The first cutting was 100% horse powered. The second cutting was about 50% in the barn when the hay loader suffered a mechanical problem that I wasn't sure I would be able to fix, so we opted to finish with the assistance of our great neighbors, Stan and Sharon, and their baler. When the equipment you use hasn't been manufactured for 70 years, you can't just run down to the local tractor supply and find replacement parts.
|The new 1951 Allis Chalmers "All-Crop" 60 combine -- yet another Craigslist find|
Yeah -- I know. Combines aren't exactly in line with my low carbon goals. The problem is that there don't seem to be any good low-carbon methods of threshing any significant volume of grain. The Amish in this area typically use a grain binder, and then take the shocks of grain to an old fashioned stationary threshing machine powered by a tractor. Not a bad solution, but I figure if I'm going to use gasoline for one part of the process, I might as well use it for the whole process. Stationary threshing machines are huge (and all very old), and I'd need another barn just to store it along with the grain binder I would need. I can justify this one on the fact that we purchase grain for our chickens and hogs anyway, and this should be somewhat less carbon intensive due to the fact that I'm doing most of the fieldwork with horses. When the gasoline dries up, I'll be in almost as bad of shape as anyone else, but at least I still have my grain cradle and a bathtub to thresh in!
|Our garden buckwheat patch (with white flowers)|