by Laura Frerichs, Tastemaker in Residence
The words "quiet" and "tractor" aren't exactly synonymous in most people's mind, but on our farm, we are proud to say we have three "quiet tractors" that Adam converted to be completely electric-powered. The gas and diesel engines came out and small electric motors were installed with 8 golf-cart batteries that power the motor. These are mostly smaller, older tractors that needed retrofitting, and the tractors have sparked a real passion for Adam to combine tinkering, re-using, and sustainability into one innovative project.
We transplant all of our vegetable plants into the field with our Cockshutt Electric tractor (seen in picture giving a CSA farm tour around the farm with a brussels sprout emission pipe), and it is a pleasure to sit behind a quiet tractor planting plants. No shouting or yelling over a loud motor, or smelly exhaust makes for much happier farmers and employees. Eli runs out to the field when he sees one of us on a "quiet tractor" and begs to help cultivate or plant. What a joy it is to be able to have your 3-year old on your lap while cultivating and he does not need ear protection.
Tomorrow, we'll hop on the electric transplanter and plant out broccoli, oregano, and basil. Adam will cultivate out foxtail weeds with the electric Hefty-G. We'll use the Case Electric to lay row cover over our radishes and arugula to protect them from pests. You'll be able to hear our voices chatting while we work and the birds singing from the meadow. It will be a quiet day on the farm.