The Farm Journal

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1995 Farm Journal

This journal has been transcribed for online. It was originally kept on a computer but before I had a webpage for the farm and is a little more technical oriented than the later (1996-1999) journals which were kept 'live' online and intended for public viewing.

Feb 26, 1995

Today we prepared the hotbed with straw and fresh manure and closed it up with sash.

March 5, 1995

Fertilized all fields at 500 lbs. /acre. Actually used about 3000 lbs. on 8 acres so it was a little short of 500 per acre. Oiled the spreader well before I put it away because I had such a problem getting it going this morning. Also set the tiller up.

March 11, 1995

Planted hotbed.(see hotbed95.wps) Tilled Smith field. Picked up 3 bags of Red Pontiac Potato and 3 bags of Kennebec potato from Clauses and put upstairs in farmhouse.

March 12, 1995

Tilled front field and field to West of house(old stawberry field) and also the section in the back field just North of the old strawberry field. All these areas were coming up thick with either chickweed or vetch, so I thought it best to knock them back before I took the tiller off.

Tuned up the transplanter and set it up for potatoes. Considering it was out in the weather all winter it really wasn't too bad. Cleaned up and oiled the fertilizer hopper for the International. It had been left all winter with fertilizer in it. A real mess. Same story with the planter. Had a fun time cleaning out the fertilizer that was left in it. Must do better this year! All this stuff should be cleaned and oiled before it is put away. Nice thought anyway.

Cindy and her father spent the day cleaning up the yard and raking. We actually seem to be staying on top of things this year. Hope we can keep it up. Hauled a truck load of yard junk to the dumpster.

March 14, 1995

Greenhouse kit arrived today. Time to get moving!

On the farm layout I devised yesterday I didn't factor in a planting location for the second and third planting of tomatoes. There should be room around the house somewhere. I probably overestimated the size of some of the other plantings. Ideally I would like to have the late tomatoes somewhere around the house as opposed to down the farm or across the road because we can put water on the fields by the house. I probably ought to count out plants and project how many rows of each crop I will be planting. That would be more realistic than simply saying 1/4 or 1/8 acre of such and such. If I have time I'll do that but elsewise I guess I'll just play it by ear and fit the late tomatoes in where I can.

MARCH 15, 1995

Stopped up the farm and picked up the directions for building the greenhouse. Looked them over and it seems that they haven't changed since the last one. We'll probably start working on it this weekend.

Also this weekend we need to plant potatoes and peas and beans. I'll try to get the tiller on some time tomorrow so Cindy can go over the Smith field on Friday.

MARCH 16, 1995

This evening before dinner I went up to the farm and put the tiller on the International. Tomorrow Cindy will try to go over the area to be planted in potato and peas/beans. Hopefully it will work out that we can plant on Saturday.

Cindy said the tomatoes were up in the hotbed. She took the plastic off and ventilated.

MARCH 17, 1995

Cindy tilled the Smith field today. She said it was very dusty and dry. She also said she saw a few eggplant showing in the hotbed and the tomatoes are filling in nicely.

MARCH 18, 1995

Saint Patricks day I believe. Planted potatoes and peas and beans and turnip and radish in Smith field. Here's the details:

Starting from Driveway

3 rows of Pontiac Red potato

3 rows of Kennebec potato

4 rows of Early Snap peas

4 rows of Oregon Sugar Pod peas

5 rows of Knight pea

2 rows of Provider bean

1 row with of bottom 1/2 turnip, top 1/2 radish

Used almost exactly half of the field

Cindy worked on clearing out around the old grape arbor. Gary worked this afternoon on splitting more of the wood pile that is behind the greenhouse. He says he will move what he can't split up closer to the tree so it is out of the way..

Case IH tractor needs oil change. I noticed there is a filter on the bench, but I need to get some oil. Tomorrow I plan to shop for the wood I need for the greenhouse. Also plan to pick up some roofing material to redo the goat shed roof.

