Todays is brought to you by the letter B

I had a great reaction to the Letter A post and thanks for all the input, it seems the Auger brought out many responses and most similar to those with which I described. I am not a professional farmer by any means so my blog is light-hearted and I hope will bring many a laugh, if I offend (don’t read me)

“Warning this blog contains words that may offend and make your ears bleed (if you could hear it) and make you laugh out loud. That can’t be helped as it would mean you would have worked out the word and the code associated with it or can envisage the action”

Today is brought to you by the Letter B

At every farm door they are there, they stand waiting for the opportunity to be tripped over, they can be covered in mud, all different sorts of pooh, dog, sheep & cattle but are the backbone of farming life. They stay where they are left, be it at the back door or the front door, it is custom that they are removed from feet when entering farm houses to save the farmers wives from continually having to clean and wash the floors.

They are the boots of the workers and people who reside within the dwelling, and I can guarantee you no matter which door you take your boots off at they will be at the wrong door when you need to put them on again to go outside. There is no organization of these boots and you can guarantee that you will at some stage trip over them, kick them out-of-the-way in frustration and anger and the trick is to ensure you empty them out before you put you foot into them. They become home to millipedes, the odd mouse, moths, beetles, bugs and anything else that may climb in there to get away from cats or light.

They have been known to have been kicked and sworn at in the same motion. They are bastards amongst other things. the trouble with kicking them away is that at some point they need to be retrieved, to be worn. The farmer here loves to occasionally clean them or rub them down with beef fat (think the fat from vertical and grills. Yes it puts a shine on them but as soon as the dogs smell them they lick them (yuck) He also puts beeswax on them should we have some in the house.


.At times in the country getting contractors in is a necessity, as farming machinery is so expensive unless you are using it for more than 2 months of the year it is an asset parked in a building lying idle.  Getting contractors in to do work is important as it helps to continue the daily running of the farm, most of the time they are friends and neighbours which can be a little difficult. (Please take this all in jest as we appreciate what you do – just not having to pay for it )

One of the necessary items that a farm can require is a baler (we do not have one of these) we get contractors in to do this work, It is a skill raking and bailing hay and is environmentally controlled – too hot and it can catch fire so they stop, too cold and once baled with too much moisture the bale can spontaneously erupt. Think about some of those hay shed fires that appear randomly in the news it may have been incorrect baling of hay that may have caused it. This is a machine that rakes and collects the hay and strings it up in either round or square bales which will get fed out to the animals when feed is less on the ground. This could have belonged to yesterdays blog when for when the bill arrives for this there can be the word a**hole bastards or worse. (yes, you knew it was coming).

Despite the fact that all the working black / tan dogs on the farm are bitches, they have been called Bastards, loudly and often, most times when they are working and get over enthusiastic and won’t “SIT DOWN, GET OVER, COME HERE, GET UP HERE” (all said in capitals as he is yelling), it is here they become a bunch of bastards.

Black Angus cattle is what we produce here, they are beautiful animals for sure and with the limited amount of people who come here our ‘beasts’ (what else do you call a 500Kilo + animal? ) are fairly quiet. I sometimes look at him when we are together doing ‘jobs’ there are lots of items and movement that need the encouragement of the B word.  “COME ON YOU BASTARD” is commonplace when “we” can’t start engines, when “we” can’t dislodge items from equipment, when “we” are demonstrating how to get out of being bogged by deliberately getting bogged and then one gets bogged and realizes they do not have the equipment on the Ute they need to use to show you how to get out and to get themselves out. Oh the irony, here and one must remember not to change facial features (smile or laugh) for fear of the death stare or worse being sworn at.

One of my first trips out with him to see the property he stated “I shouldn’t drive through here as I always get bogged” I said “well don’t then” to which he did and by the time he finished trying to get out of it the mud was up to the foot guard of the Ute, it took over an hour to get me out as he left me in said vehicle with the dogs and walked back to the property approx. 5 km’s get a tractor and pull us out, this has not been an isolated incident.

One of the other things farmers do is going to clearing sales where they purchase other people’s goods. “We” like to buy books on farming amongst other things, now these items are things that are not wanted by other farmers who are moving off properties yet they seem to find their way in my home, we have a bookshelf of books that can be “thrown away” except for the farming books – note to self – that is all that is in the bookshelf.

Sometimes I feel this farming game may be the bloody death of me or at the least lack of expansion of my vocabulary. Please feel free to add any farm implement starting with B that gets the farmers blood boiling. One of the necessary B items the farm has on hand is booze and after some days you can’t drink enough to be rid of the sights and sounds of the country.

