Today I thought I would tell everyone about our first planting experience, as I am getting super excited while waiting for my seed order to arrive!
In the past two years I have learned so much about land and planting and had many failures doing so I figured why not share the experience.
The first year we started farming we rented 17 acres and paid to get someone to come in during early spring and break the ground, and turn up the soil. It was utter torture from there on, we had no tractor and so where left with a field full of soil and chunks of grass. Shaking my head and wondering what I got myself into, I took a deep breath and said We can do this! So being 9 months pregnant with our seventh child and the determination to no longer fail, my husband and I took to the dreaded field with our children off to the side running and playing. Our two daughters that are the oldest of the children pitched in from time to time, but the days were long. We walked the field turning the chunks of soil and collecting rocks, singing songs with the children until we could only see the dark brown soil.
The next step was the worst for someone who had only dug a 4 foot by foot garden prior to this experience, yep that's right next we had to dig rows in a two acre garden. This took us a couple of weeks to finish, due to the large amounts of rain we were getting. It was not fun especially when you are half way out in a field and it starts to down pour. I still remember that day, the girls and I where finishing our tomato rows, when suddenly hard cold rain began to hit us, we tried to get back to the house as quick as we could but the rain was so hard it turned the soil to sticky mud. We lost our boots a few times and I ended up falling once or twice, by the time we made it to the house we looked like mud people. Needless to say we had to stay out of the field for a day, but I didn't complain it was nice to have a rest.
Once we finished our rows we planted corn, tomatoes, beans, peas, squash, peppers, onion and pumpkins. Throughout the season we constantly had to weed the garden by hand, and found it so hard to keep up with as the field used to be a hay field and so when we had turned the soil we refreshed the hay seeds that where on the ground. On top of that it was one of the hottest summers we had in a few years and with the exception of the spring down pours, we hardly saw enough rain to feed our plants. We tried bucketing out water by hand but it was not working. Later that season we had made friends with a local farmer and he said some of our problem was that we disturbed the water line in the field. I thought he was crazy at first but after listening to him explain all the facts, I shook my head once again. After all that hard work we only came out with enough tomatoes and corn to do us half the winter. I was so upset and the hubby had thought about giving it all up...needless to say we are still at it.