Planting in last year’s bean field doesn’t take as much preparation as planting in last year’s cornfield. Bean fields don’t have as much trash as a cornfield, as bean plants aren’t as big or as tough as a corn plant. They are less than half the size and don’t have as large of a leaf structure as a corn plant. Less stuff creates less work!
The bean plant degrades during the winter after harvest, and a bean field is smoother in texture than a cornfield. A bean field doesn’t require chisel plowing, but just a quick pass with a field cultivator before planting.
We use a 960 John Deere field cultivator. This handy item was manufactured in 1988. It’s designed for a 4-row operation. Yes, we know we aren’t modern. Did I mention this blog is about a small family farm?
A field cultivator prepares the seedbed. It levels the ground for the planter to insert the seed into the ground. The tractor can pull the cultivator much faster than the chisel plow.
A field cultivator still rolls and lifts the dirt, but not as deeply as a chisel plow. Because the bean plant isn’t as deeply imbedded into the soil as a corn plant, the cultivator only pulls 4 inches into the soil. A chisel plow digs 12 inches into the soil. Less pull makes for less work. A farmer can plant corn or bean seed right after a bean field is cultivated.
And then they breathe a deep sigh and start to fuss about the weather.
Easy Meatloaf is nothing to fuss about! You may already have a favorite meatloaf, so ignore this recipe if you do. But if you don’t have one, give this recipe a try. I double it if there’s a crowd coming for dinner. The math is easy enough to double with this recipe.
You can either shape the meatloaf by hand on a cookie sheet or use a loaf pan. I use a loaf pan, as I like my meatloaf to look “loaf-ish”!
Tools You’ll Need:
2 Bowls-1 large and 1 small
Wooden spoon (or just use your hands!)
Can opener for canned mushrooms
Loaf pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment
Ingredients for meatloaf:
1 # ground beef
2/3 Cup bread crumbs
1 can mushrooms
¼ Cup diced onion
½ t. Lowrey’s salt
8 t. ketchup
2 t. mustard
2 t. brown sugar
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Mix all of the meatloaf ingredients in a bowl. (It is faster if you use your hands.) After placing the meatloaf in a loaf pan, or making it into a loaf shape on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cover with the topping that you mixed together in a separate bowl. Bake for 45 minutes.