Welcome to Harmony Farms KS

Harmony Farms KS

MaWking Our Farm Your Farm

We here at Harmony Farms KS are striving to help you make our farm your farm. As you know we are a 6th generation family owned and totally family operated certified organic farm located in Northwest Kansas. The purpose of this blog is to provide you (potential member of our farm) with the information you need to make an educated decision as to whether you want to make our farm your farm. If you have always wanted to have your own farm just maybe we are the farm for you.  So read our stories and see what you think.

Do Brakes Matter?

Making the decision to make our farm your farm and to share our stories as your own is a big one, and not something we here at Harmony Farms KS take lightly. While we strive relentlessly to be “one with nature” it’s not always sugarplums and rainbows. so we must begin with some hard facts. Yes, it hurts but we believe in full disclosure. Upon reading this you may accuse me of a fair amount of hyperbole, but I can assure that what I am about to disclose is, unfortunately, true. So here it goes.

Odds are really good that at least half of our vehicles (including tractors and combines) don’t have any brakes. There are various reasons for this, it’s possibly due to the fact that all of our vehicles are old, leak any and all fluids contained therein and we have no money. Hopping in a vehicle, taking off and then coming to the first intersection only to discover that your foot goes to the floor is pretty much a normal, albeit exhilarating occurrence. Yes, we do expect you to still drive them. Consider the possibility of no brakes a problem solving opportunity. You might find our expectations a bit odd but I can assure you that it is simply a natural part of the farm life. Did Granddad Brown stop driving when the reverse gear went out on his pickup? NO!  He simply determined that backing up was unnecessary. When he drove to town he would just park in the middle of the street. Our neighbor Stormy once had the clutch go out on his grain truck during corn harvest. Did he start weeping like a baby? NO! He simply told the elevator, “I’m coming in hot!” I think maybe the elevator rigged up a hook and cable system to bring Stormy to a stop, similar to what aircraft carriers use to capture landing jets. It’s a team effort out here. We once had a grain truck that required me to crawl under the truck with a crowbar and hammer in order to raise the bed and empty out the grain. Our current grain truck requires my brother in law, the driver, to exit the cab, stick his head under the side of the door in order to shift the truck into reverse, then hop back into the cab before the truck drives away, and yes the previous owners explained it to us when we bought it and yes we bought it anyway and yes it does seem normal to us.

When I was about 18 my father told me to take the pickup, the 1969 Ford F150 that we still have and drive today,  and follow him as he drove the tractor to the field. Sure enough, as I approached the first turn and stepped on the brake, my foot went to the floor and nothing happened. I vigorously pumped the brake and no significant deceleration occurred. Luckily I was only going 9 miles an hour at the time so I simply drove into the ditch and let the weeds slow me down.   I made a mental note to inform my father that the brakes were out on the pickup again. Upon arriving at the field I said to my father, “the brakes are out on the pickup.” “No they are not,” he responded in kind. “You just didn’t pump them well enough.” (Please keep in mind that my father was simply fulfilling his duty to never believe anything his children had to say. See my video on the Roof Mower) I had felt that my efforts at pumping the brakes had been vigorous at the least and an act of frantic desperation at best so I said, “Yes I pumped the brakes and I can assure you that they are out.” (As you share the story as your own remember that on really old vehicles it does help to actually pump the brakes) “Let me drive and I will show you,” my father growled. It is at this point that I need to share that normally my father drives as though he is a bat shot straight out of hades. My father is 81 years old and this summer while harvesting wheat it started to pound down rain. I called my father to come get me in his pickup. On the drive home, on a dirt road that had turned to mud, in the dark, with rain lashing at us, the speedometer hovered around 80. As we hydroplaned from one ditch to another and were nearing a bridge, I calmly explained that I had wet myself and perhaps we could dial it back to 70 or so, but I digress so back to the story.  

If, as in my father’s case, one were about to operate a vehicle with potentially no brakes, one might think that one might start out rather slowly and test the brakes before accelerating. Perhaps even test them in the field with lots of open space in order to determine the efficiency of the braking system before entering the roadway. Perhaps one would ask one’s self, why would my own child, my own flesh and blood be mistaken about the brakes being out. Dim witted perhaps but experienced enough with brakeless vehicles at the age of 18, perhaps I should test the veracity of his claim.  Or, as was the case with my father, one could leave the field at 30 miles per hour, hit the dirt road at 50 and approach the first turn at 70. Driving with confidence my father hung one arm out the window. Lest you think that I am casting aspersions upon my father, let me say that I was very much impressed with both the earnestness and the ferocity with which my father pumped the brakes as we shot through the first stop sign and intersection. He continued his efforts with great vigor during the next half mile that it took us to stop. It was at this point my father demonstrated the brilliance of Harmony Farms KS men. We sat for a moment and then my father said, “Huh, the brakes are out, we’ll need to get that fixed as some point.” And we drove onto to town. Until next time. Make our farm your farm at Harmony Farms KS.