Friday, April 29, 2011

Let me introduce...

   the chix...or at least the few that didn't mind having their pictures taken.
This is DeeDee. She is a Delaware and she's my buddy.
Dee likes her neck rubbed, and her waddles, and her beak, but definitely NOT her ears. She helps me with everything and is the only chick that doesn't really mind me picking her up. As a baby she had one of her legs broke. You can't hardly tell which one now. But, all the handling made her friendly to me. She's super smart, the real queen of the roost, and a lot of fun.

Sometime tho she gives me the evil eye and says "whaaa?"
This is Bubby...
We also jokingly (when he can't hear) call him Hop-a-long. He hasn't gotten used to his spurs yet so kind of hip hops when he runs or walks fast. He is our only rooster right now. And...NONE of our roosters are ever mean!

This is Dorky. She's a Dorking. She is also dorky. No - really!

When Dorky was just a few months old, she had something happen to her back (probably a rooster jumping on her). We thought it was broke. She could barely walk and when she finally did she propelled herself smacking into walls and everything. It seemed that her nerves were messed up somehow. We kept her inside for quite a while. Now she still propels herself unwillingly and plows into others. But, she is a great chick anyway and fends for herself pretty well.

This is Goldy...

Oops! Bad hair day. It was really windy when I took this pic and she was being blown over cuz her hair is soooo big. She's a Golden Polish. Can't see a blasted thing, but she is about four years old so she's doing okay with it.

And this is Spike...

Running away...
Okay, this is Spike...

Still running away...
Okay...this is Spike... that was Spike's butt.
Spike is a Hamburg. She is running away because we are always threatening her with death. Why? Well...she is really super annoying. She lays her eggs in the top of the barn, she has an annoying voice, she never does what she is supposed to, she is annoying to the others...etc.
For years we have said things like "Spike, why don't you go check out the worms on the road?" or "Spike, why don't you stay out and talk to the raccoons tonight?" She refuses to be tricked.
So, when I told her I needed a shot for the blog...she kept running away. Go figure.

The chix on our farm are too cool. All different kinds of heritage breeds. We have 13 right now and are gettting another 30 in two weeks. They are free-range, meaning they get to run all over the place all day long. Each have their own personalities. Some are motherly, some are smart, some are funny, some like to help in the garden...

They all go in at night by themselves and aren't a lick of trouble. We only have to feed them in the winter (November to March). They are great bug patrol, participate (as they can, except Spike of course) in the Egg Program, and help clean up any candy wrappers left by guests. And all of them are nice, none chase people even when they are chased first.
All in all, we are glad they are here. (okay...even Spike)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Stairway to...Heaven?

   Well, just a quick mushroom note...we found another 2 1/2 pounds of half-free morels on Tuesday. Yippee! (Sorry Cindy!) We are going looking again later on. We did end up selling the three pounds of the half-free to Thad at Bacaro restaurant in Champaign (eat there and taste them!) and keeping the blondes (which we promptly devoured). I also found out that what we call a "black" morel might really be a dark-morph blonde one. Interesting tidbit.
   We are also continuing to work on projects. Here is the latest...a stairway in the small barn.
   This is the small barn. Longer ago in the farm's history it was a small milking barn. The cows were brought into stalls and milked in here. Then the milk was taken to another little building for separation and cold storage. This barn was fixed up, thanks to mom, by Jim Yoder a few years ago. It was missing the east side, on the left in the pic, and leaning pretty precariously. He did a great job with it, new roof and everything.
   The little white door you can see in the picture is the mill room door. We made the mill room a while back and it has washable walls, ceiling and floor. We mill all our flours and corn meal in there. But this is the area beside the mill room...

   We want to make this area, where the work bench is, into a veggie wash room. That way we can bring the veggies in the door where Marty is standing (on the right), to the washing contraption (still need to buy it), and run it thru. The water would drain out the old dairy floor drain out the wall to the field. To the left of the post we will build a walk in cooler. We can wash the veggies and pop them right into this cooler. It won't have to be set as cold as our other walk-in so we can store root crops over winter for seed the next year.
   But, here is Will working on the stairs...

