Friday, April 25, 2014

Agriculture...ever Changing

John Deere horse drawn cultivator

The other one...over at the sale
 Although they look the same, there are two different horse-drawn cultivators here. The top one is an old John Deere set, the lower something else, a bit more complicated.

The top one, after who knows how many decades sitting up in the barn, can still be adjusted to open and close and work at different depths. With a little WD-40 and elbow grease that is probably also true of the one in the other photos.

The boss kept the JD set and took the other over to the auction to sell. He also took over a 16...or 18...there was some discussion on this...foot wide set, also made by the famous green and yellow equipment company, of field drags, which perform somewhat the same job. 

Except that instead of a single horse hooked to the singletree, which you can see in the third photo pretty clearly, it needs to be pulled by a pretty darned big tractor.What would take days with the little ones, and a lot of sweat, and grunt, and misery, can be done, literally in minutes with the big one.

See the singletree?
So many activists want to see ag go back to the days before big fields and big tractors and big farms....but how many of them would like to hook up a horse at dawn and struggle all day long holding on to the handles of this device, shoving it through the rocky, bumpy, hard, hard earth, and then have only a little bit to show for it at the end of the day? After about the first hour's worth of blisters and bone-busting work, I'll bet not very many of them.

And I'll tell you a secret about the Amish guys....they love nothing better than a chance to get up on an English guy's tractor and control all those horses and rip up some dirt.

Our logger friend came over with his rollback truck and hauled the big drags and some other stuff over to Sprout Brook for us...and I thank him for it. With only Alan's little S10 and Jade having to work, so he only can come now and then with his bigger truck, it was a huge help.


Rev. Paul said...

Most folks have absolutely no idea how hard farming is - and especially no clue how much harder it was before mechanization.

Victoria Howell said...

Americans have no idea what we really lose when small farm operators have to shut down because they can't compete with the food giants. I am so, so saddened by this.

God bless you and yours. You did your best.

Cathy said...

We take so much for granted. Grade schoolers should be introduced to equipment like this . . and helped to understand that their not too distant ancestors made the earth bear fruit with it and by the sweat of their brow.

Terry and Linda said...

I'm so sorry you are selling your antiques! I wish you could put them in GREEN MAGAZINE or some other John Deere collector site so you could get top dollar, at least.


threecollie said...

Rev. Paul, That is so true. A small garden is a lot of work, let alone hundreds or thousands of acres.

Victoria, thank you! We have always loved what we do....

Cathy, I so agree. They should see both methods of work...maybe wield a hoe in hard pan clay for a few minutes in the hot sun....just to get an appreciation for the difference made by technology in ag just as much as in other aspects of our lives.

Linda, thanks! Maybe I will look into that. We still have stuff. Ralph kept the JD cultivators, just because he likes them. I couldn't justify keeping the sleigh, as it was deteriorating and we had no way to either store it better or restore it. Maybe someone else can.