enthusiasm..feigned.
A few years ago Mark and I had our eyes opened to the world of geocaching. I'm sure most of you know what it is, but for those who don't it's like orienteering, but ramped with new technology and a world-wide treasure hunt. People from all over the world, have hidden little caches all over the globe. They enter the GPC coordinates of those treasures on geocaching.com, others download the coordinates and try to find the caches. It can be as big as a tupperware tote full of books or a tiny film canister with only a piece of paper inside. Anyway, it's absolutely fascinating to me and one of my all-time favorite things to do on a Sunday, or any day. Plus it's completely free, which is another favorite thing of mine; free things.
So since the kids were born, we find it harder and harder to get out and about, since sometimes it takes a LONG time to find the item after we've made it to the location and around here at least, they tend to be around waterways, bridges, wooded areas, etc. so not exactly toddler friendly. But we still go out now and then, the four of us, on Sunday afternoons in search of the treasure. Something has happened though. Mark and I seem to have lost our searching ability. Or our finding ability at least. We usually try to find 4 or 5 in one area, and we've been lucky to come out with two. Discouraging, but like my contest affliction, the wins keep me going.
I've started back at work this week and it's going great. As part of my community outreach initiative I've started a blog about the Trout River Environmental Committee; finally I'm getting paid to write!!! hahaha. Spent most of my day hiking the trails of the Devil's Punchbowl in the Trout River area, central PEI. Once in a while I'll come across parts of PEI that take me right back to home and this morning was one of them. There's not a lot of woods around here, but the Devil's Punchbowl was just like when my Dad and I go walking for mayflowers in the spring. He knows all the best places and the clearings and it smells just right and the sun trickles in through the thick overhead of branches...and for a second I was home. Looking forward to this summer.
Hope this finds you happily nostalgic for simple times.