24 Sep The Girl in the Green Tractor – Week one
Well ladies, it’s that time of year again when the wellies come out to play and the days are starting to disappear! It won’t be long before those hot, long summer days seem like a distant memory! For me, this means I’ll be parking the tractor up for the season and swapping the grease monkey look for the rather elegant waterproofs covered in cow muck and god knows what. For those cold days on the bike, the hat, gloves and scarf are a must with the sunglasses for snowy days, but you wouldn’t believe there was a person under it all and it’s not someone you want to see walking down the farm in the dark; personally I’m sure I look glamorous enough for a night in Newcastle!
Harvest is coming to an end here on the farm, with only 500 acres left to drill! Does anyone else feel like it’s flown over this year?! However, I’m sure many of you aren’t complaining, after feeling like a takeaway delivery driver keeping your farmer going throughout the long day and let’s be honest, probably the only time you got to see him in the busy season! The hot weather this year has been in our favour for combining though, but yields have dropped and straw prices are through the roof! Some parts of the country have had to stop cutting oilseed rape as the moisture was below 6%, however, I haven’t been stuck on the dryer very much this year so can’t complain!
Forgetting the stress of harvest, summer is one of the happiest times of the year for me personally. Although rewarding, I know firsthand how isolating farming can be, especially for a woman. Living on a dairy farm and working with livestock throughout the year can get quite lonely, so when it comes to harvest it’s a nice change to work with a big group of people instead of chattering away to the cattle all day with no answer! However, at times I could swap the gobby boys for the cows! Yesterday, I had a rare day off; I know right… what on earth is one of those?! So we went through our own breeding ewes ready for tupping and I really had missed the stock work! I’d missed seeing lambs running around in the fields and the calves coming for a nose at what was going on; honestly, I even missed the smell of cattle and sheep! What is wrong with me? However, I forgot about the stress and how uncooperative sheep were though, “I’m sorry for what I said when sorting sheep” seems to be a phrase in our house! But it’s all soon forgotten, normally after giggling at something silly like wresting with a sheep that thinks it’s an alligator or getting your wellies stuck when you forget your fields have apparently turned to quick sand, or though it feels like it!
Winter time on the farm means one thing… more work! It can feel as if you’ve doubled the work load and halved the time you have to do it. For those of you that didn’t work in agriculture before becoming a farmers wife/girlfriend, I can totally imagine the shock you may have had when you first joined our crazy world! I have friends that have always wanted to marry a farmer, the thought of living on a quiet farm with the baby animals is temping until… you realise just how busy and crazy farmers lives are! They didn’t realise the endless gates they would open, the 3am phone calls asking to help calve a cow or their social life practically going out the window! We’ve all been there. However, they had also never seen a newborn calve take its first breath, acted as midwife bringing life into the world or looked out the window on a morning to rolling fields instead of more houses. Of course there’s downs of farming but the experiences and perks we have 100% outweigh them!
So girls, get your wellies at the ready; I know fine well I’ll be rocking the hat hair look for the next few months and my ever so sexy waterproofs that are more like clown pants on me (short girl problems.) I honestly don’t know how I keep Josh away; I surely must look irresistible?!
The Girl in the Green Tractor