Monday, September 19, 2011

Autumn is just around the corner...

Fall has already started to show it's face, as the leaves start to change colour. The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder and we have already had our first three nights of frost at the farm!
We start to change gear from seeding and transplanting to clearing the field of plants that have finished,  allowing us to get the field ready for fall discing, manure spreading(if we ever find a horse drawn one!) and cultivation.  Most evenings at the farm at this time of year are spent preserving, freezing and canning vegetables for winter use and it is always nice to see the pantry shelves re-stocked with vegetables from the garden.

May & Lily working hard!
Over the last few weeks we have had the opportunity to test drive a new piece of horse drawn equipment.  It is called the "homesteader" and is designed and manufactured by Pioneer in Dalton Ohio, USA.  All being well it should be available to purchase as of 2012.  And for a small scale market garden it has great potential.
The homesteader with cultivator attachment.

It has been an interesting experience especially with having Suffolk Punch's as they are shorter in length and height and we have had to adjust the equipment slightly to accommodate this.  We love the cultivator attachment and May & Lily seem to enjoy working with the homesteader.  The nice thing about this piece of equipment is the interchangeable tools.  It also has discs, a potato digger,  and plough and hopefully more attachments will be made.   It took me a while to get used to being seated in a lower position and I had to get used to having a blind spot where I can not see anything directly in front of me when driving which has been funny as I nearly ran Michael and Kim over the other day while we where making adjustments. To be very honest most equipment I have sat on and used so far has not be made for people with long legs and the homesteader has pedals which means for me I have happy hip flexors and happy long legs!  I get to rest my feet on a set of pedals which helps to steer the wheels and adjust the line you are working on.  We will just have to wait and see if it becomes a permanent feature at the farm as everyone is still waiting to see how much it will cost to purchase!  But in the meantime we have enjoyed the opportunity of being able to test drive one.