The Man Killer
The Hay Loader at Rest
A field of hay is drying in the sun. This afternoon, a machine known informally around the farm as "the man killer" will be used to stack this hay loose on a wagon. It's not that the machine is particularly dangerous. Rather, the job of stacking loose hay can be exhausting. Check back later this afternoon for updates.
Weeding the Potatoes
The potato field has become quite weedy, so this morning Farmer Jeremy and Intern Virginia took on the big job of weeding.
An 1841 copper penny was unearthed at the site of the archaeological dig to locate the original John Phillips farmhouse and blacksmith shop. The penny was much larger than a modern penny: about the size of a half dollar.
Even better than the cold, hard cash, the archaeologists believe they've located the foundation of the farmhouse.
Farmer Rob and Intern Virginia attacked the weedy fence line today with scythes. It was Virginia's first time using a scythe, and the learning curve can be steep. When swinging a scythe, you need the right amount of slice and the correct amount of chop, all delivered with smooth circular swings. It can take days, months or years to master the use of this ancient tool, and a fence line is not a simple place to start training.
A modern weedwacker gets the job done much faster, but with a lot more noise, not to mention fuel.
Oxen at Work
Down near the old school house, an archaeological dig is underway. A team of archaeologists, aided by Howell Farm historian Larry Kidder, are trying to pinpoint the location of the original John Phillips farmhouse and blacksmith shop. So far, a single pottery shard has been unearthed, but it's early in the game.
The spring of 2013 in New Jersey has been a little dry. Not exceptionally dry – but dry enough that spring plowing in a Howell Farm sod field has been put off until there’s a little more moisture.
Nonetheless, Howell Farm’s wheat and spelt fields look great – green and lush. The 10-day forecast calls for a few days with showers, but no major rain events.
The hay is drying in windrows in Stony Field. If the sun shines enough today, our farmers will bale the first hay of the season.
The Furrow is the online newsletter of The Friends of Howell Living History Farm. We will be updating this site about once a week with crop reports and other insights into life on a horse-drawn living history farm.
|THE FURROW: The online newsletter of Howell Living History Farm||