Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Progress Update April 15th-30th

This will be presented in a stream of consciousness format, to effectively reiterate the scribbled contents of the little notepad that has been used for a daily journal. (pocket docket kept in the visor of my truck).

Gravel Spread in greenhouse
Lunch w/ Todd
Mission statement
Toured site w/ Monica and John

Builder's Guild Mtg
Finished Field
Swapped out tiller for scrape blade to spread gravel around greenhouse

Cleaned barbed wire and bailing twine out of tiller tines
Staff Mtg
Called Ricky
Lunch w/ Bobby and Todd
Started compost

Priced irrigation
Purchased tape and taps from Flora
Drove to Woodland Gardens in Athens to pick up some Fertrell 4-2-4 feed n gro fertilizer

Met w/ Todd
Moved worm bed to H.F.
Lunch with Kate

Earth Day
Checked on worms. (all good as I recall. Some ants moved in. Nothing a little Diatomaceous earth can't fix!)
Earth Tools order snafu
office work
P.O. for Grosouth
Meeting with members from Golden Harvest Food Bank

Aiken Organics called back!

Greenhouse finished!
Lunch w/ Todd
Compost addition
Picked up fert from the Bistro
Called Aiken Organics

Talked to Turner about sound
Picked up supplies at Aiken Organics
Picked up compostables
Got audio equipment from Bell Auditorium (the same day as Blood, Sweat and Tears!)
Worked Sound for Andy Leftwich and Cody Gilbert (of Ricky Skagg's Kentucky Thunder)

Johnny's Seed order placed
GroSouth contact Q and A
Honey extractor! (free honey extractor from a nice old man in Dearing)

Staff mtg (talked some about displays for gardens)
Assembled Trailer from Earthtools for the BCS
Helped Bobby and Will move stuff
First Go round with the rotarty plow

Soil amendments on fields 6 and 7
Ran rotary plow for many hours until surveyors spike was found, dug and thrown! No mas energy...


Here goes the beginnings of the Blue Clay greenhouse (obviously built up on some imported red clay, blue clays arch nemesis)

Now with shutters and fan mounted.
I told y'all this was going to be thorough!

Here is the BCS 852 in all its glory. And posing with the lovely 30 inch tiller attached to the PTO.

The chipper! Great for shredding our scraps for compost/mulch.

Greenhouse with plastic on and tables moved outside for the addition of gravel. If this experiences could be repeated, put in gravel before plastic and save your back some work. Scheduling was not available in this case.

Seriously, put the gravel in first, then the plastic!

The aforementioned rotary plow at work, only unlike the video, in some Southern soil. It will take a little while before the soil is built well enough to fluff right up. This is using it for primary soil preparation. In the future, this tool will and should only be used for bed making and ditch digging. This was done to help improve drainage and make it easier to create those wonderful raised beds. The depth of plow is around 16-18 inches which is crucial for soil loosening. In the future conservation tillage will be utilized to protect the soil structure that will be built by proper management.

This is the BCS with the rotary plow attached. The picture does not do justice. You can see the trail behind it though which looks like a little tasmanian devil just came through!

Earthway spreader. Essential for adding amendments and lime. ONLY FOR USE WITH OMRI LISTED OR NOP APPROVED MATERIALS. This is to stay within the guidelines for USDA certification which we are gearing up for. This involves a detailed record keeping regime and proper equipment etiquette(i.e. pressure washing machines and materials that have had any contact with conventional or synthetic materials) to stay within the rules.

That's it for now!

More to come soon...

Welcome to Blue Clay Farm

I figured that since the farm is being from the ground up that a log should be kept up and in a year or two could contain a lot of good information and would help out immensely in remembering every step of the way. There has been much going on in the forms of planning and procurement for this operation.

Blue Clay is the proud owner of a BCS 852 walk-behind tractor that was purchased recently from a local. Lucky for us, as we were able to obtain it for a reasonable price with a few major implements. These include a sickle bar mower, chipper, 30" tiller, mowing sulky and a 5500 watt generator. Those who are interested may visit to find out all about these nifty machines. It is the weapon of choice for many organic soil wranglers. We have since purchased a single discharge rotary plow (video which is an awesome tool for doing primary soil preparations and also for forming raised beds.
In preparation last year, the Hammond's Ferry Foundation purchased a Jaderloon 14 x 40 hoop house for the farm. The power is now hooked up and the thermostat is running properly. There is a 32" exhaust fan and a 20" HAF.
Anything I have forgotten will be brought up in day to day posts as they occur.

-Thanks for Visiting