Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Electric Tractor

It became official this week, our old gas-powered Allis-Chalmers G tractor moved under electric power! Never having done this before, and not knowing what to expect, the first few feet of motion were a thrill. We simply copied other people's designs and followed their instructions, but it felt like we were at the origin of the invention of a new machine. It works!!!

We are now at the stage of getting it ready to do some farming. As the Spring is late this year, with soils still being too cold and wet to plant, we have a little time to make adjustments and practice with the G. We still have to hook up the battery charger, build a box to cover the batteries, make some modifications for a few things that didn't quite fit, and modify some of our implements.

But we are ready to go. Enjoy the videos below.


video
Rebecca's first run

video
Rebecca in reverse

video
Rebecca second gear

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Creeping Towards Spring Planting

The cold weather continues, with hope for 50 degree weather next week. We expect the grass to start greening up in the coming days, as things begin to awaken, driven by the day length as much as the temperature. The greenhouse continues to fill up with broccoli, cabbage, herbs, celeriac and flowers, with Asian greens, more lettuce, kale and kohlrabi to be seeded before the end of the week.

The fields are still quite soggy, and we have a good week or two to wait for them to dry out. The photograph is of the Spring beds located near the main gate. Just past them is our well mulched patch of strawberries that we are hoping will produce a nice crop for 2008.

They will be Rocky's big test, keeping the racoons from snacking on them. Right now he still hasn't grown enough to know how to chase them, as we have had one break into our back porch the last couple of nights with him nearby. Once his baby teeth are gone we expect him to do better.


The wildlife on the farm has been beautiful this Spring as always. We have learned to notice the change in the birds arriving at the feeder. The most striking bird we see is the Red Headed Woodpecker. Other birds scatter when it flaps it's way to the suet. It is wonderful to see in-flight too.

Other birds are a bit farther away, but a regular visitor to the farm's air space. The Snow Geese fly so high sometimes that they take awhile to spot, their loud honking giving them away. Another sign of the changing season. We feel lucky to have such a show everyday, and are glad with this blog to be able to share with you.