Our intention is to develop this five acre property into a hobby farm or at least show what can be grown in the area.  The land is gently sloping to the south with full sun exposure.  This provides excellent drainage, easy working conditions and the soil is some of the best agricultural land in the valley. 

 

As mention on the home page, we let the neighbours run about 10 head of cattle on the south three acres after we fenced it in order to complete the containment on the east and south borders.

 

So to begin some sort of crop development, we terminated the use by cattle and plowed the firmly trodden field in the fall of 2013.  It was left that way over the winter.

Crop Development -

 

We began by plowing the pasture-used field in November of 2013 and then disc-harrowed in the Spring of 2014.  See the header picture above illustrating the work of the disc harrow.

 

Initially, we were concerned as to the handling ability of our small tractor but the Kioti diesel worked well in 4WD for plowing, discing and later seeding.

 

The idea was to plow the approximately 3 acre field into quarters so that later we could experiment with four different crops.  It is sort of funny but we can now refer to being out in the south quarter!!

 

Only a few days later, we had our first snowfall, melting and then winter began in earnest on the 7th of December 2013.

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Unloading and Rebuilding a Seed Drill

 

 

 

 

We bought this old John Deere seed drill from a property north of Rock Creek.  The unit had been left unserviced for many years.

 

We unloaded with a two-stage process because of its length and weight.

 

It took almost two week to lubricate and unloosen the shaft and sliding guides which determine the rate of seed flow.  Most of the parts were seized with rust and debris.

 

After much work, repainting and purchasing 400 pounds of seed, we were ready to plant.

Here we are with rebuilt unit ready for field work.

 

 

 

 

 

We managed to get some used tires from a local tire shop, matching paint for the original style of the John Deere. 

 

 All parts were functioning with some improvisation and the unit was ready for the field.

 

 

Out in the Field -- Our First Experience with a Seed Drill

 

 

 

It took a little time to get used to the drill and to set both the depth and rate of seed depending upon what we were plantingAs mentioned, we divided the field into four  quarters.  In the SE, we planted rye; in the SW Triticale (a rye/wheat product); NW we planted Much More Wheat; and in the NE we planted Hulless Barley.

 

The recommendation was to seed at a rate of about 100 lbs per acre.  That is what we came close to and our seed drill rows are about 6 inches apart.

 

Luckily although we planted late (20th of May), the weather was in our favour with warmth and periodic rain showers.  All of our grain began to sprout on the 5th day.

 

We had an excellent crop in all four quarters as shown below.