Mar 232009
 

A rumblin’ grumblin’ greetings to you!

It has been pretty warm on average all week with a damp cool wind being the coldest thing just a few days… Friday night we did end up getting a thunderstorm come through and it gave us some needed rain. We are wondering if the rain gauge is leaking a little as most folks around seem to have gotten 1″ of rain, but our gauge read about 4/10″. However much rain it was, the ground soaked it all up and didn’t need any more. Thunderstorms are predicted again for tonight and tomorrow. 

Rain and warm weather are bringing on the blooms! Recognize this beautiful yellow bloom? More blossoms at the end of this update.3-21-2009-23

Dad had to be gone all last week, leaving early Monday morning and not returning until Friday night, to takes a class for his job… our entire family missed him immensely while he was gone!!!!!

We had to start mowing again for the fist time this year!

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Most of Monday morning was taken up working inside on paperwork…I’d much rather be out playing in the garden soil! I did set the older broccoli and cabbage plants outside to harden in along with the onion seedlings. Granddad worked on cleaning up the limbs and other debris in our front yard related to the bee tree that we had to cut down last spring. G-Jean started cutting seed potatoes so we could plant as soon as I got the potato planter ready. We scolded G-Jean when she forgot what she was supposed to be cutting and sliced her finger too! Thankfully Jena is a good nurse though and got her patched back up.

Cabbage, broccoli and onion plants.

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Jena was trimming horses for a client just down the road, and since she had the car, I drove the Honda over so Jena would have transportation back home while I took it to look at horses down in Edna. Several friends and acquaintances have passed along leads on possible teams for sale lately and I’ve been following up on them. Some contacts were dead ends, others led me on a goose chase down through other contacts to someone who finally had a team for sale while one actually led straight to a team of horses that is for sale. I still haven’t made up my mind on some of the horses I’ve looked at, but the ones in Edna didn’t pan out after looking at them.

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When I came home and got chores done after looking at the horses I started gathering up some iron from the scrap iron pile so I could fix up the corn planter that I’m modifying into a potato planter. I ran out of day before I got very far putting it together though.

Tuesday was a little of a mixed up day as I watered hoop houses, helped Mom move the chicken palace, helped get a friend of ours started planting some fruit trees he’d ordered, worked just a little on the potato planter and test drove it (just to see if I could cover the potatoes with the walking plow.) By next year I hope to have “wings” mounted on the potato planter that will pull the displaced soil back over the potatoes after we drop them making one pass do it all.

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Granddad continued working on cleaning up the yard and declared that for every bucket of limbs and debris he hauled out, yet more would sprout up and grow while he was hauling a load off! He did finally get it cleaned up after several more trips than he’d originally anticipated! G-Jean also cut more seed potatoes, this time without cutting her finger.

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Wednesday I fooled with the potato planter about all day which was a little aggravating as I’d hoped to get it done in just a short amount of time. The way things turned out I finally quit working on it in the evening but didn’t get a chance to test drive it until the next day.

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G-Jean was able to finish up the potato cutting by Thursday morning which was good as I wanted to test drive the potato planter! At first Jena and I took rocks out and dropped them down the potato “chute” and seeing how they came out. The planter’s design was such that it worked well just so the person dropping the seed did their job spacing out the potatoes they dropped! Dad had an idea for the spacing mechanism before he left which I used… Taking spray paint I marked every foot around one of the big potato planter wheels. Once you got the hang of dropping a potato every time one of those stripes came around the wheel it wasn’t too bad.

Jena and I also tested out the transplanter to see if it would work for planting the patch of new potatoes and it worked out great!

 The triplet goat kids have started going out to graze with mamma!

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Despite me wanting to start planting early it was about 1:00 by the time we actually started planting the potatoes. Jena’s friend, Leah, came by just in time so I swiped her to help us plant! I had the speed controls though so it was fun! Hooking up to the transplanter I could raise and lower their “thrones” with the three point and go faster or slower as I pleased… If I started going too fast there would commence a lot of squalling behind me and when I was unable to put up with the din any longer I’d slow down. For some reason Jena and Leah complained they couldn’t lay the seed potatoes in the transplanter’s “fingers” which dropped each potato in place when the pace picked up… What’s their problem? I just wanted to get the job done!

Potato planting!

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Every once in a while there would be a potato missing or misplaced and it was sometimes hard to tell which set of fingers missed…mechanical or human. The transplanter and extra hands worked out so well that I didn’t complain any! Although it did pack the soil more than I’d like, we were able to plant three of the four rows in the bed of new potatoes with the Kubota and transplanter. Our wheel spacing was the limiting factor on getting that fourth row of potatoes in with the mechanical help so I just hand dropped the seed potatoes for the last row.

I was in big trouble when Leah left though because Jena got on Kubota and I had to ride the potato planter!!! My! Talk about revenge! There was no way I could keep dropping potatoes down the tube fast enough and get them spaced correctly because I was hanging on for dear life trying not to get bounced out of the seat and keeping as many potatoes on board, in the crate, as possible until I had time to drop another potato between bounces! No, just kidding… Jena was nice and sped up or slowed down upon request.

The weeds have started growing along with the grass so G-Jean has sure been hoeing a lot around the garden!

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When all three hundred pounds of seed potatoes were dropped Jena helped me cover up the ones planted with the potato planter using our walking plow/Kubota combo. I wasn’t able to get all the new potatoes covered with leaves by dark though, so I quit and did chores.

The majority of Friday was spent covering up the new potatoes. It sure was nice not to load and unload the leaves on the trailer by hand! The Kubota’s front loader definitely could load the leaves faster than I could unload them with the silage fork at the potato patch!

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When Dad came home that evening from his week away at school I almost had the leaf covering done, but he came out and helped me finish up! He also helped me work up a little of the garden ground that had a lot of grass coming back as well.

Friday night it rained, but by morning a small section of garden where I plan to grow carrots and radishes was dry enough to plant so G-Jean and Dad helped me get that job knocked off the list. We made the furrows and planted the carrots then sparsely seeded radishes down through the row. Most of the radishes will be up, grown and pulled by the time the carrots are ready to sprout and start growing! I also helped G-Jean plant some onion sets and she finished those and planted turnips while Dad and I headed up to Fort Scott to look at another team of horses.

 

Dick and Buck

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Enjoy spring as it’s rolling in!

Farmer Josh and the Mitchell family crew

www.mitchellfamilyfarm.us

Bloom report: Everything has started exploding into bloom!

Remember the yellow bloom at the beginning of the update? Another view…

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Check out a bit of whimsical dandelion poetry here:  http://burtcraigfarms.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/feeling-whimsical/

A couple of the plum trees in the young orchard bloomed this year!

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Grecian Wind Flowers

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Red Firespray Tulips

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Grape Hyacinths

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The red bud trees have been beautiful

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Rock Cress

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Periwinkle

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More Tulips

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Bluettes (wild flower)

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Creeping Phlox

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Shepherd’s Purse (wild flower)

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