Finally got enough of the field showing to take some soil samples. I dry them out and send them to the Extension laboratory. They tell me what the nutrient and organic material levels are. They will also make recommendations for amendments if needed.
New England soils tend toward acidity so lime is occasionally needed to keep the pH within the range the plants like it. Different crops have different pH requirements, also.
I take several samples from a field and mix them, then spread them out and put them through a coarse screen to get the big chunks of stuff (sticks, rocks) out. I dry it so it's cheaper to mail to the laboratory. No point in sending them water.
The containers are labelled because I have to know which soil goes with which field. There are only 4 samples because not all the fields are dry enough to take samples. I'll send another batch later.