I love this picture. This is Adam chisel plowing.
If you look closely in the background, you can see a barn to the right of the tractor, and an old house to the left. That house is the original house of the Barr homestead, built by Adam Barr Jr, Adam's great great grandfather, in the 1800s. It's currently owned by a distant cousin and is sadly in disrepair. But I love the history and connections through the generations, and being able to see those connections when we plow ground and plant for Spring... looking to the future.
We've plowed a lot of ground this week. A traditional plow is where the implement behind the tractor turns the soil over, so grass (or in our case the cover crop) faces down, and the soil faces up.
A chisel plow is an implement with thick tines that reach into the plowed ground to aerate the soil (get air into it), and break up big clumps. Both are important preparations for planting. Finally, we shape the beds into raised beds, till so that the soil is fine and crumbly, plant tiny seeds and cover with mulch. Today, we plan to plant carrots, radishes, turnips and maybe beets.
This past week we also moved into our new (old) house! We've been in the midst of home renovation and addition for about 3 years now, after a tree fell on our roof!
We've been doing almost all of the work ourselves. In November, we had to move out of our house to do the final messy push where we gutted the old part of the house and connected the old to the new. We lived in the farmworker housing all winter, and of course had to move out when they got back for the season.
So we moved into an almost-finished house... the kitchen counters and sink still weren't in, and a lot of the details still need to be finished up... but we're in! I wouldn't say quite settled yet... we're still needing to do some work before we can fully unpack.
Here is one of my favorite parts of the new house: the place where the old house joins the new.
The transition is made of hand hewn beams from one of the original barns from the 1800s, and looking into the dining room, we left some of the original ceiling joyces exposed. Adam's grandfather built the original house in the 1940s with only hand tools (no power tools), and wood cut from the farm.
You can see there are still boxes everywhere... and Hazel doing a handstand! She does those multiple times a day!
So what to a chisel plow and a house have in common? Their connection to history: the place they stand balanced between honoring the heritage and looking fresh toward the future to grow something new.