We’d planned on getting started yesterday but Will came in from checking the cows saying we had a new bull calf. Sarge had found him, lying in the edge of the woods while the herd was grazing nearby. As he was a bull, Will wanted help to get him caught and castrated as after the calves are a couple of days old, you can’t hardly catch them. I went out but the mama kept walking away from us with junior trotting beside her. Finally, they went into the woods and the calf tripped on some brush. Luckily Will was nearby and pounced on the calf. With the deed done, he yelled for me to come give him his tetanus shot. (The calf, not Will!) We don’t want to take a chance of the calves getting tetanus following banding. Will set him down and he trotted back to mom, none the worse for the wear.

Meet Sunny, our newest calf, only hours old.
Will, walking away from Sunny, who I think is giving him the stink eye.

Today, after another frost advisory that didn’t pan out for our area — thankfully — we began our two-week planting session. We have such a short season, we have to get at it just as soon as we possibly can, safely. Those darned, sneaky frosts can sure pop up on us unexpectedly! Will put the middle buster, a kind of small, single plow, that goes on the three point of the tractor, on the Ford and went out to the Wolf Garden to dig furrows for planting our potatoes. That works so slick. The furrows go in quickly, then I drop in the potatoes. Will follows up on foot with a hoe, pulling the dirt in to cover them from one side of the furrow. The other hump of dirt on the other side is saved for hilling the plants as they grow taller.

Using the middle buster furrower, Will quickly dug trenches for our potatoes and, later on, tomatoes.
I follow the tractor, setting out potatoes in three 100-foot rows. We like our potatoes!

We use this simple tool to dig trenches to plant our tomato plants and have also dug ditches to run our irrigation lines. What a labor saver! We don’t mind work a bit but try to work smarter, not harder. Today we got in three 100-foot rows of potatoes plus five furrows for the tomatoes. I’ve still got a couple of hours so I’ll take the Earthway push seeder out and see how many bush beans I can get in before the bugs get too bad. Rain’s forecast for this evening. — Jackie


  1. What a nifty tool the middle buster is, especially for a garden the size of yours! I use a mini version for my bean planting: I use a Cobra head hand tool for the trench and then drop in the seeds. Not as impressive as a tractor, but it does the job.

  2. That plow is sure a nifty gadget! Working smarter not harder is a lesson we all need. My garden is all up and so far so good. Last year was so dry I had extremely poor germination, so it is such a thrill to see everything coming up. It is just a small garden, but just right for me. We got a little shower last night and it was just what we needed. Thankfully, we are out of the frost worry. I sure hope your planting goes well and you can avoid any late frosts. Sending prayers for a blessed week.

  3. Oh my goodness!! Guys! I hope you have an incredible growing season! Can’t wait to see the progress. Lots of love,
    Mia John and kiddos too!!!

    • Thanks Mia! So far, so good. Planting beans today, again. 6 100′ rows of tomatoes yesterday.

  4. As an even more firm believer in climate change, I think you’ll be okay. AND be pleasantly surprised come harvest time. While I *should* have thinned out my strawberries last year, I’m picking a quart a day.
    Our taters are already starting to flower (the Good Friday planted to be clear). Keeping an eye on the garlic so I can remove scapes – last year we had no scapes, go figure.
    Almost at peak cicadas – friend and his family harvested some tonight. I’ll pass but don’t begrudge them. And yes I do have one area that is heavy deceased cicadas and yes, it is not aromatic. But good compost for the area and it shouldn’t last long.
    Always excited that taters get planted – while dad didn’t continue farming, generations of farming genes just don’t go away.

    • I think you’re right about the farming genes. As far back as we know, there’s always been farming in our family. And, yes, I believe in climate change too, regardless of the nay-sayers. I’ve never been able to plant this early without a frost. Years back, while living in Minnesota, too, we never could plant before June 14th. And I MEAN June 14th, not June 13th! It would always freeze. And we always saw winters with -55 to -60 and haven’t seen anything near that cold in 20 years now.
      We’re busy, busy planting seeds in the ground now. Whew am I glad the weather’s holding.

  5. Using the single plow is how we plant potatoes also and it works so nicely for us. We are running late on planting the rest of our garden due to high winds and hail but it will get in the ground soon. You have put a lot of work into your new yard area and garden, looking forward to seeing your rewards for your work soon. Take care.

    • Sorry you’re having weather trouble. We hit a sweet spot, weather-wise and are busy, busy, busy, planting every day.

  6. Goodness, what planning and progress you’re making AGAIN this year. I can feel the dirt, just looking at the beautiful garden ready for planting. God bless your efforts. I believe He does.

    • We believe that too Sheryl! We are so blessed to have such good garden spots. We planted all day today. Whew!!

  7. Oh, my. I held my breath the entire time I read this! There is such a great urgency. Blessings as you plant.

    • Thanks Sandy. We appreciate that. Today we got lots more planted and hope to get a lot more done tomorrow. The weather’s holding fine right now.

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