Gold mine

Published 8:07 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

There’s one on every farm from here to the Pacific.

It might be behind the shop or over to the side or by that tree. It’s probably just around the corner. It’s the accumulation of about the last 100 years of broken, out-of-date, rusted, busted, twisted, worn out parts.

By now it’s about 4 feet high and 20 yards long. And like a giant anthill, it’s growing every year. But we dare not throw a piece away.

Those worn out peanut digger points? They work great to bolt on each side, like a splint, of that post holding up the peanut shelter that you hit backing the trailer in that night you were in a hurry. Why, the holes are already in it.

Those 100 worn-out disc blades sitting to the left? Heck, who knows? You might get in a bind and have to put them back on the disc one day. Why, the disc factory might just go on strike. Then what would you do?

That old chain that’s rusted and frozen into a figure eight? Your good chain might be a tad short when you go to pull that tractor out of the mud. I’m sure one good snatch would straighten that baby out and it would be good as new.

And that old cast iron bathtub your granddad threw out would make a great watering trough for those cattle down the back if their watering hole ever dries up.

A little oil on those old bearings would make them almost good as new. Oh, they might squeak and eventually bust, but not before you get five more acres of peanuts picked.

Yeah, I know. That floor jack decided not to work three years ago. But look at that long, straight round metal handle. You could cut that rascal out and slide it over a ratchet handle to give you more leverage. One day.

Those buckets of bolts and nuts and washers over there. You meant to bring them out of the rain. No matter, when you separate them out by size, think of the nice looking bolt bin you’ll have of all sizes and shapes. There’s bolts in there they don’t even make any more.

All that angle iron from busted discs and combines and sprayers is just perfect to fix busted discs and combines and sprayers.

And we haven’t even mentioned the future generations here. Your kids and grandkids need all those lawnmower tires, wire, metal, old seats and axles to make contraptions that roll and steer and fly to the moon.

Oh no. That’s not a rusty junk pile. It’s not even a pile of old metal. That’s a gold mine.