It’s been a full year since we’ve had a tractor on the farm and this week we brought home a new-to-us Ford 2N! It’s working out well for our needs – it’s small enough to maneuver in our barn for cleaning and able to pull a manure spreader in our pastures. Since we don’t do much fieldwork, a large tractor with all the gadgets ends up being overkill and unused for our purposes. Like everything else on our farm, it’s “vintage.” The Ford 2N was only made between 1942 and 1947 and was a simplified version of the large 8N & 9N tractors, due to wartime resource shortages…yes, I’m talking World War II.
Dan found a free back-blade from a scrap pile, spent some time grinding and cleaning it, and then was able to weld it back to working order, and voila! We’re able to scrape manure daily, if necessary, saving us time & muscle power and helping us improve herd health.
We were also able to get our breeding pigs outside again to enjoy the spring weather this week. We usually keep them on pasture until January/February when the temps are too frigid for them. Whether inside or outside, they always have plenty of straw for bedding and they are great at cuddling for warmth. 😉
Right now, we have them on a cement pad until the grass has matured enough to support them. Our cows are also confined to a small pasture for another few weeks in order to allow the grass to grow its roots deep and mature to support them. In May, the gilts (females in their first pregnancy) will be moved to their farrowing pens as we prepare for their first piglets. We are also anticipating the arrival of a calf from our new cow, Frieda, near the end of this month. Babies only come when they’re good and ready so it’s a big wait & see game around here!
On Sunday we were incredibly lucky to have beautiful weather to celebrate Beau’s baptism – the original reason for this delayed blog post! He is baptized Beau Xavier after St. Francis Xavier, one of the founders of the Jesuit order who dedicated his life to serving as a missionary in India and Japan. It also happened to be the last day of Easter in the Roman Church, the first day of Easter in the Orthodox Church, and Divine Mercy Sunday! We could not have asked for a more perfect day for our little Beau Xavier!
No one can excel in great things who does not first excel in the small. -St. Francis Xavier