Small Farmer's Journal

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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 PST

Great Oregon Steam Up

Great Oregon Steam Up

Great Oregon Steam-Up

by Eric Grutzmacher of Grandview, OR

The 2017 Great Oregon Steam-up is coming soon, July 29-30 & August 5-6. What follows reports on last year’s event. Definitely go if you can.

www.antiquepowerland.com
www.antiquepowerland.com/html/steam-up.html

One advantage the website has is “unlimited real estate,” meaning we aren’t limited by the number of pages in the Journal. I’ve created a Great Oregon Steam-Up Bonus Gallery where I uploaded every picture I took at this wonderful event. Enjoy.

Hi, my name is Eric and I know Nothing about Farming.

I do internetty digital things and live near by, so Lynn lets me do what I can to help out at the Small Farmer’s Journal. Maybe you’ve noticed all the content from past Journals we’ve been adding to the website? Well, that’s me; I’ve read all of it so far and I’m learning. You’ll see.

I’m not a complete noob. I grew up in an agricultural community. Throughout high school my summer and after school jobs were haying for various local farmers and working at Barry’s Dad’s feed store. We had horses for 4H and whatnot. But, in spite of my impressive credentials, the main thing I have learned is how much I don’t know. It’s fascinating.

Great Oregon Steam Up

One of the things I want to do at the Journal is try to get out to some of the events around here and bring back photos, videos and maybe even a report. You may remember I was mentioned as a tagalong when we went to the ODHBA Plowing Match over in McMinnville last April. We made a video and Kristi and I got some great photos. Pics, check; vids, check. So, this is my first stab at a report.

I went to the Great Oregon Steam-Up over in Brooks, Oregon, near Salem. Lynn has been invited and has wanted to attend for years, but this time of year might very well be the busiest time of year for him. He’s always farming or writing or editing or painting or forecasting or businessing or just generally fightin’ the power, yo. It’s nuts, I don’t know how he does it all. So, when I told him I was going to go, he was very interested and wanted a good report.

Great Oregon Steam Up

Below is copy & pasted (and slightly edited) from the Steam-Up website. They can describe it better than I.

The Great Oregon Steam-Up is the largest event at Antique Powerland during the year and it involves all of the museums and many other participants. One of the unique aspects of the event is that most of the equipment is operating.

Learn about the early machinery that made Oregon develop and grow. Hear about innovators and manufacturers of times past. Machines on display include farm tractors and implements, early engines, crawlers, fire apparatus, vintage trucks and cars, logging gear, an early Oregon flour mill, and an authentic steam sawmill. Rides include an historic trolley and a miniature railroad.

And a little something about Antique Powerland to fill in the background.

Antique Powerland, which opened in 1970, was originally established by a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of steam powered equipment, antique farm machinery, and implements. Today, it encompasses an impressive collection of museums dedicated to preserving Oregon’s rich agricultural heritage.

Great Oregon Steam Up

I went in the afternoon on the last day of the two-weekend event, Sunday, August 7, 2016. Things were winding down, exhibitors were starting to get ready to pack up. “Whew!” was in the air; every scene the physical manifestation of a sigh of relief.

Let’s go home.

I wanted to do a good report for the Journal, maybe even conduct my first interview! But in the end, I, being somewhat introverted, was hesitant to bother anybody (the non-intrepid reporter), which leaves us with a bunch of photos and a story that only shows how much I have to learn.

Great Oregon Steam Up

When in doubt, take pictures of everything and let Lynn sort them out, that’s my motto. So I was going from machine to device to implement, click click click. I got into the John Deere area…

Great Oregon Steam Up

Then the Farmalls…

Great Oregon Steam Up

Then I moved on to the Allis-Chalmers section.

Great Oregon Steam Up

I came across this gentleman (center, above) amongst the orange. Maybe because I had a camera and was systematically taking pictures of everything in sight, he thought I was an event authority, or at least basically knowledgable in my subject. He came over and asked if I knew about Allis-Chalmers.

“Nothing at all,” I replied.

“I was curious about the letters used in the model name, what they mean. I did a little research on John Deere and International before I came down, but didn’t look up Allis-Chalmers.”

I looked down the row, did a quick assessment, and said “it looks like, the bigger the letter, the bigger the tractor.” In his rapidly clouding eyes, I saw him write me off as a source of information. To put it kindly. (aside: what is a bigger letter? LOL)

He was far too gentlemanly to simply turn heel, so we cordially moved on to the next specimen together.

Great Oregon Steam Up

“What do you suppose that is for?” he asked, forgetting whom he was dealing with or just being polite. He was indicating the ring around the perimeter of the wheel.

And this popped out of my mouth: “Oh, that’s an accessory or option they could order, so while on roads or paths the lugs don’t tear everything up, but in the soft ground of a field it will sink in and gain traction.”

In his eyes, I instantly regained lost ground. I was as surprised as he. Then he started asking other stuff to which I could only answer, “I don’t know.” Busted.

But see. I told you. I am learning.

P.S. If I was wrong about that wheel, I don’t even want to know. But if anyone knows what the letters stand for…

Great Oregon Steam Up

Spotlight On: Crops & Soil

Evolution of a Permanent Bed System

Evolution of a Permanent Bed System

by:
from issue:

After three or four years we could see that the nature of our farming practices would continue to have detrimental effects on our soils. We were looking for a new approach, a routine that would be sustainable, rather than a rescue treatment for an ongoing problem. We decided to convert our fields to permanent planting beds with grassy strips in between where all tractor, foot and irrigation pipe traffic would be concentrated.

