Farm Story: A growing wish list

Snow blower.

More broadly: equipment. More exactly: my wish list of such. Starting at budget ceiling and going up from there. Why? An exorcism of sorts. Want it, can’t have it: get it out of the system. Maybe something will stick and then we’ll have to think about getting it.

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Proceed.

Snow blower. The farm features a long driveway and Pemberton (very generally speaking) features a lot of snow. The current model is beyond dysfunctional. The rotors are worn and bent and the snow is sort of burped out, barely clearing the side of the road.
Usually what happens is the chute gets plugged within 10 feet or so and the sheer pin does its thing and the operator begins to melt down. At least the sheer pin usually works. Once it didn’t and the PTO arm broke off.

I am filled with wonder at the fact that dad has unearthed it from the grassy, scrub alder ditch grave into which it had been urged and consigned. Yet behold, there it is occupying prime position under cover and apparently poised for action. Does he really plan to use it this year? I can’t support that. Not sure how to proceed. A family meeting? Threat of mutiny? Equipment sabotage? Is that even possible?

Rotavator — without a roller on the back. Now, this can be a controversial piece of equipment on an organic farm. Pulverizing the soil, killing earthworms, leaving a hard-pan and requiring full tractor power: not good organic best practices. However, all this is forgiven and ignored when the finished product is a fluffy tilth just pining for seeds to hold.

The roller, unquestionably the best for easy and consistent depth control, pounds that all down. Sometimes you need depth control, and sometimes you just want to whip that soil into shape. Get me a gal-danged rotavator without a roller already.
Stacked torsion-tine, sweep, knife, finger, basket and shield weeder. With a burner. I just made that up although interestingly, something like that is available — I just can’t quite recall where the line is between fact and fantasy. It’s on the move, I know that.

Luckily for organic farmers, conventional vegetable growers are finding chemicals expensive, increasingly less effective, tricky to use, lethal to pollinators and repulsive to customers. As a result, great strides are being made in mechanical weeding technology.
Mobile small bin dumper, inspection conveyor, bag and box weighing system. This one could very well happen. It could cost a small fortune, or it could be made out of existing equipment, plywood and equal parts optimism, crippling thrift and wishful thinking. I desire this contraption so that I can have a hands-more-free bagging and boxing operation. It is a lot to ask frankly, and perhaps I shouldn’t. Yet, I do.

Carrot harvester. This one falls into the category of I really should want this but really I don’t. Carrot harvest is my favourite task on the farm. I love moving purposefully through the field, often accompanied by friends and family co-workers, bathing in the cool, autumn breezes/rain, the faint whiff of carrot/money in the air. I am not at all certain that it would be an improvement to introduce a rickety (we couldn’t afford smooth) and noisy, yet efficient digger to the field.

We already have me.

There are no other farming equipment fantasies to share. We are blessed to be very nearly adequate in this department so the possibility of acquiring only one thing in the coming year is going to be a manageable disappointment.

Anna Helmer thinks she must be finally growing up.

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