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The Long Haul

Notes from the Porch from May/June 2012 Hobby Farms

By Stephanie Staton, Hobby Farms Editor


Stephanie Staton, Hobby Farms Editor, mucking barns with mini track loader
Courtesy Greg Staton

By now, the garden has been prepped and seeded and is showing signs of the harvest in store. The previous winter and spring chores that went into it are behind us, but if you have the right equipment, it’ll continue to serve you for chores throughout the year. (Hint: Regardless of its value for producing fertilizer for the garden in late winter, the horse will neither stop nor slow its production of manure to suit your seasonal gardening needs. This means muck duties—both big and small—will stay on your to-do list. Trust me; I know.)

Having the right tools to accomplish any task is key to efficiency and effectiveness on the farm (and anywhere else, for that matter), and I’ve been fortunate that many of my family members work in construction and other trades that behoove our farm needs. For example, the mini track loader I’m driving in this picture belongs to my father-in-law, who owns a water-line construction company.

This little beastie cleaned out a barn full of manure in no time—I don’t even want to think about how long it would have taken with a shovel and wheelbarrow!

Transporting the nitrogen-rich black gold approximately 600 feet from the barn to the composting site at the end of the garden took less than a minute, and the mounds amassed at lightning speed. Saving my back (and the backs of my family members who were there to help out), valuable time and a few potentially unpleasant mishaps (i.e., mid-road spills) illustrated its value as “the right tool for the job.”

If you’re ready to pick out a new tractor for your farm or want to learn to keep your equipment (new or old) running at its optimum capacity, our annual tractor issue has you covered.

  • Commit to a maintenance routine to keep your tractor primed for work on the farm.

  • Get a quick-reference guide for the newest tractors on the market suited to small-scale farms.

  • Discover products to get your engines started more quickly and efficiently.

Don’t let another year of unnecessary, time-consuming, back-breaking seasonal and not-so-seasonal duties diminish your reasons for leading a sustainable, enriched farm life.


 

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