Thursday, July 7, 2011

Knocking the Weeds Down

In between haying and caring for the animals, The Farmer spends a lot of time on the tractor cultivating. This takes the place of spraying chemicals to kill the weeds. It's very time consuming, as you have to cultivate each field over and over again. Doesn't save on diesel fuel at all; in fact, it uses more.

That's one part of organic farming that no one tells you about. Another part is the stiff neck/back that comes from hours stuck in one position.

When you cultivate, you want to get as close to the little bean plants (or corn plants) as you can. You want to cultivate out all the weeds growing between the rows. But you don't want to cultivate out the plants themselves. That would be counterproductive.

So you mount a bit of cable on your new tractor. It just hangs down and gives you something to line up the row with.

And you mount a mirror on the new tractor, too, so that you can see if you're cultivating out the plants behind you. If you turn around and look to see how things look behind you, it's all over. Don't ask me how I know.

Here's what you're looking at--row after row after row.

Knocking the weeds down--all in a day's work.


  1. Sounds kinda monotonous, but it makes for an interesting blog post. :)

  2. I planted soybeans a little late this year, but they're almost as big as those in your photo. Anyway, they're in a raised bed and I only have about six plants. dog ran by and chomped one completely down. Now I have 5. It looks like you have 5,000! or 50,000! - Red Dirt Kelly

  3. RDK, too many to count, to be sure. The plants in the photos are pinto beans. Great for refried beans! Wonder why your dog was so hostile to the soybean plant?

    Bethany, it is monotonous. It's a good time to get thinking done. But you still have to pay attention to where you're going...


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