Monday, 4 March 2013

Farm work.

Today it is bitterly cold.   There is a sharp South-Easterly wind blowing and although the sun is constantly trying to break through it is not having a lot of success.   After yesterday's lovely warm sun, when it was a pleasure to get into the sheltered front garden, any thoughts of going out there today have gone out of the window.

The farmer is very busy trying to get as much slurry from our neighbour's slurry tank on to the fields before the weather breaks on Wednesday and rain is forecast again.   Although the fields have dried up nicely there is still a lot of underlying water and as soon as there is any rain it is not sensible to get on the fields with a heavy tractor.   Also, of course, it is handy if the rain comes and washes the slurry into the ground well.

If there is anyone out there who is not sure what slurry is, I will explain.   All dairy farmers now have to have a slurry tank in which to collect their slurry.   Of course the cows make a mess, which is pretty liquid in the first place (as anyone who has ever trod in a cow pat will tell you) but this is also mixed as it goes into the tank with the hosing down water as the milking parlour is swilled out after the cattle have been in.

These slurry tanks are large and can be quite dangerous, so should always be treated with caution.   Not so long ago there was a terrible accident when several members of the same family died after being overcome with fumes after one of them went in to the slurry to try to rescue a pet dog.   Like so many things on the farm,  there is danger lurking if one puts a foot wrong.

With the wind in the direction it is, the smell of the slurry fields should be drifting away from the house, although I don't find it all that bad a smell - it is a necessary farming smell.

We have quite a lot of things on this week and as the farmer has to ferry me about (I cannot drive at the moment) his days are going to be rather disrupted.   So he is dashing from pillar to post (wonder where that expression came from).   

11 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Gee. I never knew that the fumes could be lethal. There is so much about farming beyond the sweet furry faces of the animals. And I'm such a city girl. I know this is a busy time where you are. Give my best wishes to the farmer... and keep the kettle on for him!
xo,
p

Cindy@NorthofWiarton said...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment for us on North of Wiarton. My husband grew up on a Dairy/Beef Farm in Central Ontario. Hope you will come by again.

angryparsnip said...

I shivered just reading your post today.

cheers, parsnip

Joanne Noragon said...

An old farmer said to me, when I remarked on the smell from a pig farm, "Smells like money to me."

Gerry Snape said...

hope that all went well with the slurry...can't help but think ..."of the slurry with the fringe on top"....I know.....

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

As I understand it - from Pillar to Post has several supposed origins - one related to a Pillary box (three holes for head and hands for public humiliation) and a whipping post, others say from Court Tennis - which is different from Lawn Tennis - and also constantly moving restlessly or aimlessly about, or as pertaining to a riding school - with a pillar in the center to fasten the horses to - and several posts around the outside of the riding ring. I suppose we can take any meaning we want and use it when it suits us.

Here they take the slurry and run gigantic long hoses out into the fields to be "slurried" and they pump the slurry through to a gigantic rain bird - which is a lawn watering tool - but this is much bigger - almost like a rotating water cannon and the slurry is rained down upon the fields from the gigantic "sprinkler" system - and you don't want to be too close - it can spray on your car or drift from the wind and it almost impossible to get off your car - and oh the smell - such a smell.

But it grows the most delicious potatoes in the country, Washington potatoes are the best we've ever tasted and they grow thousands of acres of them - so you can imagine the amount of slurry they would use.

Gwil W said...

When I was a youngster and we, that is my brothers and sisters and me, went for a day trip with our parents somewhere in rural Wales, one of the children would sometimes complain about the smell from some farm we were passing. My dad's riposte was always the same: That's no smell. That's fresh air!

John Gray said...

Joanne is right in her explanation of FROM PILLAR TOPOST
I remember it from school

Cloudia said...

May your full days have sunshine and always be safe. Nice to visit you always.
Aloha

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks JoAnn for that explanation about Pillar to Post - most interesting - all these sayings have an origin somewhere.
We have those long spraying slurry hoses here too but not on our farm.
Nice of you all to call - do come again.

Em Parkinson said...

The one about the whipping post is what I remember being told too. The next door fem only has sheep and turkeys so we are free from the slurry smell. I quite like it though!