Two Men and a Tractor: The Auger

Some problems are as old as Farming. Man versus Rock. Man versus Stump. But since the combustion engine: Man versus Tractor. Here we chronicle the triumphs and failures of Mankind and the Tractors at the Long Shot Farm.

The Auger

On a small farm, one does not have large warehouses to hold all your tractor equipment. You have a fence row. A fence row is perfectly fine for storing your extra buckets, plows, discs, and augers, except for the weather, the weeds, the mice, and the rust. Now tarps can keep off the rain and snow, and cats can eat the mice, but with some implements, the ground is the enemy. Particularly for the auger.

The auger is an indispensable tool for the vineyard: it digs the holes cleanly through our slate ground for the end-posts that support the trellis. But to stand the auger for easy attachment the next time you need it on the tractor, you have to dig the bit into the ground. After a few years, your mighty auger becomes a rusty testament to the inevitable corruption of all things.

And so, to slow this creep of Time, our Engineer turned to our Welder, and told him, “Erect me a stand. Make it 4 cubits high, and 3 cubits long, and 2 cubits wide. Upon this stand we will hang our auger. The ground will not eat its metal, so that it may churn for years to come.” The Welder scrounged up the metal piping necessary to make this stand, that the auger may sit in the fence row without rusting. Wielding his lighting, he fashioned it together, and they gazed upon their handiwork pleased.

Except it seems that once one makes a suitable storage for a tool, the tool breaks anyways. For our hard slate ground of North Mountain is unforgiving, though it may yield a superior grape. The Master of All Things But One went looking for a new auger and once he settled upon a suitable tool, purchased it. Suitable except for the blade.

While the housing and assembly and blade were shiny and new, the tip of the blade was insufficient to pierce the hard slate ground as the Master desired. Yet there are no two pieces of metal, old or new, that cannot be made one by our Welder. Cutting off the old blade, and removing the new, a workable auger was formed. And this auger has a new home, to float about the ground in the fence row, waiting its turn to chew the earth and sink yet more posts for our fields.