Saying “so long” to Allis

Today marks the end of an era – we officially retired Allis, our Allis-Chalmers 190XT tractor (the banner on this page and the mascot of Innisfree Farm). Up until recently, she was the go-to tractor for just about everything. But … Continue reading

Today marks the end of an era – we officially retired Allis, our Allis-Chalmers 190XT tractor (the banner on this page and the mascot of Innisfree Farm). Up until recently, she was the go-to tractor for just about everything. But like all machinery, she got old. Rebuilt engines didn’t last, hoses leaked, seals broke, and it was time to give her rest. Because of her place in the story of Innisfree Farm, she won’t be sold. I hope to restore her in the future, maybe to work, maybe to show, but certainly to remind all of us here about where we came from and why we do what we do.

Saying “so long” to Allis

Today marks the end of an era – we officially retired Allis, our Allis-Chalmers 190XT tractor (the banner on this page and the mascot of Innisfree Farm). Up until recently, she was the go-to tractor for just about everything. But like all machinery, she got old. Rebuilt engines didn’t last, hoses leaked, seals broke, and it was time to give her rest. Because of her place in the story of Innisfree Farm, she won’t be sold. I hope to restore her in the future, maybe to work, maybe to show, but certainly to remind all of us here about where we came from and why we do what we do.

It’s all fun and games until the wheel falls off

Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but it’s hard to feed cattle when the only tractor we have that can move bales develops a flat tire–probably a broken bead due to the unforgiving frozen terrain of the barnyard. Of course, that whole event started because our bale wagon has been frozen to the ground […]

Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but it’s hard to feed cattle when the only tractor we have that can move bales develops a flat tire–probably a broken bead due to the unforgiving frozen terrain of the barnyard. Of course, that whole event started because our bale wagon has been frozen to the ground for two weeks.

The flat tire event precipitated two hours of breaking apart round bales stored in the barn by hand and throwing them down into the mangers I repaired over the summer. Let me tell you how much fun 3000 pounds of hay is…

There is a moral to this story, though, that is more than complaining about things going wrong.

First, there is the moral of always be ready to improvise. Contrary to the popular idea, improvisation is more than just figuring a solution on the fly. Sometimes, it means having a plan ahead of time (like having hay in the barn and mangers that can hold it) and thinking about what could go wrong.

Second, there is the moral of learning from one’s mistakes. Having gotten the bale wagon stuck, I now have a whole new plan for how to place said wagon in the coming year so that it doesn’t get stuck.

Third, there is the moral of having the right equipment for the job. Our little Kubota is an amazing tractor, but we’re beating her up moving 7,500 pounds of hay every three or four days. It’s good to do things as inexpensively as possible, but don’t incapacitate yourself by underdoing what needs to be done.

Adapt, improvise, overcome: the morals of the sustainable farm.

DLH