Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Garden Preparation

Yesterday, Paul went out to the garden to start preparing the soil and plant a few seeds. He quickly decided that a shovel just wasn't going to work. If he kept at it, he might have the garden ready to plant by October.

We came up with a Plan B, which was to rent a rototiller, and a Plan C, which was to buy one. I was opposed to Plan C, because it didn't seem very cost effective to buy a machine that would only be used a few times a year. Paul didn't like Plan B because it's a pain to haul a rototiller to and from the land, and to get all of the tilling done during the rental period. We finally came up with Plan D, which was hiring a neighboring farmer to bring his tractor down and till it for us, which he did this evening.

It really was the best plan. It cost about what renting a tiller for a day would be, and he did a much better job than the rental. I know this because the rental is what we did last year. So now two-thirds of the garden is tilled and ready for planting. The other third is mine to play with, and I'm going to experiment with pig plowing and corn growing (not at the same time).

Speaking of corn, due to the high prices I've decided to grow as much of my feed grain as possible this year. I want an open-pollinated corn variety, so that I don't have to buy seed every year. This guy had really good prices, and I decided to order the blue corn since I don't need a full bushel of seed (that would plant about five acres, and I'm only planting maybe an acre this year). Unfortunately, I just got my order form returned, with a note saying that the blue corn failed the germination tests so it's not for sale this year. At this point, I may just plant whatever hybrid variety the feed store is selling, and worry about sustainability next year.

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