Farmgirl Nata

Friday, May 22, 2009

Well it's that time of the year again...time for us to get out "old blue" & begin the fun & excitment of tangible preperations for planting (of course Dave's been thinking about it since harvest last year). So after speaking to a few trusted friends (who have been farming for generations) it was decided to plough up all the paddocks that we are considering planting - & this year that's 130 acres worth. Now anyone who has farming experience knows that we have only a little, tiny tractor - this means it takes much longer to accomplish this task than on one of those big, newfangled machines.
We've been going out in any spare time & getting this done - & truthfully Dave's done the bulk share - however I took my turn the other afternoon & worked up about 40 acres worth.
This is me hard at work:

Now if you're wondering about the sheep still in the paddock, well they are our neighbours & we've been adjisting them for a while - he came & moved them the next day - before I finished the paddock.

Anyway, I thought for anyone who hasn't been out on a tractor before I would describe what it's like:

You begin working up the paddocks (or just direct drill sowing as all our "big" neighbours do - if you have 1000's of acres direct drill is definitely the way to go) in autumn, so by this point the air is crisp & the days are cooling down. Our tractor (being so very old) has an open cab - this means that with the movement of the tractor & usually a light breeze, the temperature is invigorating to say the least & as the sun gets lower in the sky it gets downright freezing. Mingling with the cold breeze is the diesel fumes (in fact one of our friends jokes that some of the farmers who are always out in some kind of machinery or trucks are just "diesel sniffers!!!LOL).
This is the view looking directly ahead:

While driving the tractor you have to be constantly checking ahead & behind. It's important to make sure the scarifyer is at the correct level; it hasn't lost any points; that you are ploughing the whole paddock & not missing a strip between the previously ploughed part & the strip you're doing now; & of course that you don't hit anything with any part of the machinery - like a strainer post (ah ha that was last year's mistake - oops).
This is a view behind - the scarifyer (which I think is older than old blue), my hubby checking the level (no he didn't trust me - yes this made me grumpy) - OK he said he was checking the moisture as well :
Now if you're wondering what you do while out on a tractor - I highly recommend you take any chance you get to go out for a few hours (like, um, next year - you can come & plough some paddocks for us LOL). Old blue is old & very, very noisy - so noisy you need to wear earmuffs - this means you cannot have a radio etc going. So it's just you & God. Truthfully, I love these times (although don't tell Dave as he'll send me out all the time) - it is a great time to spend praying - I prayed for everyone & everything that came into my head (yes, a lot of my blog friend were prayed for). I also sing - well actually I sing a lot anyway, so this is kind of expected for me. It also gives you a chance to sit & daydream & as long as you don't hit a fence post or a sheep that's fine!! One of my favourite parts of the particular paddock I was working up is it's view - we live on the a slope & our farm looks down into the valley - here is the view to my right - it just goes on & on until the next rise that is thousands of acres away:

One thing I forgot to mention is the dust - it gets EVERYWHERE. I didn't realise how bad it was (although I'm sure I ate a few kgs!) until I came inside & looked into the mirror:

After double shampoos & a lot of scrubbing it all came off (well as much as possible - if I looked slightly more tanned you know why -just joking!!)
So now we have all the paddocks ploughed we just sit (yeah right) & the wait for rain (again) - we are dryland farmers, so rain is the only way that moisture gets to our paddocks. If only God could tow some of the excess rain up north down here....wait, I'd better let God be God & stop giving Him my ideas!


Kate said...

lol you sexy thang :)
Love the farm life posts!

Aunty Sel said...

Hey Narn,
You could start selling your dust as a self-tanning treatment!!
Beautiful, looks like fun, but I'm sure you'll have all the tractoring done by the time I get there. I really feel like a farm holiday now instead of assignments...
Give all the littlies a hug for me,

Cheryl Lage said...

I LOVED this post! The vastness of the images, and the charm of your dusty grin! Felt as though I had a pleasant visit to the farm. :)

Mum-me said...

I was just thinking the same thing this morning when I heard about all the rain up north .... 'IF only it could be redirected this way.'

You are one game lady to drive a big noisy tractor, and to post a photo of yourself caked in dust! Enjoy the planting and hope the rain gets there.

Are your children learning all about crops and such in their nature lessons?

Grandma said...

Didn't recognize you in the photo (only recognized your top). Have you been shedding some weight in the face and shoulders (or is it the new make-up you're wearing!!!) Sel just said you look like Nity in the photo!
We're praying that you get some rain real soon - glad that the ploughing's all done
Love to all
Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saminda said...

Hey, you clever thing! That sure looks like fun. ;) And beautiful too - enjoy your lovely farm! Hope we can come visit you down there some day.....!

Mummy McTavish said...

Wow, that is an attractive style. You are braver than me getting on that tractor. I guess it becomes a necessity of farm life to do things you didn't think you could do.

What a view to be cruising around to!

Grannysaurus said...

It's hard to believe that you could have missed out on all of that rain this week. I hope it's not too late to get a bit.
You are a brave lady posting that photo of yourself! I wouldn't have been game.

Bobbie-Jo said...

Oh that picture is priceless. What did Dave think of you all dusted up?

Have you heard "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy?"

BoufMom9 said...

I have missed you! I couldn't get on your blog for a while and I am so glad i can now.
This was a fanmtastic post. LOVE hearing all about your life on the farm. LOL about your dirt covered face :)
I imagine the solitude on the tractor is such a blessing...
Thank you for sharing!

Leanne said...


That's hard work!

Here I was, thinking that planting a few tomato, cucumber, and pepper plants in the front yard was tough...

I'm such a city girl!!

It's pretty flat there, isn't it? The sky seems to go on forever!

Thanks for commenting on my recent could NEVER be rude!

Talk soon!

Sandra said...

Go girl! Boys don't trust us sometimes do they? My dad would never let us drive a tractor as kids so I haven't had the pleasure. My sister helps them now so does get to drive the tractor which she is VERY excited about. Dad also let her use the drill to wind up all the drinkers and feeders for the chickens and as a result she has torn the tendon in her thumb and has a floppy thumb. Not so flash! Take care and hope all your hard work pays off.

Duckygirl said...

I love that you posted that photo! Reality is so much nicer to read & see ;) I think driving that big tractor sounds fun...dirt noise & all!


Haf Dozen Reasons....... said...

Happy farming!!! I am thankful for cabs. You still get dusty with our old airy cab tractors!! lol

Last week I got to take my turn with working with the disk and the packer. And shovelling many pounds of oats seed by hand. Itchy stuff that is.

Hope you get timely rains for your crops.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks

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