Days Gone By

Since "retiring" from my full-time paid job with benefits to volunteer on Prairie Heritage Farm, there has been relentless work to do. With the early crops in the high tunnel come the early weeds, so put weeding on the list. Turkeys and geese need daily care. The beds need to be prepared and lettuce, kale, chard, cabbage, and onions need to be transplanted out into the field. And the drip irrigation needs to be set up to water them once they're in. The tomatoes need to be transplanted into 4" pots. We need to start more seeds in the greenhouse. The emmer needs to be seeded in the field as does the chickpeas, flint corn, and milk thistle. And the potatoes need to get in the ground.

Transplanting kale.

Remarkably, in the past week and a half, we've done all that. Maybe that's why my back and shoulders ache and my hands are cracked and dry. Maybe that's why it doesn't feel like a week and a half, but rather a month and a half.

I borrowed a corn planter from a neighbor and what a delight it's been to use: drive the tractor from one end of the field to the other and voila, 4 rows of corn planted. I'll be able to set up the cultivator on the tractor to weed between the rows when the time comes, severely cutting down on time and labor later in the season.

My savior.

I really wanted the same setup for the milk thistle, but the planting plates in the corn planter are set for corn, not the much smaller milk thistle seed. I even tried mixing the thistle seed in with pea seed, but the planter still put down too much milk thistle seed. So instead, I drove the empty corn planter on the spot where the milk thistle was to go to mark the rows, then came in behind with the walk behind seeder. It wasn't easy pushing that thing through the stubble, but it'll be worth it later when I'm tractor cultivating.

Me circa early 1900s.

It is supposed to rain today and I hope it does. I need the break and the seeds need water.


  1. i wish jon could do the same! damn you student loans...... keep up the good work!

  2. "Since "retiring" from my full-time paid job with benefits to volunteer on Prairie Heritage Farm...." This sentence just cracked me up :-D. Amen to that. And dang--your cabbages are already in? I must be behind then (I guess I already knew that....). Raining here too....I better go start some more melon seed in little pots. Good luck with everything!


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