This article is reprinted from The North Shore Garlic Company.
Yesterday I got my new soul mate, a 1949 John Deere tractor.
I had second guesses pretty much constantly as I fought my way through Boston rush hour traffic, through the tunnels, the South shore freeways and on down to Rhode Island, where the roads eventually got smaller and smaller, and finally became an old, narrow country road that reluctantly gave way to modern times and got paved.
The Fearsome Three were there waiting, waiving me back toward the narrow slip of a driveway between the cornfields where I missed the turn in my beat up Honda. Three farmers have had this tractor in their family for generations. They stood in solidarity. The grandfather and two grandsons have plowed all their lives on this farm and on this machine. 40 acres a year. All eyes were trained on me, and I had never been on a tractor in all my life.
That’s the unfortunate thing that happens when you are raised in Manhattan.
I believe honesty always prevails, so I told them where I was at in my non-experience with farm machinery. They were very cool about it to the point of almost being thankful that I didn’t pretend to know what I was doing.
As I ran through the gears, I began to feel in my body and soul the awesome power and simplicity of this machine. They delivered it to my buddy and neighbor Ray’s place, where next year’s garlic will live. We plowed the garlic field in an hour- a fraction of what would have taken us many days by hand.
Long live the old tractor!