We were very pleased to hear last night that Michael is not one of these farmers that likes to get up at the crack of dawn but a more leisurely start with breakfast at 7.30am. So like, two eager little Canadian beavers we were at the breakfast table to see Rebecca off to school whilst David, their 19 year old son, had already gone off to his farming job.
David is working for another farmer at present doing a three year apprenticeship as his parents feel, and rightly so, that you need to work for someone before you can become a boss. The farm he works on is only about a 20 minute ride away. He does still help his dad when he has some spare down time which farmers usually do not have the pleasure of.
Before heading out Di got to go feed lambie again and have her fix.
We headed out to see the piggery where they have 11,000 pigs. They range in age from 4 weeks to 21 weeks which is when they go off to be made into bacon pieces. They do not breed the pigs themselves as their part of the contract is to fatten them up and then send them to market. They are supplied the piglets from their supplier.
On the way around the farm we bump into Mr Smith who is a neighbour and we all decided to head back to the house for a cuppa tea and some freshly baked scones courtesy of Frasers brilliant cooking skills.
Whilst Fras headed off out again with Michael, Di did some “fun” housework for Heather whilst she had to pop into town. If you are going to couch surf your way around Australia you need to get in and help around the place. Doing simple things like stacking and unstacking the dishwasher, hanging out the clothes on the line, feeding the birds, dogs or cats all go a long way to be invited back!
It is harvesting time at present so Michael is flat getting all the straw and barley in.
At present he is working the farm himself so getting all the harvesting equipment into the right paddocks can suck up a lot of his time.
This is where we came in useful. Fras drove the tractor pulling a mobile bin whilst Michael drove another tractor pulling a bin of barley. Di drove up the rear in the Ute as the people carrier.
We got to ride in the harvester where you felt like you were king of the hill it was so high up.
The cabin was fully air conditioned and had so many techno gadgets that it used GPS so that it could crop a field hands free.
Michael harvested a small portion of the field to make room for what we were calling his pink sausage.
It is a very clever invention where after your hopper is full you then bring the harvester to it and blow it into this very strong 75 meter plastic bag.
We got it started so that tomorrow Michael can just go straight into harvesting the paddock. By now the light was fading and we had been out for over four hours and hunger was starting to get the better of us. Michael works at a frenetic pace and is everything from a mechanic and electrical engineer, auto electrician, accountant, piggery manager, sheep farmer, harvester and the list goes on and on. Way too many skills to list. He did mention retirement to us but we think his definition of retirement and ours are quite different.