I spent a nice afternoon yesterday helping the farmer inoculate seed which is being sown into pasture later today. For the uninitiated the wind has to be right and the sun HAS to be shinning following the soil testing that indicates there is moisture in the ground enough that when you dig with your fingers (remember doing this at the beach when you were little and before ‘false nails became a fixture on many people’s fingers) the ground appears damp or wet? Well that appears to be the exact science of crop sowing and I am not trying to make light of it, there are days he can not sew as conditions are not right. (truck in shed behind it)
There is placing the auger over the Gason bin which the seed will be delivered into which is attached to the air seeder which is attached to the tractor. There is a truck that is backed up to the bottom of the auger which has no brakes so my weapon of choice a sophisticated block of wood. I was to drop this where the truck should stop and get out-of-the-way incase it didn’t. I can do this with ease now (do not try this at home kids it is dangerous)
Then we fashion a tub that holds the liquid that is sprayed over the seed as the trucks tray is tipped over the auger which is turned on and turns the seed and liquid up in to the Gason. It is a precise science of guessing and should the inoculant gun clog up everything has to stop. You can not hear each other over the noise of a truck, an auger motor and the actual rotating swivel of the internal auger. You would easily loose a hand if you put it in there, so yelling is not an option, turning everything off is the only way one can get attention. As we both wear ear plugs it is easier to swear without him hearing and makes the stressful working environment much more pleasant.
It was at the gun delivery section that failed us, it is a thick black like tar mixture that needs to go on this seed and when it wouldn’t work he asked for a stocking. I walked back to the house and grabbed my last pair. The last symbol of my ‘glamorous’ pre-farm life. They were a silk pair and navy blue and as I walked them back to the shed I felt a tinge of sadness and I slightly marvelled at the ingenuity of the stocking.
I bet in the 1940’s when the nylon / silk stocking was invented they would never have guessed how this simple two-legged invention could fix almost everything. Wallace Carothers & Julian Hill would never have placed ‘these make great sieves’ to their list of reasons why the DuPont company should go into mass production to sell them to farming communities. No they were intended for everyday wear for comfort and durability. I can not think of another invention which has had so many uses next to a plain roll of sticky tape.
Well for all intents and purposes by beautiful stockings were a flop, only in my opinion as the master farmer wanted to leave a small sock at the end. This then meant that one (me) when pumping the gun to get the liquid out sucked up this spare sock and it added to the problem. Needless to say we did get the job done and my last expensive pair of stockings were unceremoniously discarded on the ground, black, wet and still intact and no longer needed.