I look at the farmer in amazement (in a good way) most days, he lives doing what he loves, farming and he is a good farmer at that. I have always said to him I will never learn what he has forgotten about farming, I’m doing care taking. His love of the land is matched by his love of the animals and his dedication to ensuring he farms to the best of his ability.
He has grown up here, a familiar story to men from the bush, they can relate on a deeper level to the earth than most people. The house block was bare when purchased and he has planted every tree here, maximising for wind breaks, shade and aesthetics. He has re vegetated fence lines to provide boundaries, grass breaks and shade from wind, rain and hot sun for animals. He has utilised Trees for Life to get natives to plant that will beautiful the landscape, encourage bees to pollinate vegetation and stabilise ground cover.
He checks everything daily to ensure, it’s safe, this includes water in troughs, no open fences for escapees, animal girth for bloat (in winter) pregnancy how far along they have progressed and paddocks that allow the animals to roam on the property without much interference from humans.
I got him to teach me how to feed out hay, most of you would think this is easy but there is skill in everything and safety first when doing farm work. It involved being able to drive a tractor to collect a hay bale, get it to a trailer attached to a ute, place the bale so that it sat within a specified place to ensure safety and room for 2 more, flip the bale and load 2 more. Drive the ute to the paddock where the cattle would come around, cut the six strings, set the Ute into low gear and let it drive itself whilst you get on and divide the bales up and drop the biscuits off both sides of the moving ute. Terrified me it did when I had to do it on my own, the thing about farming is that you have to accommodate for all instances.
Me, learning to do this allowed the farmer to go off farm for more than one night without having to come back to feed he hasn’t been able to do this since 2009 when we holidayed together. Working as a partnership has it’s ups and downs as there is only the two of us, no next generation coming through the ranks, but that happens in many families.
I haven’t found my passion here yet, I still feel at home in the city where I have family & friends. In the country there is so many highly talented educated unemployed women that have married into a life of no career and duties from times past. I know women who are charted accountants now bank tellers (part time) para legals now abattoir workers, nurses unemployed or working as cleaners. There is no shame in gainful employment don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to be employed close to home, but some of my women friends have 2 or 3 jobs to earn a decent income well out of their chosen field.