Country Living: Its time to clear the pantry

Living on a farm when one goes shopping you seem to purchase food for the pantry, ingredients you think you may need at some stage of another, well my new shelves of my pantry are bulging from the weight of said pantry tins. My husband has determined that he can not find anything he wants – he started his own shelf a few years back but refuses to acknowledge that this was in spite of the fact he wouldn’t use what’s on it anyway. I do 99% of the cooking, needless to say I have placed things in front of his said items and made better usage out of the pantry.

There comes a time though doesn’t there when one has to admit they can’t find anything, never have the ingredients one needs to cook with and can’t remember what’s even there. I’m not quite at this level but I get accused of it not being organized, he also blames me for not being able to find his ‘men foods” tinned spaghetti – which I use when I do mixed grill or on toast on a cold winters day, cans of tuna (which I have never seem him eat one) which when we ran out of cat food and couldn’t be bothered doing the 100km trip to buy it we fed them the tuna and the jars of coffee, which I rarely drink and we buy a couple at a time to ensure we do not run out. Other than these I have NO IDEA what he is talking about.

I have decided to cook things using at least one item from my pantry per meal I cook or at least x 2 per day. As I am home most of the week working I do prepare lunches for my husband, most times I cook something or make warm foods to sustain him and the work he does. I started this idea last week when I went to find a tin of spaghetti to find I couldn’t find anything. I did however find 8 cans of coconut milk or cream (lots of curries coming up) 12 can of diced or whole tomatoes and lots of pack noodles.

Yesterday for lunch I did sausage rolls – using cumin seed of which I have 4 bottles of, real beef sausages, filo puff pastry & cheese slices looks like lots of things with cumin coming up, I have posted the recipe on our website Last night I used a packet meal curry – just add meat and rice, it actually was delicious. The only problem is I have decided not to purchase anything more until I have used all of these cans, packets, tubes and jars up. I am out of basmati rice, a favourite and tinned bean sprouts, it looks like I am going to have to grow them using the 5 kilos of mung beans seeds I have. Oh the JOY!!

Today before I left the house I did a beef straganoff in the slow cooker, using a packet mix – I normally make from scratch – oh well at least it will be ready when I get home. Anyone with any recipes for coconut milk & cream and tinned tomatoes please send them in, my husband thinks I am mad but this is one way to ensure nothing expires and we use what we have.

Alphabet on the farm will be on the blog using the letter B tomorrow and no I am not clearing the shelves to move out, in case anyone is wondering


Today’s Farming experience is brought to you by the swearword using Letter A

Today is brought to you by the letter A

I have decided to do my life on the farm in Sesame Street style, and give credit where credit is due. It has come from yesterday where I spent the better part of my day making phone calls, taking phone calls, feeding baby Jack (Black the Angus bull), helping to move Angus cattle, freezing (as we had no fire wood) and sitting in my car on the road watching our lovely boys ‘steers’ with a ring in sheep who thinks he’s a steer walk up the road with no stress and little noise. It was I may say warmer in my car than in my house, opening and closing the gates, opening and closing the car door, opening and closing the house doors I have decided I need to laugh at some of the things I do and participate in and observe everyday in the country so today is brought to you by a swear word using the letter A.

This is a country lettering system so there are LOTS and LOTS of expletives, and I mean lots and lots, it seems in talking with my country girlfriends it is standard to hear language that would make my father and mothers ears curl. Me I now find it all boring and have asked him to stop swearing at inanimate objects, but I will preface each letter blog with a warning.

“Warning this blog contains words that may offend and make your ears bleed (if you could hear it) and make you laugh out loud. that can’t be helped as it would mean you would have worked out the word and the code associated with it or can envisage the action”

You can imagine how many A**holes there on the farm, they come in all shapes and sizes, we have over 2000 Animals and apparently people whom we have never met can be one of them. I find some off putting, especially when tagging cattle there seems to be at the end of the day much pooh on my face from their asses as they shake to get away from you and there are lots of holes one can fall  into (like the one that ruptured my Achilles) but one I find slightly off putting is the Auger. It is an essential tool in transferring grain from one implement to another. It can be a really dangerous tool of trade and farmers have been known to lose limbs, hair etc from lack of safety shields that do not even exist with this necessary tool.

The “grain auger” is used to move grain from trucks and grain carts into grain storage bins or for putting seed into the air-seeder to sew the seed into the ground. A grain auger may be powered by an electric motor, a tractor, through a power take off, or sometimes and internal combustion engine mounted on the auger. In less modern augers by rope pull diesel driven engines (they are at our place). One end has a hole that things come out of the other has a rotating helical ‘screw’ that turns and moves the grain up into the shaft and out of the hole, where there is no cover and can run until the engine is stopped rather than with an obstruction.

