My neighbor John noticed that we have been using the tractor and brush hog to mow the field around my house, and he wanted me to stop up and see about mowing some of his fields. While I was there, I thought it would be neat to take some pictures of John and Martha’s garden. The family is one of many Amish households in the area, so they always grow a garden, regardless of the current state of the economy, but they too are expanding the size of their plot for next year. In the background is the field which I’ve been mowing with the tractor. Since it’s taking so long, Davie has offered to help while I’m at work. The two of us should be able to mow the whole thing before winter.
While I generally grow bell peppers, the neighbors usually grow banana peppers. I guess I should ask them where they get their seeds from because I have only started to see flowers on my pepper plants.
Their cabbage is also doing great, and although I don’t like eating this veggie much, I’m a bit jealous as I’ve never had much luck growing these plants, and theirs look phenomenal.
Their onions are a bit taller then mine, but here I don’t feel so bad. My patch isn’t nearly as weed free, but my plants are about the same size.
I also transplanted my Pak-Choi out to the garden over the weekend, and sowed some additional cucumber and zucchini seeds, which should have just enough time before winter to grow food.
Since I’ve learned how to use the tractor, the finish mower, and more recently the brush hog, I’ve started work on a new project: Mowing the entire field that surrounds my home. The field is so big, that it would be impossible to mow with anything but a tractor. If you really look hard in the center of the photo, you can make out the shape of my greenhouse as well as my shed.
I’ve got about half of the front side done, and I’ve begun mowing up the back side to the top. I noticed the tractor seems to be weighted down by the heavy brush hog, and the steering isn’t as effective going up the hill then on flat ground. I’m not worried about the tractor flipping end over end, but when I turned around to look down the hill at what I’d accomplished I was a bit unsettled. This is the steepest hill I’ve done anything on. In my younger years I was quite adventurous in my Jeep Wagoneer, but this is no comparison; the Jeep had a roof overhead, and lacked a giant spinning blade behind me.
As I approached the top of the hill, I couldn’t stop myself from snapping some pictures of my Amish neighbors homes. These houses are all located by the main road which passes through the area.
Since I already had the camera in my hand, I thought I’d take a picture of John and Maratha’s garden. The light green tones hint at broccoli, and the darker green rows would seem to indicate tomatoes or potatoes. In front I’d guess the wiry items are onions. It also looks like they are expanding their garden for next year.
Once I got to the very top of the hill, I decided to climb up into Keith’s Hunting stand to take a look around. The stand adds about 20 feet to the already sweeping views, but that 20 feet makes a huge difference.
So there it is, the view from the top. My shed is barely shown in the lower left corner, and the barn in the center of the farm looks like a toy from this distance. I’ve got a lot of field left to mow, but it’s all part of keeping the farm in shape, and I will certainly be fun with a view like this.
This morning while getting some water out of the fridge, I noticed once again the vast amount of eggs piling up. I decided I would give them to my neighbors Urey and Ada, as they are always nice to me. When I got there, I couldn’t help but ask to take some pictures of their garden. The family is of the Amish devotion, so you will not see pictures of any of them, but they didn’t mind me taking a couple shots of their hard work.
One of my favorite shots was this compost pile on wheels. Lately I’ve been using my wheel barrel to haul compost nearly 400 feet across the farm to add it to my garden, so I can totally appreciate this amazing idea. When it’s ready to be spread, they hitch up a horse and pull it through the garden. This method would save me a ton of work !
Ada planted broccoli this year, something I was planning on doing, but I guess that got lost in the hurried shuffle. You can see a few bite marks from the same type of pest that has been eating my Mexican Husk Tomatillo’s. It could even be the same animal, as our gardens are only a few hundred feet apart. This pest only eats what it likes, and leaves everything else alone, so I guess I shouldn’t complain. It’s better then having a goat walk through…
Here is a cultivator that they use to turn their soil. They tell me it’s much easier to use then turning the soil by hand. I am in total agreement, as I’ve turned the soil where the onions are planted in my garden by hand. It’s brutal work, and keeps you sore for days. This neat tool is easy on a horse, and does a great job mixing the dirt.
Before leaving, Ada showed me a potato growing method which she is trying this year. They take just the small eye from a potato and plant it. Most sources suggest planting potatoes in 2 inch chunks, so this is an experiment for them. If it works well, they will continue this practice in the future.
Here is an Amish Horse and Buggy. I was trying to take a picture of the buggy, without being seen. The Amish do not like their pictures taken, and I didn’t want them to know I had a camera. I have gotten a few pictures of them, but I will be respectfull, and not post those.
The Amish people live right next door to us, and we have become friends over time, but I can’t help but wonder what their life is like. I know they have lighting (gas powered), and running water (gravity, windmill or gas motor powered), but what do they think of us with our wonderous technology ?