Frank has talked about the tractor a little bit lately. This tractor has allowed us to do so much more than we would physically be able to otherwise. We were able to save up some money before we moved here from Alaska and this tractor was one of the investments we made not long after our arrival. It has more than paid for itself over and over by saving our bodies.
Recently Frank moved our large, round hay bales out of a pasture. They were in the way of an upcoming project and we needed a fresh bale in the barn for the goat birthing pens.
To use the tractor he had to disconnect something called a 'quick connect'. This attachment makes it easier to connect and disconnect some of the tractor implements. The hay stinger, the implement used to lift large hay bales, will not work on the quick connect. Frank had disconnected the hay stinger from the tractor before he used it to help take the old shed down.
To reconnect the tiller for the garden, we started with reattaching the quick connect.
Frank readjusts the connections to the tractor to fit the quick connect.
This makes sure the implement and attachment bars will not rub the tires while in use.
This bar going from the top of the quick connect determines the tilt.
After we had it adjusted correctly, Frank backed the tractor up to the tiller.
This can be done with one person, but it is so much easier with two.
The three 'hooks' on the quick connect fit into these places on the tiller.
After the tiller is on, we need to connect the PTO, or power take off. It is the hardest part to connect because you have to work around whatever implement you are using and line it up just right for it to lock in place.
Once the tiller is on, we are ready to head back to the garden and till.
If you notice the tractor has three letters, HST, which means hydrostatic transmission. The tractor still has a clutch, but not for going forward or reverse, it is compared to an automatic transmission in an automobile.
It doesn't take Frank long to re-till the garden. The soil looks and feels great. All those tire tracks from the shed project are now tilled up and ready to plant.
This patch by the new building is a little dry and dusty. It is also a new addition to the garden this year. In years past this section was part of the yard and walking area in front of the old shed. Since it has not been fertilized or had organic material added to it, I will plant green beans here this year. Green beans, especially pole beans like I will be using, don't like a real rich soil. They are also a nitrogen fixing plant which will help build up this spot. After we are finished using the birthing pens for baby goats, some of that bedding, which is hay with a nice dose of manure, will be used to mulch the beans. That is the plan, anyway.
So, toward the end of a busy day, the garden is tilled once again. In a week or so the beets and carrots will be ready to plant. This extra tilling, along with the sleet and freezing temperatures, will have helped to decrease the insect population as well.
By the way, the evening before the new shed arrived we figured out we had an old breaker that had gone bad. This is not the first time this has happened, so we had a few extras on hand. These breakers have been in use for about 35 years. It's great to have a husband that can fix just about anything. So after the building was delivered, a new door knob installed on it and the garden was tilled, Frank replaced the breaker.
Life is good. Very, very good. This is a perspective we choose to maintain. It would be very easy to be afraid and depressed about what is happening all over the world, and sometimes we are. There are things coming into the lives of all of us that may overwhelm us all. But underneath it all, I know that the life God has blessed us with is good. Very, very good. And I am grateful. Do everything you can to be ready. That involves very busy days and lots of hard work. Get at it. Time is short.
Until next time - Fern
P.S. We ran across an interesting site that focuses on genealogy and other interesting topics. If you get the opportunity, give this site a look. We have spent many years gathering data for our family's genealogy. You can learn a lot about yourself. It can be very rewarding.