Technology to the Rescue

20 August

The Transplanter

Overwhelmed with the amount of harvesting going on at the moment it’s been tricky to stay on top of propagation and planting schedules. Most of our crops are raised from seed, grown into seedlings and hand transplanted when they are large enough to thrive under the more challenging field conditions. The moment a seed is sown the clock starts ticking. Field preparations need to be timed so as to overlap with the maturity of the seedlings which then need to be planted on a specific schedule. Lately we have been falling behind on our fall and winter plantings and needed serious help. Luckily, I held on to a seedling transplanter I bought a few years ago and was about to sell it since it was ill suited for our small diversified farming operation. The entire implement was too heavy for even our largest tractor and too long to make the tight turns at the end of our fields. This particular transplanter was best adapted for perfectly level fields where rows are long and soils are light. But as it often happens, necessity triggers the most creative solutions and we changed the set up so as to only plant single rows instead of double rows, which ended up cutting the length and weight of the implement in half. We suddenly were able to plant what would normally take 16 people to plant in two days only 5 people in half the time. It was a welcome relief, not only on our bodies but it also saved us from falling behind on our planting successions and harvests later in the season. I am glad that I am by nature one who resists throwing away or selling anything here on the farm that may still have a potential future use, even if that use may not yet be identified. It sure paid off this time.

– Tom