I finally got the house contractor to move the last of his stuff out of the field right in front of the house last week, and spent the time since then clearing, grading, spreading a dump-truck load of topsoil, and clearing it of rocks as best as I could.

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The soil type right here is called “Braddock cobbly loam”.  The “cobbly” refers to the fact that its almost as much rock as it is loam.  Every time I disced this small area, just more rocks like this above came to the surface.  This is only maybe a fifth of an acre, but I manually picked up five bucketloads of rock like this above before just giving up.

Today I seeded it all with annual rye before the rains tomorrow, Annual rye is a fantastic cover crop for fall seeding.  It germinates in cool soil, and grows even in cool temperatures.  It outcompetes weeds, picks up excess nitrogen, and is a terrific soil builder. It will provide cover for the timothy, red and white clover, and orchard grass I’ll broadcast in the next couple of days.  It’s questionable how much the rye will germinate this late in the year, although I’ve had good success in the past spreading pretty late.  But all the seed should be there for germination in the spring if not now.  And with this last little project, I can pretty well put the farm, and other outside tasks, to bed for the winter and head south.

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