Friday, March 7, 2008


I enjoyed my second crack at plowing today, although it was a limited engagement – just up and down the field a couple times. It was the ox teams' first experience walking a furrow together. Rob's assessment afterward was that Chris needs some strength conditioning.

A good way to test your soil to tell if it's dry enough for plowing: Pick up a lump, ball it together in your hands, and then squeeze it between your thumb and forefinger. If it breaks apart into many pieces like the Death Star exploding, it's ready. If it remains a pasty ball that simply goes misshapen, it's probably still too damp. If you plow when it's too damp, you can damage your soil structure. (Note to Reader: When I learn what soil structure is all about, I will keep you in the loop.)

You can see in the picture below what plowing looks like from behind the team. Those two handles I'm holding are joined to the plow blade, and if you look closely you can see the dirt turning over in front of the plow.