Saturday, part 1. And Justin tears up something.

Saturday was a busy day on the farm. It began with Miguel and our new intern Justin getting to work while I ran to the office to handle something work related for an hour. I came back to find that Justin had worn the new shine off of his internship by running the tractor into the chicken brooder house.

Nobody was hurt except for the door on the house which suffered quite a bit. Fortunately the door was getting in pretty bad shape already so fixing it was already in the cards. We had a conversation about tractors and how quickly and easily they can destroy something and the importance of being careful. Justin has been careful so far so that one wasn’t harped on. He’s brand new to running equipment so some mistakes can be expected. Compared to running into my truck or someone getting hurt, this wasn’t too bad so I didn’t jump up and down. Having interns means that people are learning, and people learning make mistakes, it’s part of the game.

After trying to destroy the house, we went to sort out the pigs, who had all gotten together in one group. We couldn’t have our boar, Lamont, running with our little pigs because they are getting to the size that the girls might start looking cute to Lamont. After a quick attempt, we made the call to wait till later in the day when the pigs were hungry. Rather than pushing them, we could pull them with food so they come willingly.

With no pigs to move, we switched to some chores that needed to be performed. Justin began working on the mobile waterer we use for the cows. The hose had become damaged and needed to be reworked. Miguel needed to change the fuel filter on the truck we haul our produce on daily, and I needed to test and then work on the lawn mower. We all three went to work in the shop, everyone on their own project. I found that the lawnmower vacuum system wasn’t working despite our attempts at repairing it and it had to come off. I also had a blade with a stuck bolt from where we’d tried to change the blades a month back. I raised the mower up via our crane and went to work on the bolt. The head was rounded off slightly and no wrench I had would get purchase. No problem, I took a piece of scrap steel and dressed it up on the grinder. Then I ground the head of the bolt to get clean metal and welded the two together. Viola! A handle for the bolt. I held a block to keep the blade from turning, Miguel turned the welded handle with a cheater bar, and Justin held the tractor and the bolt popped loose right away. A quick minute and the new blade was on. Problem solved. There is no substitute for having the right tools in a good shop.

Justin was able to get the hose fixed and Miguel was able to change out the fuel filter, after locating the filter wrench he didn’t know I had. By this time it was 11am and we needed to head to the farmers market to meet our wholesaler farmers who had some produce for us. Arriving at the market we found that their food wasn’t quite ready yet so we had to wait about 30 minutes for them to get everything ready. While waiting, Miguel hooked us up with some of the best Mango I’ve ever eaten compliments of one of the farmers. Then I met a white guy who was wearing a hat and shirt that both were labeled Gringo. He was standing there with the same farmer cutting up with the Mexicans in fluent Spanish. I learned after a few minutes that this was Benjie, the owner of Gringo a Go-Go, a new Mexican place we were already looking to try. Benjie was an interesting character and I promised we’d give his place a try. He also was the real deal, having lived in Mexico for a number of years. His Spanish was fluent and his knowledge of Mexican food was impressive. We’ll definitely give his place a try.

Finally the food was ready so we loaded a full trailer from the guys and headed over to our regular farmers in the main market. They filled up the rest of the truck with their haul and we booked home because we were late for lunch at Angie’s.

After Angie’s, Justin and I left Miguel to do real work while we went on the CFSA’s farm tour, but that’s another post.

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