MARCH 19, 1995

After a leisurely Sunday breakfast I went to Hechingers and bought the supplies I needed to begin building the greenhouse. This afternoon Cindy, her father and I started the project. Finished both end gables. Things went pretty well since this is the second one of these houses we've built. I actually learned from my previous mistakes.

Actually I made a booboo right from the gitgo. I knew from last time I needed to trim a 1/4 inch from the t-111 because it is wider than 8 ft. Well, I got my measurements screwed up and cut 1/2 inch from two of the sheets. Managed to fudge it together without any consequence.

Didn't get the roofing material today. My cart was overflowing.

Don't forget to change the oil in the tractor.

MARCH 20, 1995

Took off this afternoon to work on the greenhouse. Went to Ace to get some stain. Cindy and I began painting the end gables. We realized we would need some more stain so I went back to Ace to get some. Spent about an hour there because they didn't have any of the color I needed. They finally figured out how to mix the color I wanted.

I started to work on building the doors but got side-tracked because I couldn't find the chuck-key for the drill. Took two trips to the hardware store to get the right one. By then it was dinner time. Never made it back to the farm.

I bought a case of 30 weight oil today, so now I can change the oil in the IH.

The last of the seed order from Harris arrived today -- some marigold seed that was back ordered.

MARCH 21, 1995

Took off again today to work on the greenhouse. Finished building the doors and stained them. After lunch I started laying out the stakes for the hoops. Cindy's father came along at just the right time and helped. It is now ready to go up.

March 24, 1995

Dropped the riding mower and the push mower off with Frank Stach today. He said he'd call when they were ready.

March 25, 1995

Got an early start this morning and began setting up the greenhouse. Set the end gables, built the main beam and got as far as attaching one of the bottom boards. Cindy's father worked this afternoon and painted the remaining firring strips white.

March 26, 1995

Worked on the greenhouse again today. Just about have it ready for covering with plastic. Baseboards, sideboards, doors installed. We (actually Cindy's father) painted all the firring lumber, which we didn't  do on the last house we built.

I also took the canvas top from the display wagon and brought it back to the park so we can clean it in the driveway. That wagon needs some major repairs.

Don't forget to change the oil in the IH tractor.

March 29, 1995

Cindy said she cleaned out the tractor shed today in preparation for transplanting. We like to keep the tomatoes in the shade for a while before putting them in the greenhouse.

March 30, 1995

I picked up the two mowers from Frank Stach today. Both are running great now. We need to put the christmas tree sign and a few other things away that are on the 4 wheel wagon. Cindy likes to use that wagon as a work bench for planting trays. Hope to do that this evening.

March 31, 1995

Cindy began filling flats with Jiffy mix today. We will probably put off transplanting for a few days because some unseasonably cool weather is predicted. We had a frost earlier this week.

I checked the peas and potatoes yesterday. Still nothing showing but no sign of weed growth either.

Even though we probably won't do any transplanting I hope we can get started on the planting of seeds in flats. A little cool weather will only delay them a bit, but shouldn't cause them any problems. It would be nice to have some of that work out of the way so we can jump on the tomatoes when things warm up a bit.

Still have the plastic to put on the greenhouse and the oil to change in the IH.

April 1, 1995

Cindy planted all cucumber and squash seed today and put them in the old greenhouse. Since we don't have benches in the new greenhouse yet, I think we'll try to keep the seeded flats in the old one where they will be off the ground away from the mice and being elevated should make them a little warmer too.

I changed the oil and lubed the IH. Had trouble getting the lube into the fitting on the fertilizer drive gear. Had to take it apart and open up the fitting. OK now.

April 2, 1995

Worked on the greenhouse today. Put plastic on and laid some old carpet tile on the floor. It is essentially done except to put some tie on nails and string for tying up the sides when we roll them up.

I took all the cardboard boxes out of the old greenhouse and moved them to the shed behind the little house.

Cindy planted cantaloupe and honeydew seed in flats.

Just for the record: one bag of Jiffy Mix will fill about 11 or 12 speedling trays.

We may try using some of the old hotbed sash to build benches in the new greenhouse.

