During lean years on a Maine farm, any farm, means cruises of the facility looking for slack happen frequent, daily.
When the weather is against you, the crop or critter market price low, the expenses can eat you up. And when machinery breaks down, hay wire, bailing twine, duct tape and a welder can patch things together to keep going.
You might ask if a part on a tractor, plow, planter, harvester, hay bailer goes bad, while not just trot to the farm implement store and replace the broker component. Lack of money, low on time to make hay while the sunshines so to speak cause ingenuity, creativity to kick in. I was at a farm I was listing last week and noticed a pair of vice grips, rusted, holding a broken joint on a potato digger together. The owner smiled, said it worked fine and went on to other areas of the Maine farm crying out for attention, repair. Never got back to weld that joint, or replace the missing bolt and bracket lost in the hurry to get the crop out last fall, or the one before.
So when I mow a lawn, or in the case of bushing hogging with an old 1953 Super M tractor this past weekend, the same farm boy trained, engrained instincts are alive. My wiring, early childhood training makes me think, Andrew, start in the most critical part of the chore, operation and assume the machine will break. That there will be set backs. Not pessimistic, realistic.
So if the operation stopped in twenty minutes, what would be the most critical way to spend that 20 minutes while everything was working?
Survial thinking, practical but prepared for anything is how you stay on the Maine family farm. Make it work, accept the challenges. Learning how to jerry – rig.