   The upstairs, which was the old hay mow, is huge. It is all open with a very large (5' or so tall) window on the south. Gets great light! The floor is a mess and we are careful not to fall thru. But, we store stuff up there for our operation. Boxes, water jugs to put over plants, bread trays that hold squash for drying for saving seed, garlic drying area, etc. is all up there. Unfortunately we had to always climb an old ladder on the wall and hand stuff up to each other. Now...
   wha-la! We can just traipse on up there with our squash or whatever! Cool, eh? It is super great! Makes me sooo excited. I just go up and down, up and down, up and down, to get the feel of how easy it is now. Heavenly! Someday I dream of converting the hay mow to hold my loom and then have art classes on weaving, spinning, etc. ah! many! Maybe someday!!
   Next project? We'll put a sliding door on the side wall across from this staircase. The sliding door will block off the area where we back the grain wagon in when we unload it. I'll fix the cement floor in this area and we will have a nicer area for storing our grains before milling them. We'll also begin to work on framing in the new cooler space. Keep up to date on our progress by checking back!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mushroom Madness

   Here they are! Morels.
We went shroom hunting on Sunday. It was really nice out, sunny and somewhat calm. And, wet. Great mushroom weather. After scavenging the woods for a few hours we ended up with lots of different mushrooms, including the morels.
   Now correct me if I'm wrong, but in the picture above, on the left is the black morel, middle is half-free morel, and right is blonde morel. We found about 1 1/3 pound of the half-free all in one area near a dead oak tree. We also found these little guys...

Marty researching different shrooms
   If we aren't sure what they are, we SURE don't eat them. We looked up and learned about three or four different kinds that we didn't put on the plate. Here's one that we do know and it is okay to eat, tasting a little like watermelon but kinda tough...

Dryad's Saddle (this one is too old already tho)
   We had a great time, just walking slowly around, heads down, waiting for the big find. It is so much fun! I get the giggles every time I find one. Like a treasure hunt. The black morels were on higher ground and not all in one spot, very difficult to see as they look somewhat like nuts that squirrels have chomped open. The blonde morels were in one area around a dead elm that Marty had put some micro-rhyz...whatever...bacteria around earlier in the season. We might check around that tree again later.
   Usually we don't find that many morels in our woods. And, we have NEVER found all three kinds at one time. That is unusual in that the blondes are usually a week later (being born blonde myself I won't mention the blonde joke that goes with that comment). The dryad's saddles come out all throughout the summer after rains but are only really good when they are a creamy white after they first come out. Otherwise they are a bit tought to naw on.
   We brought our treats back to the house and fixed this delicious spring meal.

   Clockwise o'clock is the blonde morel, half-free morel, asparagus, black morel, and YES! fiddleheads at 10 o'clock. With a (in the middle) delicious corn bread stuffing cake and drizzled with some kind of fancy sauce that my great cook of a husband Marty dreamed up.
   Contrary to what SOME people believe - we DO NOT sell everything we grow and harvest. Some things are just tooooo valuable and tasty to give away at any price. The morels and fiddleheads are two of those items. Maybe, just maybe, someday in the future, on a day when you catch us in a good mood, we might, just might, sell some of the morels and fiddleheads. But, only after we get ours first!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Amazing Radiator Pig

This is Didi...oops those are the boys...
Now, this is Didi in the pic below.
She is the super tiny piggie second to the right.

