Monday, June 4, 2012

Piglets and tillers

Our piglets arrived last Thursday, a day earlier than expected, but nearly three weeks later than in previous seasons. We'll have to see how well we do at getting them up to butchering weight by Thanksgiving. 

This year we bought Berkshires, from a young Amish farmer in Unity. They seem fairly happy to be here. At their first home they were facing some pretty stiff competition for food, so this is the easy life. Plus they get treats, like Aimee's watermelon rinds and so on.

We also went out Saturday and purchased a bush hog. Not a different kind of pig, this is a piece of farm equipment for clearing brush. We were able to get a good condition four-foot Land Pride bush hog for $400, a bargain, and, what is more amazing our tiny 12.5 horse 1973 Kubota B6000 tractor can actually run it. I had some doubts, having spent a day earlier in the week trying to run, as an experiment, a much heavier unit that I'd borrowed from a local farm organization. The older heavier model couldn't actually be lifted with the tractor's hydraulic three point hitch, but the new one could. If it hadn't worked, I'd have had to sell the new one right away and go back to the drawing board, but all was well.

There were some difficulties on the equipment front, though. On Saturday our tiller shed its pulleys. Not the one I'd been expecting to fall off, but the engine pulley. The bolt had sheared off in the drive shaft end, and would have to be drilled out.

This created an occasion for me to use my engine-basher skills from the RAF. I removed the motor form the chassis and, it not being such a big unit, was able to fit it directly onto my drill press and make a nice precise 7/64ths hole in the sheared bolt. A quick twist with an #2 Easy-Out, and all was ready to reassemble. Very satisfying.

Maybe I should give up the teaching lark and start a machine shop.

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