I had so many titles for this post running through my head this weekend…
Farming Down Under (obviously)
The Girl with the Portable Fan
The Spring Harvest
The Most Beautiful Sunset Ever
Sheep don’t Baaaa they Meeeer
That Time I was Rammed by a Sheep
I Could be a Farmers Wife
Since all were so different there wasn’t one thing the accurately summed up the weekend other than Farming Down Under, because that’s exactly what we did this weekend, we farmed.
The Girl with the Portable Fan
We left for Narromine on Friday afternoon and I spent the majority of the five hour car ride listening to country music on spotify and Hunter Hayes when service dropped out. You just can’t beat country music when you are driving through the country, and to a farm can you?
As tradition would have it, each time we drive to the farm we make a pit stop along a dirt road somewhere (it’s usually different each time) Ben takes a little nap – as he should after working all day then driving, and I hop out of the car and walk through paddocks taking photos. He sleeps, I take photos, we’re both happy.
The breaks always happen around sunset because that’s when the kangaroos and wombats come out to feed, add that to driving West and into the sun, means you are not only looking out for cars and trucks on the road, but kangaroos too who like to eat their dinner in the fresh green grass next to the roads and are liable to hop in front of a car at any moment.
Where we pulled off was right near huge fields of wheat so I hopped the gate (I found the lock and unhooked) and snapped a few shots just as the sun set.
We got to his parents house around 9 and enjoyed dinner with them before heading off to bed.
So why call this The Girl with the Portable Fan? Have you read/seen the movie The Girl with the Dragon tattoo? Me either. But after this weekend you could pretty much call me the girl with the portable fan because Australia is HOT and in most homes and small town shops there is no air-conditioning. So even in 100° weather like we had this weekend the only relief you get is from a fan. I decided from now on I will be carrying a fan with me everywhere I go. Just call me the girl with the portable fan.
The Spring Harvest
I didn’t realize as I was taking all those photos of barley that my Saturday would be spent learning about how farmers harvest wheat, barley, and oats, as well as the difference between all of those grains.
After a filling breakfast Mr. and Mrs. J, Ben, and I drove about 30 minutes outside of town to see how the big dogs harvest wheat with multiple reapers (the big machine used to harvest wheat) and collection trucks.
Then we were off to Uncle Bob’s place to learn how to harvest ourselves.
Along the way we spotted a family of kangaroos eating and enjoying some shade under a big tree. Followed by an Eastern Bearded Dragon which are the same lizards they used in the movie Holes. You know the ones who have that big frilly neck that they puff out when they feel threatened.
When we got out to Uncle Bob’s place he was on top of his reaper working in a 100 acre paddock harvesting barley.
When he pulled back around he helped me up into the reaper and I went around the paddock with him harvesting.
Uncle Bobs has 100 acres of barley just in that one paddock and surprisingly it will only take him less than a day to harvest the whole thing.
While I was in the reaper we chatted about different types of barley (who knew there was more than one kind?) and what the kinds are used for. The barley Uncle Bob has is used for stock feed, but other barleys are used for beer and breads depending on the amount of malt and protein in them.
One full trip down and back up the paddock and you’ve filled up the basket with as much grain as it can take and then it’s time to dump the grain into a big barrel before repeating.
One of those barrels holds about 25-30 tons of grain seed and a farmer will make about $250-300 per ton depending on the market.
While Ben was taking his ride on the reaper I hung out with Mr. and Mrs. J and learned the difference between oats, wheat, and barley.
After harvesting we walked back to the house to enjoy tea, nibbles, and air conditioning – yes Uncle Bob and his wife have a/c and it was glorious!!
Some of Uncle Bob’s other toys, including a car that he rode in as a boy. He is determined it will run again someday, and I’ll get to take a ride!
The Most Beautiful Sunset
Back on Mr. and Mrs. J’s farm we walked up to the cottage to see Ben’s brother and sister-in-law and play with their son H.
After Ben was doused by the little guy who had tons of fun doing it we walked back to his parents house for dinner and I snapped this photo along the way. Without a doubt one gorgeous sunset!
This post got WAY too busy to fit on one page, check out part two of my farming weekend.. and that whole story about getting rammed by a sheep on the next page.