   Didi is our Amazing Radiator Pig. She is tiny as you can see partly because she is from the third litter (the larger girls in the pic are from the second litter). She is also just small. And, very curly. But the small part is the important part of the story that caused the whole problem.
   Last Tuesday it rained. Many days lately are rainy. And, the pigs were out on pasture in the old tomato area which has some white clover in it. Our pigs are total pasture pigs, no grain or feed and just hay in the winter. So, springtime is when we move them onto the new clover. They do pretty well eating the clover, until it rains. Then the clover becomes a huge mud hole.
   I went out in the early eve to move the cages and say good night. Boys first as they were closest, all fine. Then to the girls Didi! I saw the larger girls in the mud, mucking toward me, but no Didi. Then I saw her. All the way at the back and half in the mud just lying still. I climbed in.
   oops. I was wearing some boots that came from someone much larger than me, boots two sizes too big and slit halfway down the back also. I got stuck! I couldn't pull my feet up without the damn boots coming off! Finally, struggling, I got to her and pulled her up out of the mud. She was limp. I struggled back to the front of the pen and yelled YELLED for help. One boot came off and was lopped over in the mud and I was balancing with the pig on the other foot with my sock foot on the cage, trying to figure out how to get out.
   Marty heard me, thank goodness, and came to help. I took Didi up to the house and put her in the tub, thinking I would just start some warm water on her to get the mud off and see if she was okay. Her eyes were open and a little responsive, opening wide when worried and then drooping again. So, I knew she was in there. I started lightly pouring warm water over her along her neck and back, warming her up. She was freezing. She never moved. Every now and then I would lift her and let the water drain, still no movement but a widening of the eyes again.
   After a couple hours Marty found me. He didn't know where I had taken her as he had set out to get the cages onto some more sturdy grass areas. By then Didi was somewhat cleaned up and warmer, but I didn't know what to do. Every time I quit with the warm water she would begin to shiver and breath raspy. She had closed her eyes and was just lying there. I didn't know how much mud got in her mouth and nose, or in her lungs. So, I just kept the water going to keep her warm. I was exhausted by the time Marty found me and wondering if we should just put her down. It wasn't looking too good.
   But, we decided to wrap her in a couple of old towels and lay her on the radiator. She was tiny enough that she fit on it perfectly. Marty pumped up the heat in the house and she was staying warm. But, she was still rasping and not looking good. We considered just putting her down, but decided to give her the night and see how she was in the morning. Unfortunately, in the morning and for all the next day we would be in Chicago delivering. So, we had to decide by morning what to do.
   I got worried she would roll off the radiator if she woke up, so after a couple of hours on it when she was good and warm I moved her to the floor in front of it. She laid there and didn't move, sometimes opening her eyes, and sometimes rasping a little. We left her for the night.
   At 4am, my usual thinking time, I got up and checked on her. She had scooted herself around and out from under the towel, nose still under the radiator. She made a little grunt. Hm. Good sign. So I left her again. And, of course, Petie was concerned (he is very sensitive to others' needs) and he stayed outside the door the whole night worrying away about the radiator piggie and keeping watch.
   At 6:30 I checked again and she grunted more and was moving a little. I opened the cabinet and when the door squeeked she grunted more. Then Marty came into the bathroom and she popped up to see him. Weird! She appeared fine! She started trying to eat his socks. I got some wheat berries in a little water with a dash of milk and she gobbled it up, grunting for more. Whew! If a pig eats, it is okay!
   We still didn't want to put her out in the cold so kept her in the dog kennel all day. Mom came and checked on her and moved the kennel near the hall radiator when Didi looked cold. She fed her and the piggie gobbled that down too.
   The next day we took her outside and put her in a small cage while I cleaned out the kennel. She ate some grass, laid in the sun, and just grunted like normal. Now she appears fat and fine. We put her in with Pea (in the pic on the far left) and they are doing great now.
   That is how Didi became our Amazing Radiator Pig

Monday, April 18, 2011

Catching up

   We are finally getting some good rains, every other day or so. We went for so long without enough rain that we were beginning to worry. Now if we could just get some heat! Everything is just poking along. This is definitely the "shut up and wait" part of the farming. Last year we were harvesting green garlic the first part of April and this year it won't be ready until next week...maybe. One good spurt of heat and that would help. We were able to get a lot of things in the ground, now just to get them to grow faster. Come on Mother with us here!
   So, the last couple of weeks we have been playing catch up on some projects (aside from dealing with the surprise ducklings and other surprises like that). We did get the wood shed for the syrup done and it looks wonderful!

The proud new owner who doesn't
have to duck his head to get in.

Remember the pic on my previous blog of the
"exploded shed"? This is the new one from the same view.

Looking at it from the east. We can unload
right into it. The little door is on the right side.
The syrup house is also to the right.
   That was a major project. We haven't finished working down at the syrup house yet, still some clean up to do. It was postponed while we were getting the fields tilled and planted. We are still working in the woods however, harvesting crops. Yep, more wilds! Visit our website for a little write up about our "wild and weird" crops. We are now harvesting grapevine, wild onion, and wild blossoms.    
   With a few wilds like the grapevine and onions, and a few regular crops like radishes and mustard greens, we are able to get enough orders together to head to the city of Chicago this week. It will be our first visit since syrup season and we are really looking forward to it. It is a nice day away from the farm, good visiting with our friends, and the whole day energizes and inspires us to try new crops.
   Our friends in Champaign at Bacaro restaurant ( have been getting some of our wild goodies the last couple of weeks. So if you are down that way, drop in for some great food. They are located downtown Champaign on Walnut street. Don't forget to try their fantastic wine selection also!
   And, opening soon on Neil Street is Destihl Restaurant and Brew works ( We are all excited that they are able to finally open the Champaign restaurant. And, we wish them a huge success! Great people, great beer, great food.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ducks? Today??!!

