“Pretty in Pink”

Moving from an urban life to a woodland life and thinking about sustainability can be overwhelming at times. There are so many different tools you need to get the job done not only right, but in a timely manner. Take starting a garden where there was previously a 100 year old forest. Not an easy cjob. Stumps and roots rule and a pick axe and shovel are meager tools for this type of job. For the first couple of years here at the Rollin’ Rock, those are the tools we used and struggled with. Did they get the job done? Of course they did, but it took hours upon hours to dig out a 10×10 square for our first potato patch. While my husband was still gainfully employed we tried to arm ourselves with as much of the right equipment as necessary. We shopped (and still do) on-line auctions and flea markets for the best deals possible. This past summer, post employment, we took our savings and purchased an amazing tool we call “Pinkie”. She is a 1951 Ferguson tractor, and yes, she is pink.

Pinkie came to us through Craigslist. She was previously a grape farmer in the Leelanau Peninsula along the Lake Michigan shoreline where there are many luscious vineyards growing only the finest grapes available for your eating and drinking pleasure, (mostly drinking). Pinkie farmed for a few years and then was retired due to the sale of her farm, a circumstance she could not control.

Why pink you ask? She was painted pink to avoid theft. You see, tractors in the farming communities are hot commodities. One of Pinkies predecessors was stolen right in front of their business. Gone without a trace, probably sitting lonely now being under utilized due to his circumstances. So, when repainting the newest member of their team, the color pink was chosen.  I would dare say it would be hard to steal and hide a pink tractor. Recently, we ran into someone we barely know in a small party store some 10 miles away and they asked if we had gotten a tractor that was pink? Amazing, we had only had her a week or so. She does stand out boldly through the greens of the forest.

So, Pinkie has already built a reputation of sorts in our rural community and she has helped us accomplish some amazing stuff. She brought a back blade with her and we managed to pick up a brush hog and a couple of implements from an on-line auction and with just these few tools we have been able to level a spot for a multi-purpose shed, plow the snow in our long driveway twice now, and the brush hog was used to mow down some old logging trails to make snow shoeing easier this winter.

We know little about tractors so we have a learning curve here. My husband has purchased some information books and manuals, also at auction, and we are bonding with Pinkie and so far she seems to be enjoying her retirement years here with us at the Rollin’ Rock. Tools are everything here in the woods and she’s one of our finest.

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