We offer several workshops for individual farms, conferences, and farming and gardening groups. These can be sponsored by you at your farm or elsewhere, with the costs shown below. We also offer the Farmall Cub Maintenance and Repair Workshop and the Introduction to Welding Workshop through Eastern Mass CRAFT and the Beginning Farmer Network from time to time.
For the Organic Gardening Course with Kathy Huckins, see the separate menu selection "Garden Course".
You do not need prior knowledge of the tractors or be "mechanically inclined" to get full benefit from any of the tractor workshops. They are designed to be accessible to interns and new farmers as well as experienced tractor operators. An approximate curriculum is available for each workshop upon request.
If the site hosting the workshop is more than an hour from my home (Northborough, MA) I will need to charge a mileage fee.
Farmall Cub Tractor Overview Workshop
This is a 3 to 4 hour, single session, hands-on workshop to familiarize participants with how the Farmall Cub works. You will learn how to set wheel widths, adjust cultivators, how to start the tractor and trouble shoot simple starting problems. We'll discuss maintenance and winterizing of the tractor. Participants will do an oil change and grease the tractor, check the various coolant and lubrication levels. Things learned will apply to other Farmalls pretty directly and to all older gasoline tractors in general. Maximum 6 participants. $350 for the whole session.
Note: To host this workshop, you will need to provide a dry, protected, heated if necessary, well lit space with a Farmall Cub in running condition in it that can be worked on as part of the workshop.
Farmall Cub Maintenance and Repair Workshop
A 3 session, 3 to 4 hours per session, hands-on workshop the first day of which includes the Overview Workshop. The rest of the course is in greater depth, including identifying and handling specific engine problems. In addition, troubleshooting performance and engine problems, maintenance and repair are discussed and we will rebuild a carburetor and tune an engine for better performance. Things learned will apply to other Farmalls pretty directly and to all older gasoline tractors in general. An approximate curriculum here.
This is our premier workshop.
The workshop has typically been run on 3 consecutive weekends, but other arrangements can be made. Maximum of 6 participants. $900
The way it has worked in eastern Mass is that a (generous) farm with a Cub has agreed to host the workshop and allow the use of the Cub. We then publish the dates on a farm listserve (CRAFT: emasscraft) and people enroll individually ($150) until the workshop is full.
The three sessions were terrific! I would do this again ... the exact same workshop. I learn by doing and by seeing things done and that’s what this workshop offered! -G.A.
Great and awesome. I can do all maintenence on the cub and know what im doing and troubleshoot problems. -S.H
Awesome. You were extremely clear and easy to understand. It's obvious you both know the Cub well and know how to teach well. Any apprehension I felt about going into the class as a woman without a ton of technical knowledge, was very quickly laid to rest. Again, you were spot on with everything. -R.O.
Brian, you are one of the best teachers I have ever encountered. You are informative, yet very entertaining, consistently keeping everyone's attention. Your ability to patiently articulate the subject matter is a real gift. I feel lucky to have been given the opportunity to learn from you! -R.P.
Note: To host this workshop, you will need to provide a dry, protected, heated if necessary, well lit space with a Farmall Cub in running condition in it that can be worked on as part of the workshop. Preferably, the Cub can remain unused for the duration of the course so that it doesn't have to be re-assembled at the end of every session.
Allis Chalmers G Tractor Overview
This is a 3 to 4 hour, single session, hands-on workshop to familiarize participants with how the Allis G works. You will learn how to set wheel widths, adjust cultivators, how to start the tractor and trouble shoot simple starting problems. We'll discuss maintenance and winterizing of the tractor. Basic maintenance tasks will be performed as part of the course. Maximum 6 participants. $350
Note: To host this workshop, you will need to provide a dry, protected, heated if necessary, well lit space with an Allis G in running condition in it that can be worked on as part of the workshop.
General Tractor Safety
A 1 to 2 hour tractor safety presentation for groups of any size. To host this workshop, you will need to provide a tractor with a front loader and a 3 point hitch implement mounted. The tractor is only used as a visualization aid and is not run during the presentation. $150
A Practical Introduction to Welding
The purpose of this workshop is to learn about the different types of welding, get a chance to try each of them and be able to make simple welding repairs. We discuss what kinds of equipment would be appropriate for the farm. Time is given to techniques of metal fabrication and repair as they relate to farm equipment. A considerable part of the workshop is spent actually practicing different welding techniques. You will leave with an ability to do simple welding and make simple repairs, and with an understanding of what is required to pursue the skill further.
We look at oxy-acetylene cutting, brazing and welding, wire feed welding (FCAW), MIG welding (GMAW) and stick welding (SMAW). TIG welding will be briefly described but not taught.
“Will I be able to weld after the workshop?” Yes. “Will I be a good welder after the workshop?” Nope, sorry. Good welding is a skill that takes practice. If you wish to become professional welder, that requires much additional study and practice. If you are looking to become a certified welder this is NOT the workshop for you; you should enroll in a commercial vocational course.
The workshop consists of 4 sessions of 4 hours each held at my work space in Northborough, MA. Due to space and equipment limitations, the workshop is limited to 2 participants. It is scheduled on an as-requested basis. The cost is $275 plus a $25 material and supplies fee per person. Contact me to schedule a workshop.
Use and Maintenance of Common Garden Tools
Get serious about your tools! This is a 1 to 2 hour presentation for gardeners and farmers alike. Learn how to select tools, how to maintain and sharpen them, how to repair handles. Learn the ergonomics of their use, i.e., how to use them with minimal strain on the body, and more. Enjoy your work without getting hurt. Shovels, hoes, hand cultivators, axes, knives, pruners, and more will be touched upon. Any size group. $150