The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Getting a frozen diesel engine to start

Pulling a UTV with an ATV

We made a deal with someone who wants to buy our Kubota quite a while ago...then the deep freeze hit and the diesel engine refused to start. It's tough to sell a "no, really, it's running perfectly" vehicle when the engine won't turn over, so the sale was put on hold until the thaw.

Enter our neighbor, who showed up in our lives a couple of weeks ago during a snow storm. I was out walking and enjoying the scenery; he was out scraping people's driveways with the blade on the front of his ATV.

"Want me to scrape your driveway?" he asked.

"How much do you charge?" I replied.

The neighbor looked at me like I was nuts --- clearly, the joy of scraping snow was payment enough. Nonetheless, I pulled out some excess Christmas cookies I'd stashed in the freezer and paid him in sugar and chocolate.

Pushing a UTV with an ATV

Soon thereafter, Mark and I received an invitation to come over for a New Year's eve party. One thing led to another...and soon the guys had cooked up a scheme to drag the Kubota over to their heated garage to thaw.

Our neighbor arrived with the same snow blade on the front of his ATV. First he pulled, then he pushed, and soon the Kubota was in the heated splendor she rightfully deserved.

Impatient to get her fired up as quickly as possible so he could take a joyride, our neighbor pulled out the air filter to increase the amount of hot air flowing through the system, raised the bed for the same reason, then took a hair drier to the fuel lines. In less than an hour she roared to life.

Unfortunately, that means Mark will have to part with his baby sooner rather than later. On the plus side, we met some awesome neighbors as part of the deal. I find it hard to believe that every neighbor we've met thus far has been interesting and welcoming, but so far that has indeed been the case.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I just wanted to agree with you about how amazing people can be. The joy of friendships and being able to find gems in the world.
Comment by hilary Tue Jan 9 08:28:21 2018

" I find it hard to believe that every neighbor we've met thus far has been interesting and welcoming, but so far that has indeed been the case."

When you are in the right place at the right time, things flow.

Comment by Maggie Turner Tue Jan 9 08:53:36 2018
Diesel fuel needs to be treated in the Winter, otherwise, it will Gel up. Wax will come out of solution and clog the filter. At the fuel station (pumps, in winter) they mix #1 diesel with the normal #2 summer Diesel or you can use Power Source fuel treatment.
Comment by Dan Tue Jan 9 10:10:17 2018

Good neighbors are a blessing.

And Happy Birthday Mark!

Comment by Eric in Japan Tue Jan 9 23:13:51 2018

Hi Anna and Mark,

It seems to me that 'good' soil makes quality food and happy animals including humans. And also helpful neighbors.

I wonder what a 'real' soil test where you are now living will show?

Here we have the diseases associated with the minerals that are deficient in our soil.

Most of the population seems to be clueless despite what they are told or read? I wonder why? Maybe something like, we all need new joints, right so it is normal!!

I suspect that soil problems cause a lot more trouble than most would like to think about?


Comment by John Wed Jan 10 13:55:05 2018

Nothing like a non running piece of machinery to make men want to make it move!

And Anna the introvert went to the party, or did you decline the invite?

Comment by Eric Wed Jan 10 17:11:45 2018

I was being really amused at the way all the women commented on the community aspect of this post while the men commented on the machinery...until John broke my rule! :-)

Eric --- I stuck it out for two solid hours and was very proud of myself. Mark, of course, beat me by a mile. He stayed from 6 til midnight!

Comment by anna Thu Jan 11 18:31:41 2018

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