April 3, 1995

Cindy said she filled a bunch of flats today. She said her father was building benches for the new greenhouse. Calvin Wade called this morning to ask if we still had the boxes we had saved. I told him where to find them.

He said he could use some tomato plants, so Cindy will call after we have transplanted what we need for ourselves. Weather is supposed to be very cold thru Thursday morning so it won't be at least till then. She'll be working on planting seeds till then.

April 5, 1995

Cindy said she finished planting the flowers and a few other things. The only seed left to plant is the herb seed.

Her father finished the benches for part of one side of the new greenhouse.

April 6, 1995

Nothing on the farm today except that I met the vet who put the goats to sleep. I buried them in the woods behind the back field.

Cindy spent most of the day helping Jody clean as the movers pack for their move tomorrow.

From a distance I still see no sign of peas or potatoes. I didn't go over and look closely.

Cindy's father brought another load of 2x4 for building benches. I think he will build the benches for one side of the greenhouse and then stop for the time being. Nice benches.

April 8, 1995

Cindy transplanted all the tomatoes today. We left them in the tractor shed. They look good.

I planted the okra in flats and filled the rest of the speedling trays. I also filled some flats to be planted in herbs.

Cindy's father built another bench for the greenhouse. He has wood for one more bench.

I noticed that the peas are up. Look good. No sign of potatoes or string beans. No weeds yet either. They should be cultivated at the first opportunity.

Broccoli, etc. is due to be shipped on Monday. We need to till the area for these again before planting. It was much too dry today, but it just showered and I think there is chance of more rain tonight.

Calvin Wade stopped by today and picked up some boxes we had saved for him. He also took about 300 tomato plants. Apparently his first planting failed.

April 9, 1995

First thing this morning I replaced the GFI outlet near the greenhouse with a regular outlet. I then installed a 10 ft. heat strip in the old greenhouse.

Planted all the herbs in flats. Put them in the old greenhouse. The herbs with the tiniest seeds went on the heat mat.

Planted a flat of black seeded simpson lettuce. Just sprinkled seeds on the surface and placed under bench for cooler temps per directions.

Cut up a bunch of pro-trays(72's) into six packs and filled with mix. Cindy transplanted a bunch of tomatoes into them for resale. I planted about a half dozen six packs each of summer squash, zukes and cukes for resale.

Planted a flat of 1/2 jet star 1/2 mountain pride for a second tomato planting.

Cindy started pulling weeds from the strawberries.

I tilled Smith field in preparation for broccoli which is due to be shipped tomorrow.

Cindy's father built another greenhouse bench.

I filled a few more six packs and made about sixty labels for tomatoes. Cindy will transplant tomorrow.

Peas look good. No sign of beans or potatoes.

April 10, 1995

Cindy transplanted some more tomatoes into six pack for resale.

Peas are now visible from Mountain Road. I plan on hoeing some in the peas this evening.

April 11, 1995

Cindy moved the tomatoes from the tractor shed into the greenhouse. They filled up all the new benches, essentially filling up 1/2 of the greenhouse.

I hoed two rows of peas.

April 12, 1995

Cindy finished transplanting the rest of the tomatoes that we planned to put in the six packs for resale and put them in the greenhouse.

She has spent a little time each day cleaning out the weeds in the strawberries.

April 13, 1995

Broccoli, kale, etc. arrived UPS today. Was left in the greenhouse by the delivery person which was not good for the plants. Cindy heeled the plants in and covered them with shade cloth.

This evening I plan on setting up the planter for bare root plants. Tomorrow afternoon we will plant the broccoli, etc.

Cindy continued to pull weeds in the strawberries.

April 14, 1995

Planted 1.5 row cabbage, 1.5 row collard, 1.5 row kohlrabi, 1.5 row kale, 5 row broccoli in Smith field. All but the broccoli at 1 ft. spacing. Broccoli at 18" spacing.

Cindy's father weedwacked around the greenhouses and the stand.

