Get Behind the Wheel in the Morning and Plough

 

Yes, we have done it, we’ve bought a plough and started ploughing our land! We checked out another equipment dealer but their only plough was missing all the coulters. Now, I don’t know much about ploughs but I now know that if you don’t have coulters, you aren’t going to do much ploughing. I also now know that coulters (not just the round disc-y things but the big pieces that attach them to the tractor) are hard to come by and expensive. So after this bit of research, we decided to abandon the incomplete (though bargain basement priced) plough and go for the pricier but ready to go plough we’d been offered by the dealer in Miramichi.

 

Our three furrow Kverneland arrived yesterday, Will hooked it up and then we stared at it for a while. Once the plough is attached to the tractor there is some work involved in setting it up so that it ploughs properly. Proper ploughing involves ploughing to the proper depth and turning the sod over completely to create that “ploughed field” look with all the furrows. Will had found a youtube video showing how to set up a single furrow plough so we had a bit of an idea. However we were very pleased when our neighbor, Delbert, showed up to give us a hand.

 

Will and I had joined some members of the local Baptist church for a potluck lunch that day and Delbert and his wife were both there. We talked to Delbert a bit and told him we were expecting a plough to arrive, so weren’t too surprised when he drove up later, properly clad in overalls! Thank goodness for neighborly farmers! Now, if we had both grown up on farms we would have learned this sort of thing at our parents’ knees and carried this essential information around like other kids know how to ride a bike. However, having come to farming later in life, we are learning as we go and certainly appreciating all the help we’ve had and will continue to have in learning the skills.

 

Unfortunately we discovered that one of the adjustment arms on the three-point-hitch of the tractor doesn’t adjust. It was welded together once-upon-a-time and, though the weld is broken, it will not work to lengthen the arm. Delbert and Will managed to adjust the other arm to shorten it and help make up for some of the imperfect adjustment, though we may have to buy ourselves a new adjusting arm one day. The plough works well enough, though, so we started in on the first priority plough area. We do have beautiful soil! There are a few big rocks but also lots of rich looking topsoil and lots of worms. According to Delbert, even though we have a short growing season, things grow really well here. I can believe this and am looking forward to planting things already! Our turned furrows aren’t perfect, partly because of imperfect adjustment but also because the grass and weeds are so tall, they can’t be completely covered up. This will mean a bit of extra time spent discing in the spring, but I think we can manage that.

 

We will take some soil samples soon and send them in to be tested. I am pretty sure we’ll be wanting to add crushed limestone to the ground in the spring, though it’s always good to test and see what else is limiting in the way of nutrients. We’ll be ploughing up a large area – if all goes as planned – and will seed some to hay, grow veggies, berries and rhubarb in another area, put up a coldframe and cover crop some more of it for future veggie expansion.

 

Rain is expected later today so we will do as much as we can beforehand. Thanks for your great comments, it’s really nice to hear from so many of you!

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