I thoroughly enjoyed all of the comments about my early Christmas present. Unfortunately, no one guessed the correct answer. Fortunately, they were all entertaining submissions. Yesterday I became the proud owner of the 1953 International Harvester Farmall Cub pictured below.
I purchased this beauty yesterday from an old retired Pennsylvania farmer who was selling it on Craigslist. These tractors were the smallest of the Farmall line of tractors. They were designed to replace the mule on the small farms of the forties and fifties. Today they are coveted by small farmers for their perfect size and set of implements for working in the market garden. This one came with mounted cultivators and a snow plow. I already have a bare root vegetable transplanter that will attach to the back. I am excited to post some videos in the spring of this little powerhouse in action.
As I type this Farmer John and Uncle John are on their way back to the farm. They are driving their version of Santa's sleigh. Farmer John just called to tell me what they picked up in Pennsylvania, and he sounded more excited than I've heard him in a long time. I'll let him tell you and share photos. But, in the meantime any guesses what he got?
P.S. - No guessing if I already hinted at this in an email (A+K) or on the phone (Sam).
Instagram is a social-media site that is a platform for sharing photos. We've been enjoying snapping photos on our phones and posting them through Instagram (and sometimes Twitter). If you follow the farm then you'll be familiar with these shots. If not, you can follow us by clicking on the icons over there on the left.
It sounds like Winter has hit some areas of the country, and it may be headed our way.
This morning, on our way to school, Farmer John and I listened to reports of very scary wind chills in Montana. It made me think about the farmers, ranchers, and cattle in that area. I hope they all stay safe and have a way to care for their herds.
I know some farmers in Wisconsin are dealing with all the new snow. Thankfully, they know what they are doing when it comes to that type of weather. Even if they do need to break up ice on their water troughs with a sledgehammer.
As for our farm, the temperature is supposed to drop. I'm glad we have plenty of wood for the stove. Farmer John keeps a close eye on all the animals over the winter, and although it will be cold, they won't be in danger. I think we will end up with just rain, so Farmer John will keep his fingers crossed that it won't be too much and I'll hope that it turns to snow.
Our farmer friends George and Julie are moving. It is a sad occasion because their encouragement and example of how small farms work in our area was vital to me taking the big step to full time farming. George is ready for retirement so they bought a few acres in Missouri along a nice clear steam so he can slow down. They are in the process of liquidating some farm machinery and crops. He called me up and asked if I wanted some non-GMO open pollinated ear corn for my livestock. I said sure.
George grows a few acres of corn every year to fatten a few hogs and feed his chickens. He has the equipment to plant, cultivate, and pick his few acres from the seat of a tractor. It is a pretty slick operation. This picture below shows us unloading corn from the gravity wagon onto the elevator and into the back of the truck. All of this equipment is older than I am but still works well.
Once the corn is loaded into the back of the truck we can slowly drive it back to the farm. A truckload equals about a ton. To measure the corn weight we made a couple of trips to the gravel yard truck scales.
There is an old corn crib in the upper building at the farm. Corn cribs have slatted sides and are the perfect dimension for drying ear corn. At one time, there were several other corn cribs around the place but they have rotted back into the ground over the years. This corn crib is still several sizes larger than I need. I don't have an elevator like George so I have to unload the corn by the shovel full.
Here is Mollie in the crib with all of our organic corn. We have to wait about a month until all the corn is dry before using. My neighbor has an old hand crank sheller we can borrow to shell the corn. Once it is shelled I can take it to town to be ground into chicken and pig feed. I am excited to feed my animals local organic corn and will save some seed from this batch to plant an acre or two of corn next year.