April 15, 1995

Spent most of the day cleaning up and mowing in preparation for the easter egg hunt tomorrow. Cindy spent most of the day pulling weeds (mostly chickweed) in the strawberries.

I did hoe another row of peas.

April 16, 1995

Easter egg hunt today. Remember to note which herbs came up for the record.

April 17, 1995

Ricky and I hoed another three rows of peas. Only 3 more to go. I noticed that the potatoes are up. A few beans are up too, but the weeds are doing well too. The stuff we planted on Saturday is doing OK.

Herb notes:

Slow coming up. Sage, Summer Savory, Cilantro, Caraway, Parsley
Medium slow coming up with no bottom heat, Borage.
Came up well with bottom heat. Basil, dill, Sweet Marjoram, Thyme, Oregano.

I switched the stuff that came up from the heat mat and put the slow stuff on the heat.

Lettuce came up well. It was planted lightly and not covered and sat on the floor until it germinated.

April 18, 1995

Cindy transplanted the eggplant today. Cindy's father painted the stand again today.

April 20, 1995

Strawberry weeding is finished. Cindy transplanted some of the peppers the other day. I forgot to record it I think.

I finished hoeing the peas. Didn't bother with the beans. They didn't come up very well. The potatoes are up and doing well except they need to be hoed too.

I was going to cultivate the Smith field this morning but I had trouble with the range shifter on the CaseIH. I called the dealer for help, but no luck. In fact the handle broke off and I had to call the dealer to pick up the tractor. They came this evening and got it. I sure hope it's not gone long. This is a bad time to be without our main tractor.

Everything looks good in the greenhouse. Still a few herbs and the late tomatoes to come up yet. First tomatoes look great.

April 22, 1995

Yesterday Cindy put the transplants that had been recuperating in the shed in the greenhouse. Still waiting for word on the tractor.

Must try to remember to check the dimensions of the tines on the tiller tomorrow.

April 23, 1995

Set up the trickle on strawberries. They really look great. Of course, the weatherman said it is supposed to rain tomorrow.

Hoed a row of potatoes. Good stand of potatoes. Looks like we may have some aphid damage on some. I'll check to see if there is something I can spray.

Cindy's father is working on painting the wagon at the stand.

Planned on checking the tiller for sizes on the tines, but never got around to it.

I was going to mow the back field with the John Deere, but it wouldn't start. I put the charger on the battery.

April 26, 1995

Cindy hoed a row of potatoes and pulled some weeds in the strawberries this afternoon.

This evening I hoed a row of potatoes and Cindy mowed around the farmhouse.

I called the tractor dealer today. I was told that the parts were en-route, but the tractor wouldn't be ready today. It might be ready tomorrow.

April 27, 1995

The broccoli arrived today. Since the tractor has been in the shop Cindy went ahead and potted the broccoli in 72 cell pro-trays.

The tractor was returned this evening.

Cindy's father would like me to get a 12" board so he can finish the wagon repair.

Cindy said she will try to transplant the rest of the pepper and begin potting a few of the herbs and things as soon as she gets a chance.

I mowed around the stand this evening. We are going to try to sell some of the hanging baskets that were left from the craft fair at the park. The money will go to FODP.

April 28, 1995

Cindy said she worked on the farm today, but I'm not sure what she did. Other than watering things we didn't do anything there this evening.

April 29, 1995

Cindy potted up a bunch of herbs and some of the miniature sunflowers today.

I cultivated and fertilized the peas, potatoes and broccoli, kale, etc.
Fertilized w. 500 lbs./Ac. 10-10-10.

I put the tiller on and tilled about 1/2 of what I want tilled down the Hyde farm. It was a dustbowl.

April 30, 1995

We had a good soaking rain today. Didn't get anything done on the farm at all.

May 3, 1995

Cindy continued potting herbs and plants. She tilled some around the house and I continued tilling in the evening.

May 4, 1995

Cindy did some potting and some tilling today. I'd like to get the tilling wrapped up so it could sit a couple days before being tilled again. We'll do some more this evening.

May 5, 1995

Cindy continued potting plants. I believe she worked on putting the second planting tomatoes in flats.

This evening Cindy went off to retreat with the church youth group. I tilled the rest of the fields around the house and quickly went over Smith field so I could plant some peas and beans there tomorrow. My plan is to till everything one more time tomorrow afternoon and Sunday morning so we can start transplanting the first part of the week. I'll probably take Monday or Wednesday off. On Tuesday I am going on a field trip with Katie's class.

Aunt Lee gave me the papers for the farm tax reassessment. Apparently we almost missed a deadline for submitting the paperwork to keep the agricultural designation.

May 6, 1995

I put the shade cloth on the greenhouses today. I put some of the six packs of vegetable plants down at the stand today and we mad $6.50 in sales. This is the earliest we have ever had money coming in at the stand.

I planted in Smith field today:
2 row yellow beans
3 row snap peas
3 row oregon sugar pod peas
3 row Knight peas
3 row provider bean
3 row kentucky wonder bush bean
1 tractor width of 1/2 radish 1/2 turnip

Mike Smith said he would be by to work tomorrow.

May 7, 1995

I set up a shade cloth between the two greenhouses. We will use this mostly for herbs.

We made $12.50 in plant sales today.

I tilled the field next to the driveway for planting squash, hopefully tomorrow.

May 8, 1995

Tilled back field. Set out squash next to driveway. Set out cukes there too. Loaded wagon with tomatoes for planting tomorrow.

Made $18.50 in plant sales today.

May 9, 1995

Cindy potted more herbs today. I went with Katie on a field trip to Mt. Vernon.

We were going to set out some tomatoes this evening but never got around to it.

Made $22 in plant sales from the stand today. Also sold two hanging baskets for FODP

May 10, 1995

We planted 8 rows of supersonic tomato in the back field this evening. The ground was a bit too wet so it was a mess, but we need to keep plugging away since we are somewhat behind and have some sweet potatoes coming probably tomorrow.

It rained some this morning so we didn't put any plants down at the stand.

May 11, 1995

We planted 8 rows of Mountain Pride tomatoes in the back field below the supersonic. Looks like the tomatoes will go to the strawberries and beyond. I screwed up a little in my plans. One of our big problems with planting was all the un-decomposed weeds in the ground. We were late in tilling under and we had a heck of a crop of chickweed to turn under.

Cindy continued potting herbs today.

The sweet potatoes arrived today. I heeled them in. They look pretty good. Much better than the broccoli did when it arrived.

Cindy's father cleaned the engine on the old Super A. We had the engine sizzling yesterday with the accumulated iil on the engine burning.

We made $3 in plant sales today.

May 12, 1995

We planted 12 rows of Jet Star. That got us down to the strawberries. BTW we picked a few!

Planting was difficult. There was a lot of trash in the field due to the late tillage and heavy growth at the time. The field was also a little on the wet side.

May 13, 1995

I started the morning by tilling quickly over everything that hadn't been tilled recently.

We planted the last of the Jet Star below the strawberries today -- four more rows.

Below that we set out 5 rows of broccoli, 6 rows of okra and a row of lettuce.

We put some herbs at the stand with the other plants today. Total sales for the day was $29. We also sold 5 hanging baskets for FODP.

May 14, 1995

AM we started setting out watermelon. It started raining soon after and we had to quit with about 1/2 the watermelon out. Cindy potted a few herbs.

May 15, 1995

PM we set out the rest of the watermelon. I dusted the tomatoes in the top above the strawberries. The kids picked a mess of strawberries.

I ordered strawberry boxes from the Farmer's Assoc. They should be in on Wed.

Still selling plants and herbs at the stand.

May 16, 1995

Set out flowers including about 5 rows up behind the stand. More flower than we've ever planted. Planted at 2 ft.

Planted 8 rows of lima beans.

Planted 3.5 rows of sweet potatoes in back field. We were short changed on our potatoes. Planted 1 ft.

Made $3 in plant sales.

Cindy picked 8 quarts of berries today.

