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It is a lot of work straightening up a farm, even when you don’t have animals other than a couple of dogs and cats. In the first weeks of the spring thaw, when the snow melts all the broken bottles, cans, lids and whatever has been hidden all over the place, come to light. These dangerous and gnarly things will only be visible for a week or so, so if you’re going to do anything, it has to be done right away because the weeds will grow up, through, and around, everything making it impossible to find them again in a couple of weeks. Usually I have solved this problem, by ignoring it all, but not this year. One of the problems of getting rid of junk is determining just what is junk. The Estonian saying, perhaps I will need it later has a very strong influence on me. 

In America I collected junk. What I mean is, I would never throw anything away. There are people who would have everything and anything your heart could desire stacked in their yard. There are people who make lots of money buying and selling junk. But if you are not willing to part with any of it what’s the sense? I actively fight this compulsion. Several times in my life I have walked away from everything I own and have started life all anew, like when I came to Estonia.
When I look at my father-in-laws farm I find old tractor parts, and countless heavy iron and steel rods, wheels and gears of all sizes and shapes, lying here, propped up there, in this barn or that.  I feel like I am holding my wife’s family history when I pick up each piece. How can I simply toss them away? This tractor part helped feed their family for decades!
My neighbor Kaska Karli, needed a new yard tractor and to put together the cash, was getting rid of a bunch of old metal from his father’s farm. His business was expanding and he needed the room.   I took a ride with him to the junk yard in Rouge. There I discovered mountains of similar tractor parts, rods wheels etc. which I considered so unique and valuable on our farm. There were literally tons of even much better stuff. My first reaction was to perhaps take some of that back home. There were huge brass sprockets and gears I would have thought anyone would consider a treasure. Here they were only worth what they weighed.
 I saw a sad looking farmer pulling a potato harvester on its last legs, up onto the scale with a tractor not unlike the one in our hay barn. Like some science fiction creature, a crane with steel talons snatched it up, crunched it and effortlessly lifted it up to the top of the heap. The farmer watched quietly; then walked over to the window to receive his cash transfer voucher. I couldn’t tell whether he appeared unhappy because he had to get rid of his harvester, or whether he had simply hoped to get more cash for it. I asked Karl what we might get for our t25 Russian tractor. It had been sitting in the hay bin since my nephew; Rene Puura locked it into two gears simultaneously, seven or eight years ago. I was told, we could get 300-500 Euros for it stripped down first. Karl thinks the tractor is worth salvaging.
All the locals here seem to make regular trips here dragging in their old ladas, trucks, scrap metals and general junk. Every farm has tons of old tractor parts, boxes of rusting nuts bolts chains axels etc. Old motors get the most money, except for precious metals of course.  For all those who have a hard time getting rid of their junk, like I do, I suggest they visit a junkyard. You gain a much more realistic point of view on what is necessary and what is not, or junk. And what better way to reward yourself for cleaning up the yard then getting cash for it? The only problem I see is cashing in old metal can become addictive. Now I look at everything in the yard a little differently. I mentally weigh everything in the yard and try to guess how much cash I could get for this or that. I have to be careful and not get carried away. Like Aristotle said thousands of years ago, all things in moderation.

Viido Polikarpus
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