Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grandpa’s 1950 John Deere MT

In 2001, I was able to purchase the tractor that my grandfather bought new in 1950. In his blog, my dad wrote about how I acquired it. It was a real blessing in that the exact amount of money I needed to buy the tractor was what I had set aside for it. God was very generous.

The tractor sees regular use here on the farm. It is my primary hay-cutting machine. I have a John Deere 8W sickle bar mower that I use with it. The combination makes it a joy to mow hay. I have to restrain myself so that I don’t mow too much at one time. My old International 45T hay baler just can’t be expected to do too much in one day.

About three years ago, I used the MT to plow two acres of ground. The ground had been in grass. After plowing I planted wheat on one acre and oats and field peas on the other acre. Not having a seed drill, I broadcast the seed with a hand-cranked seeder. The oats and field peas made some pretty good hay – at least the goats sure seemed to like it. The wheat did fairly well, too. After those crops, I planted alfalfa. One acre remains in alfalfa while the other one was a corn field this last year.

While plowing, we took some video of the MT in action. I’ve never uploaded a video to Youtube before, but there’s always a first time, right? (I just figured out what was bothering me about this video – I forgot to put the ‘h’ at the end of Malchiah’s name. Well, I’m not uploading it again to correct it.)

Often, when I’m sitting on the tractor mowing hay, I think of the time my grandfather spent sitting on the same seat holding the same steering wheel. I miss him, but through the tractor I feel a connection with him. I never drove it while it was Grandpa’s, but when we cut firewood when I was a kid, it was there putting away while driving the buzz saw. My younguns like to be on it whenever I let them. In the plowing video (and in the photo below) Malchiah, who was a bit smaller then, was with me. Someday, I expect it will belong to one of them.

I fired it up and let it run a while just the other day. It’s nice to hear its sound. We’re in the middle of winter, but it really won’t be long before it’s time to mow some more hay. I’m looking forward to it.



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