Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Flitshinger

Ralph shows off his latest completed project here at the farm as the goats look on.

A couple weeks ago our elderly Amish neighbors had an auction to get rid of most of their worldly possessions. There was the $3,000 wedding quilt and lots of other pricey antiques, but we were after one thing---the ground-driven manure spreader. I remember when Mr. Fisher first bought the contraption not long after we first moved here. He enjoyed tinkering with it and would tow it behind his equally old 1952 Farmall tractor (yes, some Amish use tractors) spreading manure over his pastures.

As the animal population on the farm grows, so does the poop pile. Last year we had another neighbor spread our compost pile using his tractor & spreader, but we wanted one of our own.

As the auctioneer jabbered away with his numbers, I kept nodding my head. "SOLD for a hundred dollars," he barked. The spreader was ours. Later in the day, Ralph putted down the hill on the 8N and hooked up the spreader. Once parked in front of our barn, we began cleaning all the old plastic and baling twine that was wound around the bars with fingers that flings the shit into the air. Some of the bars were loose and broken. The back bar that gives the final oomff to the spreader was missing a few wings.

After several days of dismantling, cleaning, oiling, greasing, tightening and a few trips to the welder, Ralph had replaced the broken parts and had the spreader put back together ready to go to work.

We don't know what kind of spreader it is, but while at the tire shop (it needed a new wheel and tire) which is also an old farm implements bone yard I saw a similar model rotting in the weeds. "How much do you want for that old spreader?" I asked the owner.
"I'll take a thousand bucks for it. It's an antique, you know," he replied.

I knew we had done good.

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