   Talk about a shocker to the system. The post office called yesterday at noon and said we had some chicks come in and needed to pick them up. What??? Those weren't supposed to come until May 9th. We didn't feel we could just send the little buggers back, so we got their cage area ready. Looks like this...

There is a cage that a box sits on. The box has linoleum on the bottom for easy washing. Then we have cardboard on the corners to round them and another cardboard piece across the middle to keep them all on one half until they get bigger. The heat lamp hangs on a rope and can be lifted up and down to
adjust the heat. We keep it around 95 for the first few days and can tell if they are cold if they huddle and hot if they are in the corners trying to get away from the heat. Then the screen keeps the big girls and boys from climbing in and eating the food and terrorizing the babies. As the babies get larger and warmer we can open the back door with a screen door on it and let some fresh air in.

We've used this system for years and I like it alot. But, the reason I like it the best is because the little babies are in with the big kids. They listen to each other, begin to recognize voices, and start to get acquainted. The transition of putting the babies in with the larger chicks seems to go pretty easy later.

As you can see from this pic, the whole thing fits into one half of the chicken house. The large chicks still have their nice perches for at night and they put up with all the cheaping and the increased heat. There is a flip door on the side of the chicken house so we can keep the large door closed and the heat in. The big girls can come in and out during the day to put eggs in the boxes as part of our "egg program". (Most of them willingly participate in the program. Except Spike and she is a whole 'nother story!)
   The babies arrived in a cardboard box. And Tom, the postman, mentioned that there wasn't that many. Hm...I had ordered 30 chicks. I opened the box and saw little black billed heads...ducks! They were due May 16th!
   Our Cayuga ducks came early. OOOKAAY. I guess we could still use the same set up since the chicks wouldn't come until May. It would be too cold to set up the other area where we usually raise the ducklings and the turkey poults. We noticed two were already dead, but we took the rest home to get them warmed up.

This is the type of box we get our poultry in. We like to work with McMurry Hatchery in Iowa as they are so nice. When we got the babies home, we opened the box carefully and took them out one at a time. The ducks have little bands on their legs that are different colors according to their sex. We had ordered 10 female (ducks) and 2 male (drakes). The bands need to be removed before the ducklings get too large or the legs will be pinched by them.

We carefully removed the bands, and I dipped each bill into the water a couple of times, making sure that they got a good drink each time. This is pretty important for the poultry I think. It helps them find the water, hydrates them after a truly horrible experience, gives them some sustenance since they are just hatched, and calms them down some. We let them all be still for a while and soak up the heat and get their drinks. A small plate of food is available for them also.

I've noticed that the ducklings like to be shown the food. I dribble some onto the newspaper and they chase it like it is bugs. The newspaper keeps them from eating the pine wood shavings we use for bedding. I'll take the newspaper out after a couple of days a piece at a time, getting them used to the new stuff and making sure they aren't eating it.
  We did lose two more later and I got really worried. I called the hatchery and they said they thought the ducklings got too stressed during shipping and assured me we could work out a credit for them. Like I said...they are really nice. The rest of the babies did fine all through the night. I check them every four hours and adjust the light as needed for the first couple of nights. Unfortunately we don't have that automated. It gives me a chance to make sure they are doing okay.
   We usually order for delivery in May so the weather isn't too cold. I'm not sure if the mix up was mine or the hatchery, but the babies are here and doing fine. I did make sure the chicks were coming in May and that will give us plenty of time to get these raised up enough to move them out to another area by then.
   As for the breed, Cayuga ducks are a heritage breed. You can learn more about them at the American Livestock Breed Conservancy website - link at the bottom of the blog page. I love the black ones...they are soooo cute! What about the other two survivors? One is doing great, the other we are still concerned about.
Can you tell which is which? Wish them luck.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wildflowers at the Farm

Here's some beauties that are blooming right now.


Dutchman's Breeches
Cute little guys!


And, here's some that will be blooming soon!

