Chilling and Truck Shopping

Looks like the weather has repented of its dalliance with springtime and returned to proper winteriness.  The contrast between 60 degrees and -8 degrees is pretty stark.   Yesterday’s warm rain froze solid, creating beautiful ice sculptures, but making many simple tasks challenging.  Doors on the walk in cooler and the pig’s milk greenhouse were frozen shut.  Fence reels were locked up.  And so on.  But I guess if I could choose winter weather, I prefer solidly frozen winters to mushy, muddy ones.

Ice on Bushes

In the meantime, we’re still weighing out several options for a replacement delivery van.  The options run from $10,000 for a 10-12 year old box truck (basically keeping the same system we use now with chest freezers in the back of the truck) to $55,000 for a new Ford Transit van with built in refrigeration.  The new vehicle would be much more fuel efficient and space efficient, since the entire cargo area would be refrigerated and we wouldn’t need to fit packages into all those freezers, so we could palletize our items and use the space better.  Interestingly, used refrigerated vans are priced ridiculously high compared to new ones, so there is no sense in buying one with 100,000 miles for 75% of the price of new.

Since the farm is still dependent on my other job to keep the cash flowing, I don’t want to get into too deep a hole, especially with my current employer implementing round after round of layoffs.  So it looks like the clunker route is more prudent.  That isn’t a terrible solution and I’m sure a box truck will come in handy for all sorts of hauling, but the prospect of adding another well-worn vehicle to the farm’s fleet is, well, daunting.

I’ll keep my repair toolbox handy.

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