So we looked around and we found the van we thought was right for us--or at least the right price and passable: ran like a clock, great records, a new transmission, extra tires and a knowledgeable owner. Driving it home it started to run very rough as if half of the engine was pooping out. Then, without prodding, the rest of the engine kicked back in and our van drove home like a champ. However, when we started it again, we were back on only 4 cylinders. For the last 4 days, Luke has been working on the van in the snow. He has found and solved problems, but hasn’t yet been able to make the van run correctly. This morning I sat by the window listening as he troubleshot—hearing the van chug and chock unhappily. Each time it stalled my heart sank, not just that our delivery vehicle isn’t running, but that my sweetheart is involved in such a frustrating project.
We’ve looked on the bright side of this van issue. It is winter, when Luke has the time to work on it. In the summer, we would depend on these wheels to take our vegetables to market. Luke is experienced with mechanical issues and has the ability to work on this van himself, saving us money. Also on the bright side, we are able to buy a delivery vehicle our first year and a hearty diesel one at that.
But this is what farming looks like… we’re lucky to have a budget that will allow us to buy things like a van, tractor, irrigation equipment. Many young farmers that we know start with little more than their strong backs, some hand-me-downs and the car they already own. As new farmers, when we buy things, we almost always need to buy them used. Then they break. And then we fix them, often with few resources and then they break again, and so on. Part of farming is being a mechanic, welder, carpenter, repurposer, plumber, electrician, MacGyver.
Cross your fingers for our van. We named him Chucho.