Wild tulips


Woodland Poppies

   Piglet news...all eight are still hanging in there, altho we are still worried for the littlest runt. He's still not very strong. Today we give them some soil to munch on. To answer a couple of questions...registering the pigs with the AGHA helps keep track of this breed in the U.S. And, since they are very rare (only around 1,000 now) it helps with knowing how the breed is growing, what problems it might be having with birth defects or such, and helps us know which lines of the breed are doing the best. It also helps keep cross breeding and dilution of the breed out of the picture. 
   We don't get any government subsidies for our crops or animals. We aren't sure that would be the best for our farm to be sustainable financially if we couldn't have a market that supported our products without (variable and unsure of) government assistance. We just keep trying to do a really good job with what we are doing, on the scale we can do, enjoying our land and family and friends while doing it.
   Thinking of farming in the terms of marketing, instead of just growing something that we will get paid for even if the price isn't enough, makes it more of a challenge. It makes it more exciting to try to come up with the latest greatest for the chefs. It is also how the world of small business works...we are really a small family owned business selling our cool and unique products to loving wonderful customers! Ra Ra for small entreprenurial businesses!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Piglets are here...finally!

   When I started chores Saturday morning and opened the barn door I found the babies.
   Swee had eight baby piglets that morn, I figure about 7am. Two still had yuck on them and were off to the side and she was nursing the others already. I left them for a little while in case she wasn’t done cleaning them up. Later Marty went back with me and he took out the one that wasn’t moving and was lying on its back. We thought it was dead. It was alive but very chilly so he warmed it up in the sun and rubbed on it. A little girl.
   I climbed in with Swee and put the other yuck one on a teat as it couldn’t seem to find it. Then I moved the runt closer also. The one Marty was warming still had the umbilical cord on it. We put it back next to her belly. Later we checked again and it wasn’t eating yet but was staying warm. The runt was starting to eat a little by that time.
   Later in the day, we were working on the back porch, jacking it up cuz it was sloping so badly, and I thought I’d better check on the babies again. We hadn't given Swee any food yet as we didn't want to disturb her.
   But, what a scare! Swee was still in the same position and still grunting. The babies were still feeding. But she hadn’t moved and still had the afterbirth behind her. With her previous three litters she cleaned up the afterbirth pretty quickly. But, this was about 6 hours later.
   I got worried and went in with her. I moved her tail aside to check and make sure she didn’t have anyone stuck. She just grunted and didn’t get upset with me. That got me even more worried.
   I have to say that unlike all the stories I've heard of sows being mean, she is a really super good pig. She never gets upset with me if I climb in with her and the babies, at least not the first few days. She lets me pick them up, check them out, etc. If she doesn't want me to handle them she makes a little more assertive grunt at me and I back off. But, this letting me fiddle with her back end...well that was a real surprise.
   So I ran back to the house and got the guys. I was pretty worried.
   Marty gave her the golden treat - two apples - and she got up and ate them. Apples do it every time! Then she ate the afterbirth which makes me gag and I can’t watch it. I can deal with a lot of blood and gore, but not that! She wanted more apples so we gave her another three and then some turnips and she drank some water. Whew!
   She must've been really wiped out. 
   We got a good look at the little kids. They are now considered the “babies”; the last two litters are the “boys” and the “girls”. This new litter had one runt and then the one that we thought was dead. The runt and the gimped up one that was cold can’t move their back ends well, but they were getting around some. That was a great sign. I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had lost them. But they must’ve got enough to eat and got warmed up. They all seem to be doing well. And this morning they are all starting to chase each other around. 

Swee with her first litter. Look like little puppies!
They are only about 5-6" when born.

   Our pigs are all American Guinea Hogs, a pretty rare heritage breed. Check out our website for more info on them. They are pretty small for a pig, Sam weighing just over 200 pounds maybe (we haven't ventured to get him on the scale). The babies are about the size of a large hamster when they are born. They pretty much fit in the palm of your hand. And, since they are a very hairy breed (ours have very thick, curly, wooly looking hair) they look a little like black puppies with their floppy ears.  

   Since Swee was a month past what we expected, that means she bred a month later, around December 22. We try to breed by the moon, which means we put her and Sam together four days before a full moon. I wrote it all down and have to go back and write down about the two that were smaller. When I send in the info to register them with AGHA (American Guinea Hog Association) they like to know how many runts and stillborn and gimped up ones. She has never had stillborn which is good.

   When the babies are about four days old we give them some dirt from the garden area. That keeps us from having to give them iron shots like the conventional pig farmers do. At about four weeks (or when they are big enough that they can't get thru the fence) we put her and the babies out on pasture again. The healthiest litter she has had was the one that she birthed outside on pasture (instead of in the barn stall).
   She had her last litter on my birthday, and this one on Rich’s. Happy Birthday Rich! Bet you never had piglets for your birthday before...we'll name one after you. 

