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Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT

Asparagus in Holland
Asparagus in Holland

A “cultivating culture.” Friesian horse gelding Teade and Jelmer harrowing asparagus. This was in 2015, in the first year’s growth of asparagus. The crop can stay for 10 years, so the less you go in the field with heavy tractors and machinery the less soil compaction you get, leaving more air pores in the soil so roots can develop more. The rope I hold in my hands connects to the back part of the harrow, in that way I can steer the harrow closer or farther from the crop for precise control.

Asparagus in Holland

by Jelmer Albada of Friesland, Holland

Asparagus in Holland

The asparagus culture in Holland is for the majority white asparagus, grown in ridges. This is done on a sandy soil, like here in the picture. This piece of land used to be the headland of the field. The soil was therefore compact, and a big tractor came with a spader, loosening the soil. After that I used the horse for the lighter harrowing and scuffle work to prevent soil compaction. The land in this area of the province is rolling, due to the ice age glaciers of before. This land lies high for Dutch standards and has a low ground water level (table), that is why asparagus can grow there, which can root 3 foot deep over the years. Very common in Holland is the high ground water level.

Asparagus in Holland

First try out of the restored “Meyer hacke”, the German version of the Planet Jr. Horse Hoe #8. This brand built them until about 2002. Then they would have cost about 450 Euros. I bought a good second hand one for 45 Euros then had it sandblasted and painted and had that done much cheaper than the price of a new one.

Asparagus in Holland

Asparagus in the fall, the last harrowing in December 2015, the plant has died off back into the ground.

Asparagus in Holland

This was in the green asparagus before harvest season. It was the first time I used my restored European tool carrier of the Kockerling brand. Works nice. When the picture was taken, the harness was not used correctly, it pulled on the shafts, a pass later I corrected that. At the back in the pictures you can see the asparagus ridges, that is where the white asparagus grows in. It is covered with plastic, which has a white and black side. Early in the year it is still cold and to warm up the ridges the black side of the plastic is placed upwards so through sunlight the ridges warm up. photo by photographer Frans Mulder

Asparagus in Holland

Asparagus in Holland

I am using a traditional Friesian breast harness. I’m really into shining modern light on working with horses, but the practicality of the quick-hitch harness and my cultural background inspire me to use this traditional style.

What we do here in Friesland (some other regions as well) is keep the traces attached to the evener. For hitching a single horse or a team of two this method works well. We attach the traces to the horse’s harness. In this manner we don’t stand close to the horse’s back legs.

A quick-hitch method is used to connect the traces to the harness. This is a round piece of wood with a hole in it, and through the hole goes a rope in a loop. We call that piece of wood, the quick-hitch, an “oesdop.” They used to be made out of bone (the ball-joint from the back legs of a cow or bull). These “oesdoppen” have been found in archaeological sites and date way back.

Not many people use this method. I do and find it very practical farming-wise.

– Jelmer Albada

Asparagus in Holland

Spotlight On: Book Reviews

Starting Your Farm

Starting Your Farm: Chapter 3

What goes with the sale? What does not? Do not assume the irrigation pipe and portable hen houses are selling. Find out if they go with the deal, and in writing.

Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees

Storey’s Guide To Keeping Honey Bees

It is well known that the value of pollination and its resultant seed set and fruit formation outweigh any provided by honey bee products like honey and beeswax.

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

How To Dry Up A Doe Goat

You are probably thinking why would I want to dry up a doe? If the plan is to rebreed the doe, then she will need time to rebuild her stamina. Milk production takes energy. Kid production takes energy, too. If the plan is to have a fresh goat in March, then toward the end of October start to dry her up. The first thing to do is cut back on her grain. Grain fuels milk production.

Woodstove Cookery at Home on the Range

An Illustrated Guide To The Wood Fired Cookstove

Illustrated guide to the wood stove and it’s accoutrements.

Retrofitting a Fireplace with a Woodstove

How to Retrofit a Fireplace with a Woodstove

Because the venting requirements for a wood stove are different than for a fireplace you need to retrofit a stainless steel chimney liner. A liner provides the draft necessary to ensure that the stove will operate safely and efficiently.