Soil, Vegetation, and Acidity

From Dusty Shelves: Audels Gardeners and Growers Guide teaches us about soil acidity.

Cultivating Questions Ridge-Till Revisited

Cultivating Questions: Ridge-Till Revisited

Delay ridge building until early fall so that the cover crop on the ridge does not grow more than 12” tall before winter. The residues from a short cover crop will be much less challenging to cultivate than a tall stand of oats, especially if tangly field peas are mixed in. Waiting for the winterkilled cover crop residues to breakdown as long as possible before ridge-tilling in the spring will also make cultivation much easier until you gain familiarity with the system.

Asparagus in Holland

Asparagus in Holland

by:
from issue:

The asparagus culture in Holland is for the majority white asparagus, grown in ridges. 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. This land lies high for Dutch standards and has a low ground water level, that is why asparagus can grow there, which can root 3 foot deep over the years.

Farm Manure

Farm Manure

Naturally there is great variation in manure according to the animals it is made by, the feeding and bedding material, and the manner in which it is kept. Different analyses naturally shows different results and the tables here given serve only as a guide or index to the various kinds. The manure heap, by the way, is no place for old tin cans, bottles, glass, and other similar waste material.

Mullein Indigenous Friend to All

Mullein: Indigenous Friend to All

by:
from issue:

Mullein is a hardy native, soft and sturdy requiring no extra effort to thrive on your part. Whether you care to make your own medicines or not, consider mullein’s value to bees, bumblebees, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, who are needing nectar and nourishment that is toxin free and safe to consume. In this case, all you have to do is… nothing. What could be simpler?

Cultivating Questions Winterkilled Cover Crops for a Mild Climate Part 2

Cultivating Questions: Winterkilled Cover Crops For A Mild Climate Part 2

Finding just the right cover crop-tillage combination for crops planted the last half of June has always been a real challenge in our location. While surface-tilling mature rye and vetch in May works well for fall crops established in July and August, this cover crop-tillage combo does not allow enough time for decomposition and moisture accumulation for end-of-June plantings.

Bamboo A Multipurpose Agroforestry Crop

Bamboo: A Multipurpose Agroforestry Crop

by:
from issue:

The bamboos are gaining increased attention as an alternative crop with multiple uses and benefits: 1) domestic use around the farm (e.g., vegetable stakes, trellis poles, shade laths); 2) commercial production for use in construction, food, and the arts (e.g., concrete reinforcement, fishing poles, furniture, crafts, edible bamboo shoots, musical instruments); and 3) ornamental, landscape, and conservation uses (e.g., specimen plants, screens, hedges, riparian buffer zone).

Raised Bed Gardening

Raised Bed Gardening

by:
from issue:

Raised beds may not be right for everyone, and our way is not the only way. I have seen raised beds made from rows of 5’ diameter kiddy pools, and heard of a fellow who collected junk refrigerators from the dump and lined them up on their backs into a rainbow of colored enameled steel raised beds. Even rows of five-gallon pails filled with plants count as raised beds in my estimation. Do it any way you care to, but do it if it’s right for you.

Prairie Grass A Jewel Among Kernels

Prairie Grass: A Jewel Among Kernels

by:
from issue:

Years ago, my brother advised against plowing the patch of prairie on the back forty of our Hubbard, Iowa farm. “Some day,” he predicted, “that prairie will be as valuable as the rest of the 40 acres. We know how to grow corn; but that prairie was seeded by the last glacier.” Left untilled by generations of my family, the troublesome treasure has now become a jewel among a cluster of conventional crops on the farm.

Cultivating Questions: Alternative Tillage & Inter-Seeding Techniques

Our intention is not to advocate the oddball living mulches we use with this single row inter-seeding system, but just to show how it is possible to utilize the between-row areas to improve insect habitat, reduce erosion, conserve moisture, fix some nitrogen, and grow a good bit of extra organic matter. If nothing else, experimenting with these alternative practices continues to keep farming exciting as we begin our twentieth season of bio-extensive market gardening.

Fjordworks: Horse Powered Potatoes

Fjordworks: Horse Powered Potatoes

This is the account of how one farm put more horse power into the planting, cultivation, and harvesting of its potato crop. Ever since we began farming on our own in 1994 one of our principle aims has been the conversion of our farm operation to live horse power wherever feasible. This has meant replacing mechanized tools such as tractors and rototillers and figuring out how to reduce human labor as we expanded upon the labor capacity of our work horses.

Apple Cider Autumns Nectar

Apple Cider, Autumn’s Nectar

by:
from issue:

While autumn’s beauty is food for our souls, autumn’s harvest provides food for our tables. Along with the many hours and days of canning and freezing our garden produce, harvest time also means apple cider making for our family. We have been making apple cider, or sweet cider as it is commonly called, for six years. Beginning slowly, the demand for our juice has resulted in a production of over six hundred gallons this year.

An Introduction Into Plant Polyculture

An excerpt from What’s Wrong With My Fruit Garden
Companion Planting for Beginners

Lost Apples

Lost Apples

The mindboggling agricultural plant and animal diversity, at the beginning of the twentieth century, should have been a treasure trove which mankind worked tirelessy to maintain. Such has not been the case. Alas, much has been lost, perhaps forever. Here are images and information on a handful of apple varieties from a valuable hundred year old text in our library.

Cultivating Questions

Cultivating Questions: Concerning the Bioextensive Market Garden

One of our goals when we first started farming here was to develop the farm as a self-contained nutrient system. Unlike the almost complete recycling of nutrients which can take place on a livestock operation, we are always amazed – even a little disturbed – to see how many tons of fertility and organic matter leave the market garden each year with so little returned to the good earth.

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