Sunday, December 11, 2011

Farming Part-Time

We had a Love-Hate relationship with our farm from the time we bought it in the spring of 1980 until we sold it in 1989. Though Elaine and I had both been raised on farms we were accustomed to having our houses and yards in top notch condition. This was just not possible with a 5-acre farmstead that included 13 buildings on an 80 acre farm while working at a high profile, full-time job and keeping up our house in town. Consequently there was a lot of stress and frustration. I am in the process of reading and summarizing my 1986 Journal and came across this entry of July 19, 1986. 

We had the JD-110 lawn tractor in to Seward Implement for what we thought might be a 35.-40. dollar repair bill and it was $218.00. He took back an umbrella at about half-price when I couldn’t get it mounted on my JD-720. After unloading the mower and starting to cultivate Milo, I realized another cultivator shank was missing. Elaine came out and we found it where I had made the first pass through the field. Then I killed the Diesel engine on the JD and couldn’t get it started. I walked home, got Elaine, the Ford tractor, jumping cables, and a log chain and went back out to the JD. I shut the Ford off to get things hooked up and had to reset its timing in order to get it started. We then realized the Ford was out of gas and while Elaine walked home for the gas can, I saw that the frame of the cultivator that had been welded, had cracked again. Carolyn and Julie had been to the Cornhusker Games in Lincoln so they brought Elaine out in the old pickup. When we couldn’t get the JD started, we used the log chain to toe it home on the road behind the Ford. Foolishly, I was driving the Ford and since we had nearly a half mile to go, put it in 4th gear. Elaine was on the JD and not real familiar with the individual foot breaks and nearly flipped as we speeded up. Once home, I put the battery charger on it, got it going and went back to finish cultivating. The 12 east rows were so weedy I debated using “Rescue” spray, disking it under, or just letting it go. I concluded my Journal entry with, “Days like this are when I definitely believe we need to get rid of the farm and be able to live like other people”.

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