McCormick-Deering No 7 Mower Manual in English & French

McCormick-Deering No. 7 Mower Manual in English & French

Instructions for Setting Up and Operating the McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 VERTICAL LIFT TWO-HORSE MOWERS — Instructions pour le Montage et le Fonctionnement des FAUCHEUSES A DEUX CHEVAUX McCORMICK-DEERING No. 7 À RELEVAGE VERTICAL

Swallow

Rotation As A Means Of Blight Control

Every farmer knows that when a crop is grown on the same field year after year, it becomes inferior in quality and the yield steadily diminishes.

Old Man Farming

Old Man Farming

Long after his physical capacities have dwindled to pain and stiffening, what drives the solitary old man to continue bringing in the handful of Guernsey cows to milk?

Basic Blacksmithing Techniques

Illustrated guide to basic blacksmithing techniques, an excerpt from Blacksmithing: Basics For The Homestead.

Livestock Guardians

Introducing Your Guard Dog To New Livestock And Other Dogs

When you introduce new animals to an established herd or flock, you should observe your dog’s reactions and behavior for a few days. Since he will be curious anyway, it is a good idea to introduce him to the new animals while he is leashed or to place the new animals in a nearby area.

Dont Eat the Seed Corn

Don’t Eat the Seed Corn: Strategies & Prospects for Human Survival

by:
from issue:

Gary Paul Nabhan’s book “WHERE OUR FOOD COMES FROM: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine” (Island Press, 2009) is a weighty tome, freighted with implications. But as befits its subject it is also portable and travels well, a deft exploration of two trips around the world, that of the author following in the footsteps of a long-gone mentor he never met, the Russian pioneer botanist and geneticist Nikolay Vavilov (1887-1943).

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

A Short History of the Horse-Drawn Mower

Book Excerpt: The enclosed gear, late model John Deere, Case, Oliver, David Bradley, and McCormick Deering International mowers I (we) are so fond of had a zenith of popular manufacture and use that lasted just short of 25 years. Millions of farmers with millions of mowers, built to have a serviceable life of 100 plus years, all pushed into the fence rows. I say, it was far too short of a period.

Posts

Driving Fence Posts By Hand

Where the soil is soft, loose, and free from stone, posts may be driven more easily and firmly than if set in holes dug for the purpose.

Haltering Foals - Training Workhorses Training Teamsters

Haltering Foals

Lynn Miller’s highly regarded book, “Training Workhorses / Training Teamsters,” is back in print! And that’s not even the most exciting news: The Second Edition is in FULL COLOR! Today’s article, “Haltering Foals,” is an excerpt from Chapter 8, “Imprinting and Training New Born Foals.”

Haying With Horses

Hitching Horses To A Mower

When hitching to the mower, first make sure it’s on level ground and out of gear. The cutter bar should be fastened up in the vertical or carrier position. This is for safety of all people in attendance during hitching.

Apples of North America

Freedom has been called the ugly duckling of disease-resistant apple varieties. But that shouldn’t detract from its many merits. These include the freedom from apple-scab infection for which it was named, a high rate of productivity, and an ability to serve as a good pollinator for its more attractive sibling, Liberty.

"Work Horse Handbook, 2nd Edition" by Lynn Miller

Draft Collars and How To Size Them

It is difficult to accurately measure a horse’s neck without fitting. In other words, there are so many variables involved in the shape and size of a horse’s neck that the only accurate and easy way to size the neck is to use several collars and put them on one at a time until fitting is found.

Art of Working Horses Hunter Review

Art of Working Horses – A Review

by:
from issue:

Over 40 years Lynn Miller has written a whole library of valuable and indispensable books about the craft of working horses. He has helped beginners acquire the basics of harnessing and working around horses, and has led those further along to focus on the specific demands of plowing, mowing, haying and related subjects. But, in a fitting culmination, his latest book, The Art of Working Horses, raises its sights and openly ponders secrets at the heart of the work that may over time elevate it to an art.

Small Farmer's Journal

Small Farmer's Journal
PO Box 1627
Sisters, Oregon 97759
800-876-2893
541-549-2064
agrarian@smallfarmersjournal.com
Mon - Thu, 8am - 4pm PDT