Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ol' Reliable

When we bought the farm the long-sleep-mechanical-gadget-minded-male-dominated part of me insisted the farm needed a tractor.  I rationalized why we needed a tractor and though we put it to good use these past two years, to be honest some of the work could have been done by other equipment on the farm.  I love this old tractor though. I couldn't afford a brand new tractor at 15K+, and the restoration geek in me wanted something vintage. Talking with my neighbor who was born a farmer, he recommended a Ford 8N. He confirmed my research as it was easy to get parts for, easy to work on and durable rugged and build to last.  The other thing I found endearing was it was older than me and still working.  A year later the tractor is in need of some maintenance.  I changed the plug wires, replaced the radiator, battery and it will need tires soon.  Today, after I mowed a couple of acres and the orchard, I pulled huge logs off the woodpile to cut into lengths-something I couldn't have done without my Ol' Reliable ford 8N.  It connects me to a world I am a latent part of-this working of the land.  I do not consider myself a farmer yet.  I am not working 24/7 making my living solely from my hands on the farm. I maintain my 1300 lavender plants, my orchard of 60 apple trees, my family food garden and the rest of the 8 acres.  I am not like my neighbors, working into the night to get the hay in before it rains, or plowing the fields dawn to dusk when the weather is just right in the spring, or worried that it rains too much, too little, or that it is to hot or too cold. I am not the dairy farmer down the road that 365 days a year must milk his 200 head of cattle two times a day  through wind, sleet, snow, sickness and health.  I admire them and respect them.  My little Ford 8N, though small and ancient compared to the modern tractors of today, keeps me a little bit in touch with what it is like to work the land, my own land and the joys of that endeavor.

No comments: