The last two days I’ve been shuttling our last Pork Shares of the year from our Butcher’s freezer to our customers. I drove 600 miles over those two days, and had 13 deliveries of over 1200 lbs of pork (we raise big pigs.) As I headed home yesterday, my trusty and awesome late 90’s Subaru sighed a breath of relief, finally free of the weight burden. This car has been simply amazing, especially since we bought it for $1,100 3 years ago.
This car, in which my mother-in-law taught me how to drive a stick shift, has been through a LOT since it’s come to us.
Last summer, we slept in the back of the Subaru every night for 2 months, out in the hayfield when our turkeys were getting attacked by owls as they slept on their roost. One of us would wake up at 3am and stand vigil against the silently winged killers, wandering around the turkey roost, playing solitaire on the ipod. Then at dawn the birds were watered and fed and the delirious vigilante would drive the other, who was sleeping in the back, down off the hayfield and back up the road to the farm. I loved the mornings it was my turn to “sleep in” and that feeling of slowly being jostled awake as the car rocked back and forth, navigating the bumpy hay wagon path.
In February, this car carried 16 piglets in big tubs, in 2 separate trips, home. Indeed those were the very pigs who are made up the Pork Shares I was just delivering. There was this funny joyful realization of full-circled-ness as I drove out the driveway, eating a pork breakfast sausage patty made from our pigs, in the car that hauled home the piglets, who became the hundreds of pounds of pork this same car is loaded down with.
March was when I got to take a long weekend vacation down to Iowa to visit Heidi, and this was the first time the Subaru had mechanical issues. The alternator went out right as we came back from a beer run at the little Sattre store, the day before I was scheduled to go back home. Conveniently, I was stuck at my friend’s house while the alternator was replaced and I had an extended vacation! Don’t worry, Andrew took a little vacation after I came home, thankfully he didn’t have any car problems.
Early April was frigid at 20 degrees one morning, and that meant of course our first shipment of ducklings was arriving at the post office, the call coming at 7:25am, “there’s some boxes with some little peeping birds here for you.” The Subaru is great at handling baby bird runs- it heats up thoroughly on the way to the post office. I picked up the 250 ducklings who were carefully packed in ventilated shipping containers. There was only 1 DOA, amazingly. Then in May, we had 2 more duckling/post office runs, luckily the weather was a touch warmer those times.
Later in May, this car hauled home 3 newborn calves in the back, me sitting back there with them in the hay to keep them upright on their knobby knees as Andrew drove carefully around curves in the road. Then in August, this car also hauled coolers full of our first trial Pastured Veal packages to 4 special customers.
Then the Subaru had it’s 15 minutes of fame, as it was filmed on-location in August, as part of a promo video for this Co-op marketing effort called “p6,” which stands for the 6th Principle of Co-operation. It’s all about Co-ops supporting small scale, local and/or cooperative farming efforts. There was the rusty, loud Subaru in all it’s glory, packed to the gills, with me being filmed unloading eggs out of the coolers! When they release the video, I’ll be sure to share a link.
Last month, May May the goat hopped right up into the back of the car to go visit her goatie boyfriend. She’s used to be transported in a Subaru, no biggie. My sister sat in the back with her to make sure she didn’t lose her footing, and I grinned to see Mel’s smile next to May’s massively arched ivory-hued horns in my review mirror. As soon as we arrived at Erin’s farm and I opened the back hatch of the Subaru, May bolted out, heading towards the barn. She knew what a car trip meant, and was ready to see her boytoy!
Every single week since March, this car has been making weekly egg deliveries to the Cities, and in late May also delivering our CSA shares- about 14 large boxes a week, which together would comically fill ever single square centimeter of that Subaru! I can’t believe I never took a picture of that hilariousness.
And not only all of that- up until recently, a second weekly trip into town was made to pick up the 500-700 lbs of organic grain we bought, which we soaked for our pig’s favorite fermented feed. The Subaru would labor up hills on the way back home, as I nursed the clutch between 3rd and 4th, accordingly.
I don’t know how I ever will live without this amazing car. At 174,000 miles, it’s got a long while yet for a Subaru. But maybe not when we work it so hard?