NEAR BRANDON, S.D. (KELO) — A longtime family business in KELOLAND is traveling back to its early days with a piece of equipment.
On Tuesday, KELOLAND News followed along as Cherry Rock Farms planted watermelon using an old transplanter.
“Particularly we like to use it for melons. We’ll use it for garlic as well,” Cherry Rock Farms owner/operator Marco Patzer said.
Owner and operator Marco Patzer thinks his great grandfather bought the transplanter in the mid-1920s, but it’s believed to be over a century old.
Sure, the family has more modern equipment on hand, but this one can still get the job done.
“You have to go a little bit slower. It’s not as fast as the other ones,” Marco Patzer said.
Cherry Rock Farms takes it out in the field once or twice a year.
“It’s a ton of fun. I haven’t used this one before, so I get to learn how to use it and plant it with my dad,” Marco’s son Carson Patzer said.
Back in the early days, the transplanter was horse-drawn before it was modified for a tractor.
Marco says it takes constant maintenance to keep the transplanter moving down the field, but it’s worth it.
“I’ve got to be honest, some of it is nostalgia. I love this transplanter,” Marco Patzer said.
He wants to see it roll on for future generations.
“I hope my kids are planting with it when I can’t anymore,” Marco Patzer said.
So far, that’s looking promising.