In other news we have moved through a hot and dry summer together and everything seems to be proceeding in good order: we “filled in” for the farmers when they spent two nights away from the farm; we harvested our one long row (80′) of garlic beside the many long rows that the farmers had planted last fall; we helped them process 55 chickens (slaughter, pluck, gut, and freeze), most of which had been raised in the existing chicken tractors, in early August for our and their personal use; we have both admired the bumper crop of pears and apples that are developing in the orchard, and I am looking forward to making a good bit of hard cider this fall; they helped us move the Airstream, which had been sitting up buy our new house, down to it’s “final” resting spot between the raspberry patch and a few of the apple trees.
One of our biggest accomplishments was solving an issue with the 1948 Ford 8N tractor that had kept it from being in regular use (we still have a compact diesel Kubota doing the rest of the machine work). It would run well for the first ten or fifteen minutes, but then the engine would begin to choke and cut-off. If we waited a few minutes and then restarted the engine we could work for one or two minutes more before it would sputter and cut-off again. This was going to be a problem because I was counting on using the 8N for all the brush hogging around the shared fields, as well as my own fields, and losing the 8N would mean tight scheduling of the Kubota for mowing and all the other needs, especially as the farmers are interested in expanding their tilled working space. I had reserved a time for my ‘tractor guy’ to make a site visit and start tearing apart the governor to look for the issue, but he suggested, before he arrive, that we try putting a makeshift heat shield between the fuel filter and the engine block just to rule out vapor lock. And wouldn’t you know, one sheet of aluminum foil later, I was up and mowing with the 8N for hours at a time after that with no issues.