Getting Out a Bit

by burrowyestation

My great grandfather believed that the best fertiliser was to be found on the soles of a farmer’s boots.  On Tuesday I swapped house for paddock, and helped James with the feeding out.  Just having an extra person takes an hour off a four hour job. The lucerne was short.IMG_0318 The silage takes a bit of un-doing – all that non biodegradable plastic and fuel burning is a worry.  We can pay to get the wraps recycled, which prompts a discussion about to what extent farmers must carry the cost of any environmental initiatives.  Monday was spent with a film crew – the second in the past few months – making a video to promote the Meat and Livestock Association’s Climate Change program.  James ran and juggled jobs to make the time to talk.  I found my knife work quite therapeutic. Friends joked about pregnant women getting away with murder. I don’t know about getting away with it, but I have to admit that this hormone fuelled belly fire may well have enhanced my potential/capacity. On the up-side, feeding out can enhance soil quality – wastage rots back to the earth and the cattle fertilise the feeding patches with their manure and urine.  So folks reckon it’s a good idea to put feed rings on patches that need a boost.  I’ll be watching the way the pastures re-grow in these areas.IMG_0321 And feeding-out gave me the opportunity to indulge two fetishes – John Deere and overalls.  As  kids growing up on a farm in South West Wales, we had a red Massey Fergusson tractor and we loved it. John Deeres were a distant dream.  As a newly wed, I complained about cash  and my husband pointed out that I was driving round in a big green and yellow machine. I had no comeback.

My Dad used to wear blue overalls to keep the muck at bay while he was dairy farming.  When I bought a job-lot of heavily patched overalls a couple of years ago, there was family talk of Freudian attachments.  For me, the attraction is the smell of fossil fuel, the beautiful range of blues, the  boro-style patching, the way the scars in the fabric  record the bodies and the working tasks of the previous owners…That job -lot has become pot holders, a quilt, lavender/diesel sachets, embroidered bomber jackets, a dress, trousers, rag balls…actual oil rags back in the tool shed…and now all the way around and back to my working uniform.  Despite all the re-purposing and some bonfires, I still have overalls to last me a lifetime.  The overalls were my first and last job lot, but I still regret not buying the pallet load of half rotted linen nurse’s wrap dresses. Maybe they’re still in Billy Toole’s bunker….IMG_0333 And,treat of treats, walking home through the grove between the road and our house, I noticed that the recent rain has brought out new growth in the nettles. After reading about cooking with nettles for the past two years, I am very very close to actually  thinking about doing it. Didn’t think it would be possible in Autumn. I have been simultaneously craving green stuff and shuddering at the thought of spinach, kale or broccoli. This adds to the motivation. Stay tuned……IMG_0336

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