I got hooked when I got it as a hobby. Then I got the garden to use it more. Then I needed more implements to work it. Next was a bigger garden to have more seat time. Now with a bigger garden, I should have more. What a cycle.
That seems to be where I'm heading.
All my tractors are just a hobby. I don't really need a 80 hp or a 40 hp or a 12 hp trekker - it's just for fun. And I use my tractors only for field demonstrations or journeys and so.
Ah, so it is the journey, not the destination.
A lot of ways to look at it. As for the gardens, I can't remember not having a garden to work in even as a child. When I became 14 my parents moved the 7 of us kids onto a 5 acre acerage in Newton. There was a barn and fenced in feedlot. So dad bought a milk cow and our chores was milking(by hand ) and tending the cow. That was followed by farrowing up to 12 sows.
In those days early 60's a dairy bull calf was not worth a lot. You could buy one for $5-$10 . So paper route money would raise a few calves to butcher and pay for feed.
We did not hsve a lot of money, but beef and pork on the table and produce from the garden went a long ways. Bought my first car with the $25 I had saved from pig money.
No it did not run, but I learned a lot making it run.
I guess that started a fire in my belly that would never go out. I never got the urge to farm out of my system, but land prices and equipment went out of sight in the 70's.
Never really got there and have spent my life working in town and escaping by way of the garden tractors that were a compromise for the urge to farm, I never feel more in my relm than when I am working or working on my tractors. Now that I'm on the acreage, maybe I can retire on the Hobby Farm that was a dream most of my life.
My grandfather had 26 holsteins. We were incredibly modern...the cream separator had an electric motor instead of a hand crank. Most were milked by machine and you carried the milk to the separator, but there were a couple who insisted on the personal treatment.
My uncle (other side of the family) had 55 holsteins. Then he had more (another shift, can't remember the total). The milk went through tubes into a tank in the milk house. Less work, but the cows were less cooperative. #3 kicked me so many times that I'm pretty sure she had a schoolgirl crush on me. Either that or she really hated me.
Both had chickens and pigs. Both had grain and hay. The chickens and the garden were pretty much for the women and children to look after, except for slaughtering chickens and tilling/plating the garden.
I've been trying to escape the city life for most of my life too. Hate crowds, not really that fond of people. Never wanted to farm...saw how hard it was and how it was changing...but can't shake that farming bug. In the spring I must plant. In the fall I must harvest. So I express that through gardening.
I have a tractor because my wife has five gardens. We had a small garden, so we bought a rototiller. Then she wanted a second and a third. When she wanted the fourth garden, I bought a David Bradley. When she pointed to the bush line & said "if that was only 50 feet back, I could put in a fifth garden", I bought the Allis HB112 to pull stumps, plow new ground, & speed up tilling season.
My wife sticks mostly to flowers. I let her because if I didn't she'd just do it anyway. She's a lot like me in that way.
I got the WH to speed up mowing the lawn. Then the neighbor who snow plowed moved so I got a plow. The garden was rototilled for several years then it expanded and I came upon a tiller attachment.
When real good deals came along I'd buy another, fix it up and sell it. When the kid was 12, I fixed a friends' Big Ten. Ricky loved it when I let him take it for the test drive. I got him a B-10 and he rode it for years. I got laid off in 2005 so, I responded to all free ads and ended up with 36+ tractors. Some I repaired and sold some I'm going to restore. They are an addiction. I was laid off again and am working on them again. The next dream project is a big barn.
They are a tool that allows increased production. I plan to extend the garden again this year.
Sorry to hear about the lay-offs. Been there. Will likely be there again some day. Never good.
Sounds like you've been seizing the means of production though. Repair/resale work is good...keeps things useful and helps people at the same time. And you get to make a buck while waiting for other work.