You guys, good dirt is hard to come by; especially in the city on a formerly vacant lot-turned-urban farm. Every time you dig your shovel into the earth hoping to sift through some beautiful moist lofty loam, and instead hear the fingernails-on-chalkboard scrape of metal on cement, you have to remind yourself of all the reasons it’s important to farm and teach in the city. However, this past month we have had a few small breakthroughs in creating and managing the soil of our dreams! With several new additions to our farm tool family, we have been feeling like busy little earthworms building up soil.
There are the implements, miracles of modern technology that fit onto the back of our walk-behind tractor. Our flail mower attachment can gnaw through even the thick woody stocks of okra and sunflowers, turning them into a layer of nutrient-rich confetti sprinkled over the field–it’s a sight to see (while wearing appropriate eye protection). Then there is our rotary plow–our sweet, sweet rotary plow. This is a machine that has a rotating spiral that cuts up to 18 inches deep into the earth and tosses all of that dirt carelessly aside like so many flower petals as it glides down the row, creating a fluffy voluminous bed perfect for seeding anything your heart desires. And it handles any chunks of housing foundation, bricks, or pieces of old piping that it comes across with relative ease and grace.
Needless to say, we are pretty excited about the winter. Come out and visit, you may just see us giddily rolling in mulch or pushing our fancy tractor through moist soil, giggling about how happy we are making our future plants. — Stephanie Munkachy