tillerThe time came to till our second planting of buckwheat under. I have a lot going on this summer, and it seems like I have limited patience when equipment doesn’t work. And equipment being what it is, can sense this and gets sort of snotty. I don’t blame it though. I’d act exactly the same way if I were in its shoes.

It was one of those deals when I had an hour before supper, and if things went like clockwork, I could get it done and put away just in time. Dodging the wasps that have made an active home in the green building where I store the rototiller, I put the tiller in neutral and dragged it out of it’s storage place. I lined it up, and pulled the starting rope. Nothing, but that isn’t too unusual. I pulled a dozen more times, and the same nothing happened. Sigh.

I took the air cleaner off and looked inside the carburetor. It was dry. I walked to the workshop, got my squirt can, loaded it up with gas, grabbed my emergency starter battery, and walked back to the tiller. I hooked up the battery, gave the carburetor a squirt of gas, and turned the key. Baroom! Bla bla bla die. I gave another squirt, another start and the same thing. The next start I had the squirt can ready, and as long as I continued squirting gas the tiller ran fine. “It’s almost like someone shut the gas off,” I thought to myself.

I walked around to the gas tank side of the machine, and saw the fuel shutoff. It was shut off. I then noticed electrical tape on the fuel line, and it all came back to me. The fuel line had leaked, and I “temporarily” repaired it with some electrical tape. It got the job done. But when I put the tiller away after that job, I figured I’d better shut the fuel off so it wouldn’t leak out through my makeshift repair. Then I forgot about the whole thing for a month until just recently.

Not surprisingly, when I turned on the fuel, the tiller started right up. It didn’t even need to warm up, because it was already warm from its squirt starting earlier. The tilling went without a hitch. In the next day or two, I’ll give both buckwheat halves of the gardens another tilling, and then plant annual rye for their winter blankets. Perhaps this time I’ll pull the fuel line off and take it to town with me and replace it. That way the tiller will be ready to go the next time I need it.

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