Last year (2001), we decided to turn up the earth and throw some seed in the ground. We first talked about corn or tobacco. But while touring Wyoming in 2000, we had seen endless fields of dwarf sunflowers along the roads. I guess we hit at bloom hour because those fields were beautiful. Well that's what we decided to plant.

  Here is the main tool we use for busting the sod as the first step in building a fertile seed bed. Picked up this bad boy for two C notes. It started as a four bottom, but my 50 horse tractor would have a tough time pulling at the right depth. No matter, I plowed anyway.

Later, I decided plowing should be more than 3" deep. I took off one of the bottoms. I also replaced the shares, as they were plentiful considering all the sword conversions following the cold war. Worked much better with three bottoms and maybe better with two.

  Topless After the plow, we smooth the freshly upturned mother earth with the disk. Note the blue color - got it from a guy who drove Ford tractors. Reminds me of a Dallas Cowboy. One day, I'll paint it its original red. An astute view will notice the adjustable angle cranks - by randomly cranking the handle a few turns, I feel like I am adjusting for the optimal disk action - very important when working with the ground.

  Here's the field planted with sunflowers. They are dwarf sunflowers that they grow out west for oil. It was pretty great that they actually grew. When I first started looking at seeds, I could only find them at seed boutiques, you know $50 for 10lbs. Figuring 30lbs minimum, it was going to cost $150 for the field!!!!

Too pricy for this farm boy. So while I was in the farm store, I saw 50lbs of oil sunflower seeds. Figured that maybe the other farm boys in the area grew them for oil and I had just not seen them. Loaded me up a bag for $9.00. Turns out they were bird seed. They still grew!

Buster looking through gate

  Winter Rye Here's the field now with winter wheat planted (in winter). Its got some curly vetch as well. I have a great planting technique - after turning the ground and disking as above, I connect our seeder to the golf cart. The seeder is a broadcast seeder designed to push. I welded a bar on it so I could pull it behind a machine. Why walk when you can ride (yeah, I carry a few extra pounds as a result). So, while I was racing around in the dust and dirt in the cart, the seeder kept flipping over. I have some pretty dense wheat in places.

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