So you can see here the letter A is apt to this farmers tool, I have heard of men being lifted or pulled into the auger when clothing has caught – I can imagine something as tame as A**hole will no longer apply it would be far more serious. I am lucky we do not use this A**hole on a daily basis only at seeding, to inoculate the vetch and sewing so it is a 3 to 6 monthly tool. It then lives in ones eye shot near the machinery shed waiting till the next time the rip cord is pulled and everything goes awry.

But I know those of you who are in the business would say you have forgotten the obvious use of the letter A in Agriculture, Animals, Agri-food, Agri-business Air-seeder which doesn’t get as much attention as it is a useful piece of machinery that rarely breaks down etc  and I could list many more things but the next one near and dear to the farmer and his wife is the Antacid.  Antacid doesn’t stop the swearing but it does reduce the reflux and bile rising from the anger of the auger or being sworn at whilst you help with the transfer of grain and allows one to drink more wine. Then I will give it to the farmer at meal times so he can sleep without sitting bolt upright in the middle of the night with reflux from stress

I would love to read about your day in the life of a letter A.


Country Living

Life on the farm can be very satisfying if you live in the country as you get to become multi-skilled and multi adaptable. There are many circumstances where you need to be able to problem solve, there are so many aspects to farming life that are so rewarding and there are so many that are not.

I came onto the farm about 11 years wide-eyed and impressed by my now husband and the work that he has done and continues to do. The work was overwhelming, the animals were beautiful and frightening, I had never been up close to cattle, and loving lamb (as a meal) I never knew how much work animals are to get them from the paddock to the plate.

I also never realized that being summer, winter, autumn and spring brought with them their own set of problems. As the partners of farmers one must get involved so that the burden of hard work does not always fall on the primary person (this could be male or female) I have learnt to drive tractors, use a front end loader, double d clutch on a truck, lamb mark, ear tag, weigh cattle feed out hay and numerous things in my life that I never dreamed I would even have to know, including fire fighting!!

I am the second pair of hands that assists when asked and when I can and also does the farm book work. We decided early on I should be able drive all of the machinery if for nothing else than if an accident occurs I should be able to grab something that may get someone (including myself) out of danger and or trouble. (pulling a bogged Ute for instance).

Whilst the rewards are good there is also negatives, animals need full-time people to care for them, to check them, to feed them, to move them be part of most aspects of their existence and this is the tie that binds people to farming properties. Getting away normally means 24 hours at the most together and if you plan a holiday it can require you to hire staff in to do the daily running of things, this brings its own problems. Most women I know in the country with children take the children away and their partners / husbands join them on and off for that period. The last time we have time away together and our second holiday together was 2009, we have done the odd night here or there but never more than 2.

Living on a farm also means one discusses retirement plans early on in the picture for the following reason. It’s all hard work


Farmers were more likely to be male – 139,500 or 72% of all farmers were male, compared to 55% of all employed persons in 2010-11.

The age profile of farmers differs from that of all employed persons. In 2010-11, the median age of farmers was 53, compared to 39 for all employed persons. Seven out of ten (71%) farmers were 45 or over compared to four out of ten (39%) employed persons. The largest differences in the age distribution were apparent in the younger and older age groups. While 23% of farmers were aged 65 and over, only 3% of all employed persons were in this age group (graph S8.2). Conversely, only 2% of farmers were aged between 15 and 24, while 17% of all employed persons were in this age group. In 2010-11, farmers comprised a significant proportion of older workers – 14% of all employed persons aged 65 years and over. However, they made up a smaller proportion of younger workers – less than 1% of all employed persons aged between 15 and 34.

Helping the homeless

This year Maggie beer is using our lamb (donated) to serve to guests, get your tickets and come along

IMAG0154It is that time of year again, when a group of us are focused on the annual SA fundraising event The Big Lunch 2014.

A discounted rate has now also been offered for late comers, so please, if you haven’t already booked your ticket for 1 or table of 10, consider doing do.

What I love about The Big Issue is one of their mottos pictured here, as well as “A hand up, not a hand out”. The idea of empowering people to improve their lives by working, earning money, and re-engaging with the community appeals to my sense of right and wrong. The philosophy of teaching a man to fish, rather than feeding him is the same, and at the end of every day, we have to help ourselves… but for those who need a hand to hold to get up it is good to be able to…

View original post 138 more words