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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Manure Spreader

On Sunday, 27 October, in order to justify a road trip, I used the excuse of transporting my son Jesse's 1978 Suzuki GS550 from our barn in Campton to his home in Vermont.  I hooked up my trailer to the Santa Fe, loaded the bike onto it, and towed it over the mountain to Lebanon, NH, across the Connecticut River and over the Green Mountains to the southwest corner of Vermont.  There, we unloaded the graceful old Suzuki at the Pullman Farm in the Town of Shaftsbury.

Jesse and Cally, our son and daughter-in-law were married here in 2012.  They now operate the farm, following the tragic death of Cally's aunt Edie.  Edie's sister Candace (Pullman) Wheeler, Cally's mother, was also present this weekend.  Candy is an expert in the kitchen, so happily cooked us a farm dinner of roast chicken, string beans, acorn squash, and mixed salad, with apple crisp for dessert.  Yum!

An empty dung heap.
After unloading the bike and stowing it in the garage, I asked Jesse to tell me the full story of his manure spreading adventure (described in the e-mails in my previous post).  He started me off at the dung heap.  You'll note that it is empty in the photo at the right.  That is because he had loaded tons of horseshit into the farm's manure spreader a week earlier, on the 19th, only to have that machine break on his first spreading run.

It seems that a sizable boulder had been buried in the manure pile, which during the loading had found its way into the spreader.  The boulder had jammed the spreader, and broken its drive chain.  While he was removing the boulder from the jammed rotating parts of the spreader, the boulder fell onto the toes of Jesse's right foot.  Luckily and wisely, Jess was wearing his steel-toed boots, and suffered no injury.
Jesse points to where the rock jammed the spreader's "throwers."

Note the bent tines on the leftmost thrower.

Here is where the drive chain snapped.

These bars are dragged by the chain along beneath the  load,
moving it to the rear of the machine, where the spinning throwers
distribute it onto the hayfields.
It took the rest of the day on the 19th for Jesse to repair the (fully loaded) manure spreader.  But, he got it fixed, and spent a peaceful 35th birthday (on the 20th), fertilizing some of the many large hay fields at the farm.

We walked out to the "new barn," where I viewed all five of the farm's tractors, this one being the oldest.  It had belonged to Cally's great-grandfather.

This farm is a boarding facility for the horses of others who live in the southwest corner of Vermont.  It houses many horses, and has large paddocks and multiple stables, as well as both indoor and outdoor training rings for the equestrians.  My next post will include some snapshots of a few of the horses, and facilities that they enjoy:  Here is a recent arrival:

"The mustang."  A horse bought and brought from out west.  Note his brand.

The Brick Farm was an old name for the Pullman farmhouse.  It was built in 1800, and is reputed to be the birthplace of  the man who later (while living in Wisconsin) was credited as being the founder of The Republican Party of the United States.  Its architecture is graceful, solid, and definitely "of the period."  As Jesse described it, "Every hallway a bedroom, every bedroom a hallway."

At the invitation of Candace to stay for dinner, and of Jesse and Cally to spend the night, I stayed Sunday night at the farm.  We'll be going back for a baby shower in November, for Cally is expecting in January.
The happy farmers, parents-to-be.

Old feller, settin' a spell by the farm gate.

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