January 30, 2013 – Ice, Thunderstorm, Snow must be Next!

No school today, with the howling wind and the snow.

Of course, the next thing is the dep freeze, and although it’s still blowing pretty good, I thought it better to get out and clear the driveway tonight rather than in the sub-zero morning.  I tried to put all the pile to the south and est of the driveway so i wouldn’t create a source for the snow to drift behind.  There are very few things more enjoyable than driving the tractor for purposeful work!

March 30, 2011 – Tractor vs Tree

I’ve spent a good part of the last few weeks cutting up firewood and hauling branches from the old maple tree that came down a couple weeks ago.  The day finally arrived to try to move the main trunk sections down to the burn pile in the pasture.  It was a true case of tractor vs tree.  Tree won the first round.  I needed to cut one part of the trunk in two as the tractor could barely budge it.  That was the first time the tractor had been denied.

So, here’s the first section, almost ready to be released to the pile.

More sign that the tree put up a good fight.  I now have an “opportunity” to reseed the area around the tree and the dragging path in the pasture

The big trunks all in their place.  It’ll be a warm December fire when these guys light up!

one year ago…”Winter Damage”

October 24, 2010 – Tractor Repair

I mentioned a few days back that the JD 2510 was barely running.  Fortunately it was a simple problem that did not exceed my rudimentary mechanical understanding.

I replaced the in-line fuel filter that I had added last year, drained out the carb, cleaned the carb fuel strainer and got it all back together without any leftover pieces and it once again runs like a champ!

one year ago…”Saturday Farm Work”

April 6, 2010 – Tiller Attached and Tested

The “new” tiller is finally attached and has been tested out on a 50-foot bed.

It was a bit of a long struggle to get it attached. First I needed a different category top three-point link. Then I had a lot of trouble getting to move the PTO shaft to extend it to fit on the tractor. I finally gave up and called in some more experienced hands – the neighbors. I had no clue whether the PTO shaft was beat up beyond repair. After a couple of hours of beating, sanding, greasing, and more beating, the tiller was attached and successfully field tested!

Now we can begin our transition to 4 foot wide plots with grassy strips between for foot and tractor tire traffic.

one year ago…”Top Shelf Middle Shelf and Bottom Shelf”

February 5, 2010 – New Tiller!

We’ve been thinking and starting to prepare for a while about a new way of growing our crops. We want to get rid of the monolithic blocks and instead garden in four foot wide beds separated by grass/sod strips. The mental and physical energy to manage 4 foot wide steps seems easier in terms of planting and crop rotation, weeding and harvesting. I’ve been looking for a 48 inch PTO tiller for a year or so and finally got lucky today and saw one on Craiglist that was listed minutes before I saw it and was the first one in to get it.

So here it, is ready for spring.

one year ago…”First Lambs Arrive”

September 14, 2009 – Gettin’ the Cub Runnin’

We’re swapping time and goods for Farmall Cub repair.  A few years ago the fan belt pulley froze up.

The initial look-see is starting.  We’re replacing many other things as we’re at it – including plugs, points, condenser, rotor, fuel filter etc.  It will be nice to get this tractor running again.

one year ago…”School Farm Tours”

February 8, 2008 – Bonus Poo!

What better to do on a 50 degree day than shovel out the barn.  Today’s photos are all courtesy of Martin!

The barn floor was getting kind of ripe.  Usually, it means adding another layer, but the warm day and melting snow afforded another option – removal!

Since some of the snow was gone, but still not the path to the main compost pile, I made a new pile close to the barn, as to not rip up too much soft ground.

Martin captured many salient features in this shot, the tractor operator, the wind turbine, and on the left-hand side, the newly piled “pile.”  All in all, doing it today makes the spring cleanout that much easier.

one year ago…”Smartest Cities in America”

November 19, 2008 – Tractor Repair

I called the John Deere dealer to see if they could tell me what was wrong with the tractor (the starter would keep cranking even when the key was out) and they said it sounded like a bad solenoid.

I’m not much of a motorhead, and only had a vague idea of what a solenoid did or where it was even located on the tractor engine, but I figured if I went in to buy the new solenoid, I would see what it looks like and then could find it on the engine.  I did and found the solenoid on the right side of the tractor and only had to remove one panel – the solenoid is the thing attached with the red cable. There is much skepticism in the family that I can make the repair myself without damaging the tractor.  My first step was to take a picture of the existing solenoid so I could see where the wiring goes on the new installation.  It was too cold today to do the work.

one year ago…”The Turkeys”.

October 29, 2008 – Tractor Repair

The last few times I’ve used the 2510, there has been a smell of coolant – I was able to see that it was a relatively small leak, so I let it go until a later time.  That time was today.

I hadn’t yet dug into the tractor, so I had to figure out how to get the hood off as I could remove one clamp off with the hood on, but not the other.  I was happy for the manual to show me how to remove the hood.

Here’s the offending hose with the clamp loosened.

The new hose clamped firmly in place.

one year ago…”City Smoke, Country Smoke”.

September 29, 2008 – Corn and Bean Harvest

Most of the neighboring farmers are out in force now harvesting soybeans.  The corn was planted very late and is not yet dried down.

The scale of today’s commodity agriculture is exemplified in this photo – a modern tractor and wagon to transport the beans to the elevator can l no longer fit in the barn built around the turn of the century – the doors are neither tall nor wide enough to accommodate this equipment.

one year ago…”More Folks Poking Around the Farm”.

August 25, 2008 – Good Old Small Town Life

There are some good things about small towns and knowing your neighbors.  This tiller exemplifies one such experience.

We share a small tiller with a colleauge of Linda’s at work.  He acquires the tillers and we store and maintain them and he comes out once a year to pick it up and use it.  He just got us an upgrade and it needed some work as the pull rope was broken and it hadn’t been run for a number of years.  I brought it to the neighborhood small engine man and he got it “back to good.”  I arranged to pick it up at a certain time, but when I arrived, he was not home.  So, I checked the shop, it was opened, the tiller was done and I poked around a bit and found the slip showing what I owed and left the money and took the tiller.

The car also needed new tires, so the neighbor down the road works at the goodyear shop in town and he just drove our car in to town in the morning, put the new tires on, and drove it home – saving us numerous jockeying back and forth with two cars and drivers and just leaves the bill on the front seat.  Likewise, we have the same trust with our customers – if we deliver when they are not home, like clockwork a check is in our mailbox within a few days.  It’s nice to have some relationships that are based on a handshake!

one year ago…”One BIG Local Meal Prep”

May 28, 2008 – New Car for the Girls!

I’ve been looking for a few months for a car for the girls to drive (very soon I hope!) and finally found one that looked like a good deal! I thought I’d use it as an opportunity to get a 4wd vehicle as we don’t have any all-wheel drive cars, and sure could use one on occasion (like all of last winter). My top choice was a Subaru Outback as they are all-wheel drive and get 30 mpg on the highway and will be easy for the girls to maneuver.


This 1996 model was purchased from Rochester Ford within the budget and I have 7 days to check it out.

one year ago…”Memorial Day 2007″