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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Created 1 year, 9 months ago.
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.
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