We're excited about some new infrastructure this year, including the addition of two new tractors and an irrigation pond. Jeremy picked up a pair of Allis Chalmers G cultivating tractors, which you can see in the photo - they look a bit like dune buggies, very stripped-down so that the driver can have a good view of what the cultivating equipment is doing. We got them from a farm in western New York, and they've been getting tuned up over the past few weeks. These are sturdy old machines - they were built in 1949! They'll each be outfitted with a different weeding implement, and should be a big help in keeping the weeds in check - always one of the major challenges in organic agriculture. We're hoping to have them ready in time for a stretch of sun predicted for next week, so that we can get ahead of the weeds.
The sunshine will also be good for getting the potatoes hilled, which is when we push a bunch of dirt up against the plants. Potatoes get planted into a furrow in the ground, then buried with several inches of soil. The plants grow up through the soil, and new potatoes grow off the stem - they don't grow below the level of the original seed potato. To enable the plant to grow more potatoes, we bury more and more of the stem as it grows. Usually we hill two or three times during the season, and they are due for the first round. We are looking forward to the first new potatoes, which are one of our favorite treats!