Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Old school planting

I walk the line
I had 4000 squash seeds to plant.  And I know that there must be a way to do this with a tractor.  In fact, there are a lot of different kinds of seeders, different technologies... this is a problem that has been solved millions of times.

But this is an experiement, and I don't want to own a piece of equipment that I use once in my lifetime.  If the experiement doesn't work, I don't be planting this sort of quantity again.  And I'm really not planting that big a quantity -- I'm planting rows that are 10' apart, with 3' spacing in the rows.  The 10' rows allow me to run an 8' wide cultivator down the center (that i already own) and clean up most of the weeds.   If this works out, I'll probably tighten the spacing..., but that's for another time.

Right now I've got squash to plant.  Thousands of them.  So... old school.  On the soft cultivated ground, I stretch out a long bit of baling twine; maybe 900' of it.   I use a push-in fence post at each end, and pull it tight.  Straight line.  I work with my steps, measuring out what 3' is, and then do a fairly slow shuffle down the row.  scuff a depression, drop two or three seeds, cover it with the other foot while taking the next step.

A pair of earphones and "wrath of the khans", a history lecture by Dan Carlin, and two hours pass by surprsingly quickly.  Each row is about 1000' long.  row after row, 10 hours later i'm more than two thirds done, and I'm out of howden pumpkin seeds.  So I switch to acorn squash, and then to sugar pumpkins, and finally to a personal patch of sweet corn.

Pretty satisfying way to spend a sunny day, shuffling along, planting, learning about the mongol hordes.

if I can get a decent crop of squash I'll do what I can to sell them, but the real goal here is to grow a crop that is relatively easy to grow and that the pigs enjoy eating.  I'll harvest it with the pigs by turning them out on the squash patch when I've picked all the squash that I can harvest.


grasspunk said...

Heh, I like Dan Carlin in the tractor, too. I can still remember the Ghosts of the Ostfront while cutting hay in the neighbor's 8ha field. Sometimes I listen to Joe Rogan, sometimes music shows from the BBC (like Huey Morgan).

George said...

I did not take the time to look back and find out what type of seeder your purchased recently... If it was a vacuum or finger planter you can totally use it to plant pumpkins......

Bruce King said...

I'll have to get the ostfront episodes. the mongol ones are interesting enough that i've listened to them a couple of times each.

the seeder i've got is a brillion sure-stand, which is pretty much a grass or tiny seed seeder. I'm probably going to buy an old john deer finger seeder in the next few days, as my custom corn planting guy is flaking out, and I do want to get the corn in.