Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's New at the Farm? Harvesting and Completion of Farm Pond

Looking out my window this morning, I see the threatening skies of mid October. I know it wants to rain, and it’s trying. If it will just hold off until we get a little more harvesting done… probably not though. Oh well, we must go forth and harvest anyways. The crops won’t wait much longer. We’ll finish harvesting tomatoes this week. After that, all we’ll have to do is peppers, squash, pumpkins and a few small trial crops, including leeks, cabbage, and fall carrots. Still plenty left to do.

The new irrigation pond is done
Three feet of water has already accumulated in the pond.

The photo above was taken Tuesday. We have since seeded down all around it with several different grass seeds and mixtures. Because we want to prevent as much erosion as possible, we planted Crown vetch on the bank on the outside of the pond and conservation mix on the balance of the ground. The sooner we get some grass growing the better. I wanted to get it seeded down before we got any amount of fall rain, and we did. The rain will help the seed to germinate and grow before the ground freezes up for the season.

The pond currently has about three feet of water in it and I expect it will continue to fill during the fall and winter months. Total surface area will be about an acre and capacity is around six million gallons. Imagine what the first frog in there will think! This pond should supply us with all our water needs for many years in this new field. I am anxious to use this field. We have owned it for many years, and have worked to improve the soil, but have yet to fully utilize this ground. Now with drain tile, an irrigation pond and a well-built driveway down through the field, we’ll be able to add these 15 acres to our inventory of tillable land.

Other fall projects on the docket include pulling miles of plastic mulch; tearing down acres of tomato trellises; and chisel plowing fields that didn’t get a cover crop planted on. Why chisel plow? The chisel plow makes deep furrows that trap the water and force it to seep into the soil rather than whip down across a field eroded it as it goes. Many times our crops get harvested late in the season so we can’t get good establishment of cover crops before the fall freeze-up occurs. In this case, we chisel plow the fields following their contours to prevent or at least slow down the rate of erosion. As we increase our land base, we’ll have more cover crops planted to hold our precious topsoil in place.

Until next week,

1 comment:

John Crane said...

Irrigation pond looks great. I've never seen a chisel plow before; hopefully you guys can snap some photos of your on-going projects.