I often tell folks during the volunteer training that we also offer “tractor therapy”. I will gladly teach you how to operator one of our tractors so you can help mow the 43 acres. It is with great sorrow that I must report our smaller tractor performed its last “tractor therapy” session a few weeks ago. It went out the way all good therapy tractors want to go, during a Hope field harrowing therapy session. I am pleased to report it went quickly; consuming all its oil in a short time which allowed engine parts that should never meet to come together in a symphony of banging and scraping…..then it was gone. I feel especially close to this tractor having touched so many of its parts, some of them repeatedly, over the years. It was certainly ridden hard and put away wet often. It gave it’s all to the ranch doing everything from moving mountains of trash in the early days to pulling the trailer for ranch tours. I want to thank the small tractor for all the hard ranch work over the years as well as the decade before cutting grass at the D’Andrea’s. As is the case with all John Deere tractors, it is an organ donor!!!! The small tractor’s departure leaves a huge hole in our maintenance equipment. It was the only finishing mower at the ranch. The large tractor can operate the shredder for the open fields but we no longer have something capability of effectively mowing the areas around the building, fences, and especially the trails. The wooded trails really need something more maneuverable than even a tractor…..
Several of us discussed zero-turn mowers to allow maximum maneuverability, but in reality, other robust ride-on finishing mower options will work as well and may be more flexible. A finishing mower combined with our existing tractor/shredder/string-trimmers will cover the Ranch grass cutting needs. Do you know someone who would consider donating this type of mower to the ranch? Do you have a friend or family member in the equipment business who would benefit from partnering with the ranch? Would you consider leading a fund raising campaign to help us with this purchase? Please contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.