Friday, June 6, 2014

The Tired Farmer's Almanac

Welcome to the Tired Farmers' Almanac.  Our sponsors are the months of May and June.  Brought to you by the Earth's axial tilt and the relative position of the planet in its orbit around the sun.

It is entirely possible that some of these pictures and some of the things I'll write in this post appear in one of the posts just below this one.  But, it is a measure of how much energy I have when I decide I don't have what it takes to open another tab in the browser and check it out.  Very sad.  Someone tell the farmer to go to bed.

A tandem disk harrow
 We acquired a new tool for Durnik, the tractor.  It is called a tandem disk harrow.  We'll tell you more about it, but we decided first that we should be silly.  We posted on facebook and got the following:

June 2 Facebook post
New tool on the farm this year. For those who do not know - it is called a tandem disk harrow. Now we can have a 'real' harrowing experience. You're welcome.

     Har har har...oh
     You're my harrow!  I want one too.
     And it's off!
     ugh, "har row" can you go?
The offical GFF replies:
     I am detecting a case or two of harrow-worship going on here
     I was going to show "dat" harrow, but instead I showed you "disk" one.

A disk harrow
So, here is the rest of the story.  The disk above was purchased in 2011 and was used extensively on the farm in 2012 and 2013.  But, there were some issues with it that we knew a tandem disk could solve.  There were also some impending issues with the older disk that were going to require repairs.

After some research, we felt the new tandem disk shown above should be ok for our tractor (Durnik).  However, after some use, we are finding that you really have to nurse that poor old tractor along to use it.  This gets us to the comment that says "And it's off!"

We decided to see if a new tractor would be a good idea since there are some very good financing options right now.  The dealership wanted us to try the tractor out to be sure it fit our farm's needs.  Well, we put the tandem disk on the new tractor and figured out how to make it go for a little while.  Until the tractor got stuck in the 'UP' position.  Essentially, the tractor held our disk hostage for a couple of days until they could come fix it.

Let's just say that this was not a very good introduction to this particular brand/type of tractor.But, it was a good reminder that every tool has its pros and cons.  Every tool can break.  Every tool must be learned before it truly becomes productive on the farm.

So, we are still looking at new tractor options.  This is a sizable farm decision that really has four points to it. 
a) stick with what we have and know - limitations and all - and just keep working around it.
b) borrow a tractor for a short period of time to address the very specific current problem - and then deal with the status quo
c) buy another old (but newer) tractor with a bit more power and a few of the other limitations removed, but others still present for some money - but a relatively small amount of money.
d) buy a new tractor with a warranty and on-farm service for repairs that addresses current and expected future issues for a lot more money (and a financing package).

All the normal pros and cons apply....  never a completely correct answer - until you make a decision.  Then, that's as correct as it is going to be because you have to make it work!

The little horse trailer that could
 The boyus (broiler chickens) are still loving their horse trailer home.  It provides some protection from the terrible gnats we're having again this season.  They can choose to sit under or in this thing - whichever helps them most.  The great thing is that they truly believe this is home since they've been raised in their since they were couple day old chicks.  So, as long as we're patient and wait until about 9:30pm, we can just close the doors on them.  The waiting for that after a long day can be difficult, but it's better than herding them or picking them up and putting them in the trailer.
These people tolerate the guy with a red hat!
 We're looking forward to the Gang of Four visit to GFF in a little over a week.  The cardboard tube became the source of a game with a tennis ball at some point at Grinnell Heritage Farm in May.

Who knows what fun we will have on our farm?  But, I bet there will be good food.

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