Organic Entourage
Details regarding diagnosing and installing wet clutches on a John Deere 4400 compact tractor.
Winter is the time to get some needed shop work done. This week we split our John Deere tractor in half to replace the two wet clutches.

Important: To prevent a mishap, the front half of the tractor is resting in a wood jig that is pinned to the jack and has ledges that fit into the opening on the bottom of the tractor. We also fit wood shims between the front axle and frame to prevent the side-to-side motion allowed by the front axle trunion. After splitting, the front half was supported on jack stands.
We dry our flower that will go to a commercial oil processor in a warm air kiln in 36-48 hours. We run the kiln under 90F or cooler depending on the relative humidity and outdoor temperature. We could run it up to around 140F but we're trying to preserve at least some of the terpenes. Incidentally, I did rotate the video taken by a younger helper this year before uploading but then BitChute decided to rotate it sideways again. Alas.
We ran heavier, reusable drip tape this year that can be wound up and reused next year.
Success! The spring C-tines and 6" sweeps turned out to be a winning combination for freeing up the edges of the plastic so it can be easily rolled up.
We've been experimenting to improve our plastic "mulch" lifter.
We were more organized this year. As a consequence, we were able to nearly double the amount of product we could process. Next year should be even better.
After doing a bit of reading, it's clear the smaller plants are horsetail - segmented with hollow stems and "leaves". We're still not sure about the taller plants mentioned.
We had 30mph wind gusts about a week ago that toppled about 500 plants. Tara and I spent at least two days cutting stakes from 8-foot 1x2 firring sticks and tying up the fallen. What’s really interesting is that none, as in zero, of the plants in the other field fell over even though they all came from seedlings started at the same time and are the same strains.

There is a slight difference in soil types. We have silty and sandy loams while the soil at the other site is a clayey loam – not much clay. We’re thinking that the main factor was that the field was rototilled about 5” deeper at the other site so the seedlings could be set deeper at the time of transplant and later, could more easily send roots lower down. Next year, we’ll cultivate deeper on our field to hopefully take care of this issue.
Using horsetail tea to control fungi on leaves (septoria).
We're getting set up for harvest.
We have read that some feminized plants can have a few branches that are male while the rest of the plant remain female. This plant has some male branches with the others having strange looking flower.
We're still looking for a better way to keep septoria in check.
It’s been really humid this summer. One very real concern is an outbreak of a fungal growth called septoria that can eventually consume the whole plant. We’re seeing a handful of leaves here and there which is “normal” given the humid days and cooler nights. We’re not particularly concerned as the plants are healthy in part from all the compost tea we’ve sprayed that not only nutrient feeds the plants through the leaves but also deposits beneficial microbes that tend to fend off fungi and some pests. Nonetheless, we’re clearing out the foliage to ensure good air flow.
We got disc hilling working on our DIY mulch layer, mulch lifter, and water wheel planter. Now if I can just figure out how to add a "kitchen sink" :)
We started experimenting with converting our DIY combination mulch layer, mulch lifter, and water wheel planter to include disc hilling. It looks promising. In the next few days, we’ll work on it some more to see if we can’t incorporate laying the plastic/paper mulch in the same process.
It's hard getting our tiller to any significant depth.
A month ago, we move about 150 plants from wet ground where they were doing very poorly. Thy looked like 6” tall lollypops – a tuft of leaves on top of a stick. A month later, and these plants have made a remarkable recovery in this well-draining sandy soil. Clearly, with all the rain we’ve been getting, we absolutely must get hilling figured out. We also are contacting contractors to get a section of the field tiled.
Faced with having to trim acres of cover along the edges of the plastic weed barrier, I decided to rig up the string trimmer onto our 4-wheeler. At first, I mounted it to the front of the 4-wheeler but this setup didn’t fit between the rows well and the string hit the front tire upon turning. The arrangement in this video worked great.
Inside our turn-of-the-century barn.
We're helping out the organic dairy we're working with on their field too. This year is much better. We should get some nice buds to dry and cure for direct sales to internet customers from this field.
It's embarrassing to publish this video but it's where we're at. Live and learn as they say. Maybe it will save someone from the having to go through the same.

I'm now convinced over 90% of the issues we've had the last two years in both fields is due to excess soil moisture. We're looking at tiling the silty loam soil in the field shown and hilling the clayey loam in the other field.
We’re trying a few different approaches to try to figure out how to deal with too much rain. One is to mound the soil about 5” and plant the seedling into it. Two others are to mound up around the leggy plants with soil and with compost. We’re also moving about 150 plants to a part of the field that’s doing really well – where the soil is sandy and well-draining.
To help fend off powdery mildew and other diseases, along with providing additional nutrients, we spray every one or two weeks with a tea that we brew up from organic worm castings. If you notice, we're using a standard brass hose nozzle. Sometimes when the tea is really thick and plugs up even this nozzle, we'll just install a plastic hose ball valve and pinch off the spray a bit. In other words, even using a 400 mesh bag to hold the compost, the tea will plug up most nozzles. Using a nozzle or ball valve prevents this along with making the leaves "dance" when being sprayed so both sides get covered.
Since our previous video on compost tea was popular, we thought maybe a few more details about our DIY brewer might be of interest.


Created 1 year, 9 months ago.

145 videos

Category DIY & Gardening

We care deeply about our land, about our planet, about the CBD hemp we grow. Practices that nurture soil biology in turn heal the land and produce robust plants with the fullest of entourage effects. We take great pride in our efforts to nurture the land under our care. Unlike so many other operations that make hollow claims of using “sustainable, ethical and organic farming practices” in a paragraph on their websites, we invite in everyone to see our operation first hand, to see we are more than just words on a page.

Soil biology is key to vibrant soils and robust plants. The starting point for Organic Entourage is our certified organic land. In addition, we continually work to improve our soils with the use of composted cow manure, compost teas, cover crops, benign pest/disease controls, and other restorative practices. Our goal is to go well beyond organic in our efforts to revitalize the soil micro-biology and rebuild organic matter.

For example, we use composted cow manure, from our organic dairy partners, on our hemp fields and pastures. This is unlike other organic operations that truck in manure tainted with the chemicals and drugs from conventional dairies, feed lots, and the like – a practice that is technically "organic" but clearly less than ideal. Likewise, we do not bring in specialty soil that is placed in large pots and is regularly discarded and replaced. Nor do we grow our plants on barren fields devoid of microbe sustaining vegetative growth. Similarly, we do not grow our plants indoors under artificial light in soilless mediums (hydroponics). While all of these practices technically qualify as being "organic", we believe it’s an imperative to do better.

We have also taken on the work of sharing what we learn and know with others. We do this as a way of educating potential consumers about what to look for in quality CBD hemp. We also do this to hopefully help and challenge other smaller scale growers. It is our conviction that a robust farming community is built from a network of smaller farms, not a handful of mega-farms.

Join us in brewing excellent compost tea proven out with microscopy, turning organic manure piles into excellent compost by monitoring pile temperatures, employing rotational grazing to keep cows healthy, and all the other works we do to heal the land by rejuvenating soil biology and growing CBD hemp with the fullest of entourage effects. Join us as responsible stewards of the land.

Thank you.