The sound of our tractor…a classic IH674 diesel…starting up and running at any time of year, but particularly after waking from a long Winter’s sleep, is a “pitter, patter” to my heart!
Getting a late start this year as Winter actually ALMOST showed up, I’m already a bit nervous as I’m behind…again. So much to do before the first hop shoots start poking up through the soil. So many projects were left undone at the end of last season due to a very wet Summer and Autumn. Surprisingly – and I’m taking this as a good sign for this season – on this day, there were no areas of the larger hopyard that had standing water. We’ve been having issues with both standing water and a high water table in the large yard and have a plan in place, just don’t have the financial resources and time at present to implement those plans.
Unwrapping the tractor after it’s been sitting all through Winter is a slightly terrifying thing for me. As I’ve noted a number of times in the blog here, I did not grow up on a Farm, outside of small garden tractors and lawn mowers, I was not around larger Farm equipment until later in life. As a result, I’ve been intimidated about being the primary caretaker for equipment I feel like I understand maybe 40% of its’ inner workings.
We pull the battery every year to keep in warm and dry in the basement at the house. So every year, I trudge up through the snow with this 20lb beast of a battery to remount it in the engine compartment. I make sure the fuel is topped off, reopen the fuel lines, check the oil and transmission fluid levels…adjust the intake and throttle, turn the key and…PRAY!