Our little Massey Ferguson 187 Combine has done a sterling job once again.
Alongside today’s larger sleeker combines she may look like a joke with her 7 foot cutting head, but she is feisty, although undeniably grubby and tricky to handle. No matter, the all important resulting end grain sample is equal if not better than many of the samples from these more modern sophisticated combines. The 187 does her job well.
Over the last ten years little has had to be done, other that general servicing, but this year the two jobs we knew should have been dealt with, did not get done. This was because of work needed on the Allaeys Hop Picking Machine. Ironically, neither of these half-expected breakdowns happened. They say it is a ladies prerogative to change her mind, instead she had two creatively unexpected breakdowns up her sleeve.
First was the main drum-drive belt. We were very grateful that our clever local combine engineer was able to replace this promptly with out much ado. However, with rain imminent the second breakdown needed a speedy running repair. Full credit has to go to my husband Richard for this very practically inspired repair and to the combine for being basically engineered. This could not have been so simply achieved on one of the large computer programmed combines, so she won the day and completed the harvest for another year.
The solution was an oak board sawn up, then wedged and wired into place to replace the worn fan bearing and housing. This Heath Robinson assembly was then all well greased-up, it allowed the shaft to be held centrally, between two boards as if in the stocks, long enough for the little Massey Ferguson 187 Combine to complete a whole day of harvesting. Luckily it was the last day!
Triumphantly on her way to the shed,
and with straw hanging out she looked a bit like a horse returned to it’s stable.
Today it has rained putting pay to harvesting for the time being.
The colours in the countryside have changed from the lush greens of May to golden harvest browns. Dusty cars used at harvest will need to be washed off and straw bales are being gathered in as quickly as possible for winter storage.
The hops in the valley are the only green harvest remaining for this year.
Meanwhile in the hop gardens the bines are putting out laterals as if they want to hold hands with each other accross the hop alleys. In the sunshine clumps of hemp-agrimony attract clusters of pollinating insects.