Gathering Tools, Part 3

Finally got a chance to put some of the new (old) acquisitions through their paces this weekend:

1949 JI Case VAC tractor with mower

1949 JI Case VAC tractor with mower

And ya know what? It worked! For a while anyway - the mower finally gave out and a piece of the pulling arm for the sickle snapped off. Whether it was something I'd done wrong or whether it was just old and on it's last legs anyway remains to be discovered. But whatever: it can be repaired, here on the farm, with tools I already have. And with some new (or sharpened) blades, it'll cut as good as when it was new a hundred years ago.

But wait - there's more.

After we got everything going yesterday and got the majority of the front pasture actually cut, we took a break and drove down to see the fellow that sold us the mower last year. And then I remembered that there was usually some old equipment for sale west of Shannondale, so we decided to drive down there just for grins and giggles. And what did we see but a baler! Never seen one of these out there - they're pretty hard to come by. So we stopped and looked - sure enough, it was a IH 430 small square baler, circa the 1970's. And it looked in pretty good shape. Nobody was at home, so we wrote down the number and called them after we got back from town. I was expecting it's go for between $1500 and $2000 - that's what they seem to be running of the low end off of eBay and local auctions. I was shocked when the price was $500 - and a demo was given which showed the beast to be in perfect working order!

1970's vintage IH 430 baler

We now own a baler. And in the winter of 2012, our flock will be feasting on the same grass that feeds them so well through the rest of the year! No more banking on neighbors to find the time to cut our hay, or on the getting a good price at the auction, or finding a good supply at a reasonable price. We've been very lucky heretofore - but as of next year (it's too late to get anything usable out the pasture this year) we won't have to depend on luck.

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