This week’s adventures in farming included plowing a second field for tree planting. Then I had to harrow both fields to cut up that sod as part of the process. What I hadn’t realized that I also signed up for: getting my tractor stuck in a soggy spot in the newly plowed field. Yes, you read that right, STUCK. Not just stuck, but really stuck. In the mud. The kind of stuck that my little VW golf was not going to help. The kind of stuck that you can’t see the front tires. The kind of stuck where you hear the mud gurgle beneath your feet as you sink in while standing next to the tractor wondering where those tires went. The kind of stuck where the one neighbor that you can actually see from the farm, perhaps wondering why that tractor is sinking, stares at you through his picture window. With binoculars. Shirtless. The kind of stuck that you call your brother-in-law to bring his brand new, never before dirty, 4×4 truck over to snicker while your sister seems to somehow be the expert at getting tractors out of the mud. Seriously!
So, how did I get stuck anyway? Well, I had just uneventfully harrowed the larger of the two fields. My first pass in the next field revealed a wet spot that had accumulated the rain from earlier in the week, but it was invisible below the plowed up, flipped sod. Plus, since I’m only just getting to know this landscape, I just didn’t know to anticipate a wet spot there. Maybe in any other year, it wouldn’t matter but we’ve had the summer of never-ending rain. Everything was looking great until I sunk!
For those still wondering what it is I’m up to: next year, we plan to plant 1,000 saplings. This field has been fallow for a few years so I’m preparing the land for those trees. First, plow to flip the sod. Then, harrow multiple times to cut up the sod and smooth out the field. Plant buckwheat as ground cover and green manure. Harrow the buckwheat into the soil. Plant trees in the spring.
We spent the weekend camping at the farm. While I worked the field, Atlanta got her first lesson on shearing trees. Willow ran around.