Thursday, 18 December 2014

Young women getting involved in farming #farmingwomen #australianchristmas

With only a week to go until Christmas the farm is now busy with straw baling. The windrowing (cutting the straw into rows) is done first - if its not too windy. The baler follows the windrower and ties the straw into bales, if the moisture is right. The straw bales are more complicated to get just right, than hay and the weather isn’t doing us any favors. Over the past month we have had rain, strong wind, extreme heat and even a small fire.

Our daughters are all home and ready to get involved in the farm. They learn how to drive the tractor and ask lots of questions. They want to be outside with Howard and not in the office or the house helping me as much, but thats fine. We all cook together in the evening, enjoying BBQs on the front verandah as the sun goes down. 

Howard is starting to sound tired after months of long hours, so I join him at 3am for an early morning baling session. My alarm goes off and I reach for a woolen jumper and boots. Howard grabs his Akubra hat and places it on his head, even though we are heading out into darkness. I spot the new moon and it looks like a small fire on the horizon at first. It rises to our left as we drive along the dirt lane toward the straw paddock.

The 4 hours of baling goes well as the morning is dewy and cool. By 9am we have to stop, as the straw is dry again. The day will be busy, carting the bales to the storage sheds near our house. I enjoy watching and learning all about the straw. It is lovely watching the sunrise on such a still morning. There is a hawk on the fence, curious magpies nearby, some sheep who enter the paddock through a whole in the fence and a quail flying into the air, when the tractor comes close.

Yesterday we drove to the town of Parkes to pick up a new auger. It was fun seeing the farm letterboxes decorated for Christmas.  The country towns we travelled through were buzzing with the extra gift shopping and the preparation for visitors. It really is a lovely time of the year.

By the end of next week this house will be full of extra guests and little children. Santa is coming of course, so we will prepare his supper on Christmas Eve and see if we can catch his footprint on the powder again under the tree. I am sure we will eat too much and talk well into the night but I will be savoring every moment, every detail. It is always delightful to have all our daughters home at the same time as well.

I am very proud of our daughters and how they are willing to find a role in our farming business. The industry needs more women! We have so much to offer. It is exciting to see them waking early and appearing at the breakfast table in their work clothes, ready to lend a hand. Howard is not used to all the extra help and quickly learns that taking the time to teach the girls farming skills, makes his life a whole lot easier in the long run.

Well done girls....Women can be fabulous farmers too!!!

*Just a note about the kissing photo - when the girls where little, they would pretend they owned a business called 'If you are hungry, we will feel you.' Well, the restaurant re-opened on our front verandah last weekend...Howard's beer was even served with ice!! A very special evening. 

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