Swee is a great mom. This is her talking to Marty
and her second litter out on pasture at four weeks old.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Good Friday came early

   Teamwork is terrific! We are getting soooo much done lately by all three of us working on projects together. Yesterday we were able to get a lot more planting done. We started out by broadcasting our spring wheat into the south field. We use an old seeder wagon (thanks to Ray Meenen for selling it to us!). Marty and Will stood in back and poured the seed into the hopper which then flings it out, driven by the wheels turning.
Seeder wagon for broadcasting seed
(note that it is green!)

   After that was done, Will took the disc on the larger 190 tractor and covered the seed by pulling the disc thru. Works great. It almost looks like we use a new fangled drill to put the wheat seed in. But, nope...just old timey equipment like they used in the...1940's and 50's maybe.
   Then Good Friday came early this year. Even tho yesterday was a "leaf" day according to our Stella Natura calendar, we planted our potatoes. That is with the hopes that the rains will come in the next two days and soak them a little. I drove the D-15 (I drive the straightest rows) and Will put the potatoes thru the little planter. Marty cut the potatoes that were too large into smaller pieces and then he worked on hilling them up a little with the G after we were done planting. (See my previous blog for the tractor pics.)
   The potato planter is an old piece that was lovingly and craftily restored by our friend Warren Ulfers. I have to say thank you to Warren for giving us the seeder to use. It seems that very few people in our area have ever seen a potato planter like this. It is pretty cool.

This pic taken last year pulling with the C tractor.

Here's Will dropping potatoes into the coveyor slots.
   We joke about Will feeling like Lucy on the show "I Love Lucy" where she is in the candy factory trying to keep up with the conveyor. I have to drive pretty slow pulling it. The planter is powered by a chain on the wheel and we had some problems with keeping the chain on...until it broke! Then we shortened it a notch and it worked great.
   Will piles the potatoes in the box (as you can see) and drops the pieces into the conveyor in the middle. They go down a chute which is behind a plow. The plow creates a furrow, potato drops into it, and then another piece covers them.
   If you would like to see some of the equipment we use, we are having a Small Equipment Day at the farm on May 21. This program is sponsored by the Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network (CISFN). Sign up at Joining the network as a supporter or farmer gives you an opportunity to keep up with Central Illinois small farm news and programs throughout central Illinois.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Allis is my Girl

   We are "orange" people. Saying that in farm country is like saying we are Lutheran (been there) or Texan (that too). It defines a certain something about you. We happen to live in "green" country tho. Let's do some math with that...if green is to John Deere, then orange must be to...yep...Allis Chalmers. Our tractors are orange Allis tractors. Altho we do have a couple of green pull behind pieces.
   Right now we have a small Simplicity lawn mower (Allis brand used for parts) and also a 916 Simplicity (FOR SALE $600, just needs a starter). Then we have the Allis G which is a spider looking tractor that is used for vegetable production. The G is a 1949. It is the one we use to plant (me sitting on the front with the little push planter). And mostly Marty uses it for cultivating the vegetable rows.

Allis G
The next size we have is an 1944 Allis C. FOR SALE!! $3,000. She's a beauty! Restored condition. Good tires and paint. Runs good. Side arm cutter works. Wide front. We've used her to cut and windrow hay and to pull Will around on various small pieces. (We need to sell this one to pay for the largest one.) I like this one because she is just darn pretty!

Allis C 1944
 The next size up...Allis D-15. This is my tractor for planting and harvesting the wheat and corn. I like it because she has a little more power than the C and has power stearing (unlike our neighbor Tom's Ford loader tractor).

1961 Allis D-15
But, the D-15 wasn't pulling the spider cultivator easily. It was really causing the engine to work too hard. We weren't able to get the alfalfa plowed up and were getting discouraged with having to ask neighbors for help. So, we just bought this 1964 Allis 190. It pulls the cultivator and disc and we were able to get our alfalfa areas ready for planting our spring wheat. Will likes this one and he is good at driving it. 

1964 Allis 190
Well, there you have it. Our Allis line up. We hope to never have to buy a bigger tractor than the 190. We actually never thought we'd ever have one that big. augh!
   Thanks to Lynn Miller (author, editor, speaker - Small Farm Journal - great magazine!) for causing me to think more about sustainability. My dream tractor...a team of oxen! Maybe someday Lynn!

Me with the boys at Garfield Farm in LaFox, IL