A Great Opportunity to Touch the Past
We have the opportunity to buy, repair, and put into use an awesome tool we can use to work toward our independent farm goals. Remember, our overall goal is to build a traditional farm that YOU can come visit – to learn the old ways. And if not you, then someone who can. Sometimes moving forward means using one hand to push off from the dock. I talk about this reality in my book Surviving Off Off-Grid. The basic premise is that anyone who can afford to jump completely and totally off-the-grid all at once, probably doesn’t want to do it. And those of us who really desire to learn the old paths and use the old ways, we have to “work our way backward.”
The truthful irony is, we can use a special machine to help us move back to the pre-machine days.
Most of the industrial revolution involved the commercial/industrial system working toward getting the independent farmer and his family OFF the farm. Generally farmers were not encouraged to work small acreages, to save seed, or to work towards independence from the commercial system. There were a few exceptions, where farmer driven solutions did the exact opposite of what big agriculture wanted to do. The Allis Chalmers All-Crop was one of those machines. This combine (the first iteration was built in the mid-1930s and the machine was manufactured into the 1960s. The goal of the All-Crop was to keep small farmers on their land, to make them more productive, to teach them (and help them) save their own seed, and to allow the farmer to use one machine for almost every crop. At the same time, the Amish and other “plain” groups liked the All-Crop because it was PTO (power take off) driven and could be powered with horses or a small generator (or a stationary tractor,) with the crop (sheaves) brought to the thresher. The machine could be hauled by horses and that made it a good deal for old-school and more modern small farmers.
Long story short, we’ve located an old All-Crop combine. One of the great things about the All-Crop is that people who love the machine have become something of enthusiasts. Parts are still available, used and new, and there are people who go to yearly festivals honoring the machine. Anyway, the machine we’ve found, and arranged to buy, is in tremendous shape for as old as it is. It needs some repair, and we intend to repair it and get it back in top shape. We have agreed on a price, and have located the place to buy parts. All we need now is the money to purchase the machine. Right now (immediately) we’re hoping to raise around $1200 to purchase the machine and get it running before spring (barley) and summer (wheat and bean) harvest season. We think that amount should get it done. If you can help with a donation right now, please do. And we appreciate your continued support.