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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Older is just as good

As I have stated before this little farm has been in the family for 4 generations. And a lot has changed in that time. When I was just a little girl I remember helping and being involved in what ever work was being done at the time.
I remember one time, I was about 10 years old, dad had mowed the fields and we didn't bail the hay at the time. He always used mules to farm with and we had all kinds of team drawn farm implements. He used the team drawn mower to cut the hay and the hay rake to rake it up. I remember he used a fork to throw the hay in a wagon behind the team and I was the little one so I got to jump around in the hay to pack it down a little and get more in the wagon. That has been 37 years ago. This hay rake is one of the first designs of a steel hay rake, made in the late 1800's and is still in good working condition. This equipment is still here even tho we don't have mules any more we now have a tractor. Jason and I decided last week that we could use the tractor mower to cut some hay we have and instead of paying someone to bail it, we will use the old team rake behind the tractor to rake the hay in rows then pick it up with a pitchfork and stack it that way to use in the chicken houses and just in case we come across some animals really cheap this fall. The hay rake didn't and a tongue in it to pull by so we came up with a plan. We used a landscape timber which is about 3" by 4" for the tongue. Then it was on to a way to hook it to the tractor. We used the metal hitch from an old team drawn cultivator on the end of the timber to hook it on the tractor draw bar. Worked like a charm. We haven't decided yet if someone is going to ride on the hay rake to raise the tines to dump the hay or if he will just stop the tractor and raise the tines and then drive on. I am sure it could be altered to raise the tines from the driver seat but we really don't want to change the design of the hay rake too much. Guess we will see how this works in a week or so when we get ready to take up hay.
The next project will be to fix the stalk cutter so we can pull it with a tractor to chop up corn stalks after we pick our corn before they are plowed under to rot. And its days like this that I am so thankful that my 2 boys got to spend time with their grandpa and know how the old things work here on the farm. So till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


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