Posts Tagged ‘tools’


Plenty of people have told me that every farm needs a pickup truck. Some of the best veggie farmers I know don’t have one, so I don’t believe it. Trucks sure are nice to have, though. You can carry around a little horse manure in the back like Dave does (you never know when you might need some) and just hose it out when the manure’s gone. You can let boards dangle off the tailgate without worrying about closing the back door like with a van. You can tow things with it. Yup, trucks are handy to have.

I’m super excited to have a truck now, but not just any truck. This 1989 (I think — Alan said it’s old enough to drink) GMC Sierra was a gift from Elden’s mom, Diane, and her husband, Alan. They’ve been taking good care of it, not only because they’re good vehicle owners, but also for sentimental reasons.

The truck originally was Elden’s great-uncle Dale’s truck. Dale was a life-long farmer in Tuttle, N.D., and toward the end of his life, he wanted to buy a new vehicle, Diane told me. She said he really didn’t drive it much, but did spend a lot of time as a passenger in the truck. Diane laughed when explaining that Dale asked her if she thought the bright orange stripes on the sides of the pickup (barely visible in the photos, above the red paint) were “too sporty.”

I’ll try not to let driving such a flashy vehicle go to my head.

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Waiting Game

I used my new (old) Planet Jr. push seeder for the first time yesterday to seed some peas (Cascadia, which has been proven to do well here, and Sugar Sprint, which hasn’t — we’ll see). I haven’t used a Planet Jr. for two years, but it all came back to me, I’m thankful to report. The seeder was a gift from Elden (the guy knows what I like, what can I say) and it seems to be working well. I tried to make sure the peas were getting down to a depth where there’s still some moisture in the soil . . . but all I can do now is wait. Wait for rain, and wait to see if the peas sprout.

In the woods along the driveway, I noticed a flowering shrub (dogwood? anyone?) and some fuzzy fiddleheads. There’s new growth sprouting up everywhere you look.

Even though we don’t have our well drilled yet, I’m itching to bring the rest of the transplants out to the farm where they can get full sun all day.  It would be nice to have everything in one place. I really hope we’re done with cold nights — threatening-to-freeze nights, anyway.  I’d like to cross that worry off my list.

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hoes in waiting

Despite — or possibly because of — the dusting of snow on my car this morning, I’m dreaming of the first sunny, breezy summer day when I break in my new stirrup hoes — also known as action, hula, or scuffle hoes. I’ve been saving the “golden” hoe that Elden gave me for my birthday one year (trust me, I was thrilled!) for the first hoeing at our farm. I invested in three more stirrup hoes this spring, hoping that I’ll have help from friends and family — and possibly farm members — this summer.

When my dad helped me break ground with the plow at Stone’s Throw Farm last fall, we made three small fields:  one is about 1 acre, and the other two are 1/2 acre fields. It doesn’t sound like much, but when we were done, my dad did one of those take-off-the-cap, scratch-the-head, and replace-the-cap moves, and said, “I don’t know … it looks like a lot of hoeing to me!” 

It takes a little while to get the hang of it, but using a stirrup hoe can be a good experience, especially if you catch the weeds when they’re very small. You just have to find your rhythm, settle in, and think of how happy your veggie plants will be without all the weeds stealing nutrients from the soil and hogging the sunshine. A weed-free bed is a beautiful sight for a farmer’s eyes.

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Gearing Up

I bought a laptop! And a printer/copier/scanner, and some software and stuff. It’s a Toshiba Satellite A505-S6980.

Now I can design marketing materials and keep track of expenses and budgets and communicate with the outside world from the home office. Well, not now, exactly, but in a few days when my broadband service is activated and some nice person from the tech store arrives to set up my wireless router, etc. Soon.

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