Mike the tractor man came back on yesterday and started the second discing of the field. The ground had finally dried out enough that he could go over it again without sinking the tractor. It really was a wet, rainy June. Look how much the grass had grown up since the first discing!
The blue barrel is filled with water to give the disc more weight, helping it to cut deeply through the sod and into the soil. This was a new, expirimental technique - it seemed to work quite well right up until a weld gave way on the disc under it, about halfway through the field. Whoops! So Mike came back today with a tiller attachment on the tractor, and finished the job. It looks amazing:
Now we just need to get some cover seed on it before the grass can get back in control. It'll never be grass-free, but a diverse cover is really a big advantage in an organic orchard. We'll need some nitrogen fixers, as well as some to provide shelter to benifical insects and a mix of flowers to attract and keep pollenators around even when the trees themselves aren't in bloom. Not sure yet what exact mix of seeds I'll get, but I guess I better get to work figuring it out since the ground is ready!
The Four Cats Farm board of directors came out with us to review the work. I believe they were pleased, although it can be hard to tell...
The next big step will be hooking a faucet up somewhere in the middle of the field. Even in rainy whatcom county, irrigation is necessary in the summer - which reminds me, I better go turn off the sprinkler in the garden. :)