Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thursday's Country Life...Making Silage

They say a picture paints a thousands words...some of the words that this picture paints for me involve the detail that this man will not happily have his photo taken, so the fact that he's standing here, asking me to snap him in fornt of his forage sorghum crop tells me two things 1. He's pretty proud of his farming efforts and 2. He knew that in order to fit him and the crop in the one image, I'd have to be far enough away from him so as not to see his face! So, if you haven't worked it out...this is "Pa" with his awesome forage crop, which is in the process of being cut for silage...

 A little hard to make out here, but there is a silage cutter (a little along the same lines as a harvester - it's the green thing, spitting out finely chopped forage out the top), and a truck. The silage cutter drives through the crop, chops it off close to the ground, sucks it into it's beastly innards and chops and smooshes the forage plant into little pieces, then spits that out the top, into the bin of the truck, which drives alongside. Here, they are beginning the paddock.

And this is the very last little bit of another paddock. When the truck is full, he whizzes off up the road to the silage pit, where he unloads his bounty...

...and the tractor takes over. Here, the pit is full, so it looks more like a mound! That groovy little tractor has some very heavy weights on it and a nifty hydraulic 'pusher' thingy to move the silage around and pack it down as tightly and evenly as possible. (I think I should contact the contractors and see if they'd like me to write their advertising copy for them - I'm so good with all the correct terminology!). When the pit is full as can be (anytime in the next three minutes after this photo was taken), an enormous heavy plastic sheet is laid over the whole she-bang and held down with loads of old tyres, then you leave it...wait for a while for it to ferment and get all manky...and then it's great cattle feed!

This is how it looks fresh out of the silage cutter...It occurs to me that a photo of it after fermenting and turning into wonder weaner feed would be good...but can I stand the smell? Let me know in the comments if you really need a follow up to this to see how things change (and glean a greater understanding of the word manky)!

I'm off on an exciting adventure next week to teach a couple of workshops in Blackall! There won't be much blog action until I return, but you can be sure that when I do, I'll have lots to show you! I'm really looking forward to heading off on a road trip alone -I don't get much alone time...I wouldn't want alone time all the time, but I love to soak up just a little every so often!  I'm also looking forward to the fun of teaching something I love, and meeting more kindred spirits!


Lynn A. Fraley said...

I so enjoy these glimpses into life on your station. "Manky" is a wonderful word. I think I catch your drift without forcing you to don a respirator just to snap a pic of "ripe" silage!

Safe travels -- you'll have lots of fun teaching the workshops.

merci33 said...

Once again... it's so fascinating to see the world through your lens.

I agree with further documentation paint a convincing word picture!

Have a blast at your workshop...I'm with you...we need a road trip from time to time no matter how magical day to day life is...we need that long view once in a while.
Have such a good time!!


I love the picture of your "Pa". I feel that way about pictures too. That picture is definitely a classic and says so much about your Dad.
Traveling alone??? Good for you Tracy. We all need to spend some quality time with ourselves and there is something about a road trip. Great thinkin" place.

Robin Mac said...

I do love your description of making silage - but I suspect thecontractors may have a different view!!! Have a fantastic time in Blackall. Cheers, Robin

Tracey said...

You are all very kind to my nostrils! And thankyou all for your encouragement on my imminent journey. I'm down to packing and all the other little jobs that seem to need to be done before you run away from home for a while. Bring on that open road!!

Must clarify for Meg..."Pa" is actually my husband! Our son's fiancee & girlfriend have taken to calling him Pa and it's kind of stuck! I guess I know what his granchildren will call him when they eventually come along...but I'm not sure how I feel about "Ma"...sounds like an old goat, I think!