May 18, 1995

18 box strawberries.
$55 in sales which was $10 short of what it should have been.

We're in the process of planting the second planting of everything in flats.

May 19, 1995

We've had about an inch and a half of rain in storms today and yesterday. Everything is mud. Cindy potted a few herbs today.

Made $56.50 at the stand.

May 20, 1995

I dusted all tomatoes with rotenone. Dusted cukes with sevin. Sprayed Smith field early stuff with BT.

We started picking broccoli, kale, collards and kohlrabi today.

Had a good day on the stand $126.25.

May 21, 1995

$147 on the stand today. Beautiful day. I cultivated and fertilized the squash and second peas/beans. I started on the tomatoes.

May 22, 1995

$147 on the stand today. 44 boxes of s.berries.

Mike and Ryan pulled weeds in peas. Cindy did too for a while. Cultivated more in back field. One more day should finish the cultivating.

Cindy said she wanted to note that we had potted about 50 of each kind of herb as well as about 10 of the large pots of mixed herbs.

May 24, 1995

Cultivated and fertilized a little more in the back field. Only Lima and sweet potato to do there. Also cultivated and fertilized the front field. (flowers).

May 25, 1995

Cultivated and fertilized the limas, flowers and sweet potato.

Planted two row of sunflowers in front field and 3 short rows below the old pony corral.

Tilled all the unplanted ground around the house.

Put the transplanter on in preparation for setting out peppers, eggplant and herbs.

May 27, 1995

Set out 2nd tomatoes just above sweet potatoes in back field.
Set out eggplant at 2 ft between those tomatoes and the sweet potatoes
Set out herbs in front field. Basil and dill at 2 ft. Everything else at 1 ft.
Set out peppers in side field next to greenhouse.
Had a good day on the stand.

May 29, 1995

Laid pipe for the irrigation today. Hoed the flower plot next to the stand.

Had a good day on the stand. Sold a bunch of herbs today. Still picking berries. Started picking snow peas. We started with snap peas yesterday.

June 1, 1995

Got irrigation up and running on squash and cukes in side field.

June 4, 1995

I finished laying the irrigation in the front field.

Cindy tilled the hyde farm for winter squash.

Her father is working on rebuilding our old display wagon.

June 5, 1995

Planted winter squash, mini pumpkins, gourds and goose gourds on hyde farm this evening.

June 10, 1995

Sprayed bravo@ 6 oz/4 gal on squash, cukes, tomatoes, lopes and melons, flowers. Sprayed rotenone/pyrethrin @1 oz/gal on peppers, lopes, melons, okra.

Cultivated all but bottom half of back field below strawberries and the few things that still need their first dose of fertilizer.

June 11, 1995

Finished cultivating. Also fertilized the beans in the side field and the sunflowers in the pony pasture field. Watered the flowers and the squash today.

June 12, 1995

Rained today. Took a trip to SMRFM. Not much for sale but bedding plants and a few veggies. There is a new market master.

June 13, 1995

Set out second planting of squash in field to west of house. Set out a few zukes in the back field above the tomatoes. (2nd planting)

Set out tow row of cherry tomatoes at the top of the back field.

Set out 2 rows of cucumber down next to earls garage. (2nd planting)

Set out 5 rows of watermelon and 2 (3?) rows of lopes (honeydew) in smith field (2nd planting)

July 3, 1995

Planted 6 row beans in back field
Planted 2 rows yellow beans next to pool
Planted two row lima beans next to driveway in smith field.
Planted a bunch of squash in Smith field. Cukes also.

Sprayed strawberries with 24D @ 1 oz/gal.

July 8, 1995

Sprayed strawberries with post/oil @ 3 oz post/gal and 3 oz oil/gal.

Sprayed irrigation main and around buildings with roundup@ 6 oz/gal.

Mowed front of Smith Field.


And so ends the 1995 journal right in the middle of the season. I guess things just caught up with me and with all the picking and running to buy produce at the auction and the eastern shore there just wasn't time to keep the journal up to date.


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