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The heart of the deal

On many of today’s farms, the workshop often houses more than just repair work and has become the heart of the farming operation

Most people will have heard of Donald Trump’s book, titled “The Art of the Deal”. I suppose those people who’ve actually written books might object to me calling it his book, because it and others credited to him were apparently written for him.

I remember reading the book when it first came out. Although, I can’t recall anything much about the content of it, other than it was his views on how to turn one’s self into a real estate mogul.

Now, I’ve just completed the largest real estate deal I’ve ever been involved with, the sale of our farm. It’s clear from the scale of that transaction I never did take to heart whatever advice that book offered, because I didn’t even get close to “mogul” status. Even though agricultural property comes with a reasonably healthy price tag these days, a high-end house in West Vancouver would almost certainly sell for a much more than the average family farm–at least around here.

When I look back at the actual sale, I see less “art” in the deal than “heart”. That may be something unique to the sale of family farms. As I mentioned in my post last week, selling the farm is an emotional experience. Farmers spend their days working on the property, whereas city folk head off to jobs in other places. Is that constant contact with the farm part of what creates the emotion? I wonder.

These days, shops often function as the main building on farms, with an office, repair shop, lunchroom for hired hands, and other things. So, arguably, they have become the heart of farming operations, the place where everything comes together.

In the last few years that’s been true about my shop as well. Although we didn’t even come close to having an operation large enough to include a paid staff, the shop became to the go-to spot on the farm. People dropping in would often check there first to see if I was home, rather than coming directly to the house. The farm office even had its own coffee maker for afternoon breaks.

Many, if not nearly all, of the images included in Grainews mechanical how-to articles in the last few years where shot inside that building as part of vehicle restoration projects or equipment repairs.

Cleaning out the shop this week as we move out has caused me to pause more than a few times to reflect on some of those projects, and like other places on the property, all the memories. For a gearhead like me, vacating that building might have been the most emotional experience of all. It’ll be hard to replace in the city. And it was, after all, the heart of this farm. I’ll miss it.

Scott

About the author

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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