Well, the weather cooperated for a couple of days and the soil dried out enough and warmed up enough and became workable. Yesterday I was able to get out the BCS tractor and start the process of tilling up some garden space. The rotary plow attachment that I used is a large propeller-like screw. It has a large amount of horizontal torque and at times I became the tail rotor on a helicopter that was screwing itself into the ground.
The machine is a beast.
It was definitely a workout. It took me the afternoon to learn how to control the tractor, hook up implements, understand how the plow worked and decide where to put the garden. I chose the top of the hill, near where our future house site will be. We will utilize the well that was drilled for the house for irrigation. The pump installers should be set for next week. The person we bought the property from has some irrigation equipment and hoses that he isnt using and might be willing to sell to us for a good price. That might make things a bit easier.
The sod I had to cut through with the tractor was 6-8 inch high barley grass that was planted as a winter cover crop. It was a monster to cut through. The plow was up to the task, but the learning curve was steep. I needed to add weight to the front of the plow in order to compensate for the corkscrewing action of the plow. The plow wants to dig down, not move forward. As a result, I spent the better part of 2 hours plowing and holding up the back end of the machine because of inadequate counterbalance on the front of the tractor. Lesson learned. I was pooped.
Im about 1/4 done with the initial plowing. I will have some compost and manure and peat moss delivered and spread and I will till that into the soil and prepare the raised beds for the potatoes and other crops. And then we plant. Its starting to warm up a bit so we need to get the cool weather crops planted soon.