March 2012 has decided to take a turn for the warm, almost sweltering this past week.  This is the first time I’ve ever been able to start seedlings directly in the greenhouse (unheated).  Right now we have plants breaking ground daily.  No fewer than 10 varieties of tomato, ranging from heirloom varieties to good disease and crack resistant hybrids and of course your delicious orange cherry tomatoes everyone seems to crave.


In a couple of weeks I will be starting cucurbits such as zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber and squash.  We are going to quickly run out of room.  Also for the second year in a row we are growing tobacco seedlings.  Two varieties only this year.  A Burley (KY16) and Virginia Bright Leaf.  They have yet to sprout as they require a lot of heat and humidity (which has not been an issue this past week).


Last night I finally installed a sprinkler irrigation system with a timer inside of the greenhouse.  I’ve gone with 6 cycles of 5 minutes @ 2 hour intervals and hopefully that doesn’t drown things.  I guess we shall see tonight when I check on the little guys.  Everything I purchased came from irrigation direct out of California.  These are the same folks I purchased my drip irrigation from last year and I have been pleased with their products, shipping and customer service.  Plus if you spend $100 shipping is free and it surely doesn’t take long to reach that $100 mark.


With this warm weather the ground has dried out quite well, probably too well.  This allowed me to get the drip tape and plastic lifted from last year and I plowed everything under last week.  The ground worked very nicely.  Which has now added another “project” to my shop.  I had an old IH #70 4-14 plow frame that my father robbed most of the parts from.  I loaded it up and brought it home the other night.  I am going to disassemble it to make it a 3 bottom and with new bottom parts that were originally purchased for the 412 I will put this #70 back together and probably scrap the 412.  The pull type is more versatile for my needs as I can pull it with either the M (for recreational plow days) or the 560.  With the 412 I am forced to use the 560 and since I have unloaded tires and no weights on it I’d need to cut it down to a 3 bottom.  HP is never the issue, always traction.  I will most likely steal the points, cylinder, coulters and frogs off of the 412 before it heads to be made into Chinese rebar.  The frogs can always be used to convert an older pull type plow to Super Chief (servicable) bottoms.


Since the last entry in this blog I also reassembled the John Deere B that I have often cussed so much.  No leaks were evident after refilling with 90 wt either.  I finally got it started and  it went home to Ida to await the June 16th auction.  This freed up space to bring more work into the shop.  After selling some wood working tools that collect dust I bought a good used 9 x 42 Bridgeport Chinese knock-off mill and have it in place, except for wiring it.  This should diversify my shop capabilities and allow me to turn out more obsolete IH parts as I’ve slowly been doing.  Mainly Farmall Super A / Super AV plow draft links, Farmall M & H fender spacers and  Super A / 100 / 130 / 140 (and other) PTO block off plates for PTO delete tractors.


With this increased work we started a new business in January.  JPR Design Services LLC is our new company and will be the marketing avenue for our products and some gardener / small farmer products and plans as well as design work, reverse engineering, 2D to 3D and possibly prototyping services for area businesses.


Finally, last night I was also able to adequately clean the paint and primer from the decal on the GM powered Farmall M.  Enough so that I could read all lines.  This is rather exciting because I believe, from initial research, that this company most likely did the installation of the 2-71 Detroit into this tractor.  My next blog entry will be about this discovery and will include photographs.  Hopefully someone out there will be able to assist me in piecing together the company history.

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