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Gardener’s Dream

Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000183 EndHTML:0000003368 StartFragment:0000002365 EndFragment:0000003332 SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/computer/Desktop/obits/barefoot%20famer.doc The International Harvester Farmall 140 tractor is a gardener’s dream come true. It can’t be beat for single row truck farming. I use a bigger tractor for primary tillage, and then the Farmall lays off the rows and keeps the middles loose and weed-free. I grew up with a cub, which is an older, smaller, Farmall. My dad didn’t swear much, so I remember distinctly pull-starting or fixing the cub, which routinely wouldn’t crank up when he needed it the most. We jumped off it as it rolled over once when I was three, and at 10 I had my own run in with a tree. Ah, the joys of farm life. Charles let me borrow his 140 many years ago, and I fell in love. I’d been using a Ford 600 for cultivating, which meant I had to look behind me to see what was going on. On the Farmall you look straight in front of you, allowing much more precision.

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 Driving by Texaco one day I saw her, all freshly painted on a trailer. I turned around and asked the driver, who said it was on the way to a farm equipment auction. Soon the owner and I were in my barn looking at the Ford my dad had bought brand new the year before I was born. Sentimentality went out the window when he said he’d swap even. The farm’s production increased dramatically simply because of less time hoeing. I can even get within inches of the row, where before I left a foot or more of uncultivated ground. Then I found hillers at Nick Lee’s and these really help by smothering weeds on the last pass in corn, and hilling up potatoes. Every spring we go through the ritual of putting on new shoes, looking at points, plugs and carborater, and charging up the battery. But once she’s going, she purrs like a kitten. I don’t have the attachments that pull behind it, like a plow or disc, and I’m interested in what was used. I was looking for another one, but  found a Farmall 100 instead. It’s an older model, but looked like a good one. I was reluctant, remembering Dad’s cub, but was still waxing enthusiastic. Surprisingly, Mark wasn’t excited. I asked “Why?” “You want a 140, don’t you?” “yeah.” “Well, we’ll just put it out to the universe that you’ll get one.”  Within the hour a neighbor came over and Mark asked if he knew anyone that wanted to sell a 140. “Yes” he said, “my dad’s is for sale”. I could have thrown a stone from my place and hit it. I need parts for these tractors. If anyone knows of an old 140 Farmall they’d like to sell, please let me know. As the small tobacco farm disappears, I bet there are a few of these old tractors that are not needed anymore. I’d like to fix them up, and see them running over rows of organic vegetables. I’m grafting apples and pears now, so if anyone would like a tree just like on they of, bring me a twig of last years growth about the size of a pencil.