Diaries Magazine

Grain and Seed

By Thebangtoddowenwaldorf @BangLiving

Grain and Seed

I’m sitting on hay and it is scratchy.  A row of about 10 bails  wide, 22 long, and 12 high.  As you get towards the middle they lower down to one bail on the ground.  That is close to where I sit.  On top of 3 bails of hay with my back resting on a stack of 4 high.  There is a lot of hay that surrounds me.

I came to Kooloombah to help with fencing and tractor work.  The tractor work is for the grain and seeds that will placed in the fields, or paddocks.  The tractor work is nearing completion.  I feel as if I came across the world to perform this work and as the end nears I will move on to other things to conquer.  We have been working these fields steadily.  In the beginning the project the fields needed clearing.  The lucern and grains were in large part washed out with heavy rain a few months ago.  Time to start over.  Unlike the grain, which has to be planted each year, the seeds should replenish each year after we plant them.  They can last for up to 10 years I’m told.  To clear the field we burn it, and then chop it up.  In some cases we only chop, no burn.  The chopping is done by two rows of large discs angled in opposite directions that follow behind a tractor.  The discs grind up the soil and turn it, taking out whatever is planted and turning it upward and to the left.  The next set of discs take the unearthed soil and turn it right, replacing it partly from where it came.  This is where I came in.  I have done a lot of “chopping” of soil.  I have chopped about 55 acres in sum.  After the soil is chopped it must dry.  Like Florida, the rain is sporadic here, and that causes the soil to moisten and clump.  When the soil is dry it flakes a part, like powder.  This is good.  We want powder.  Yay powder.  Boo clumps.  We recently completed the burning and chopping.  Now it is time for grain and seed.  We began with grain.  One morning Quintin arrived with an enormous bag of it.  Real big.  If it were to fall on you, it would feel like a truck being dropped on your head.  I am guessing anyway, although unlike a truck, you would smell a nice aroma as you were being crushed to death.  The large sack of grain is lifted by another tractor.  We untie the bottom of the sack and empty some of it into a seeder (see picture above).  The seeder trails the tractor and the grain is spread onto a paddock.  Some paddocks get grain, others get seed.  The grain is for making hay and the seed is for the livestock to eat.  Both will bring in profits for Quintin.

Yesterday Quintin and I drove 20 k/m to the town of Nanango.  Quintin spent A$1000 on 15 sacks of seeds.  These various seeds would be mixed together in parts to create a mix.  That is my job.  The names of the seed are funny, “gatton panic kickstart”, “super”, “green panic”, “rhodes grass”, and “katambora”.  I want to find the person naming the seeds and congratulate them.  Well done.  No really, you out did yourself.  I take the 40kg bag of super and convert it to lb.  I am American after all, and oddly enough, so is the scale I am using.  I guess that poses the question, why is the scale in pounds and the bags to weigh in kilograms?  This is Australia.  Don’t take anything too seriously.

The seeds come in different colors.  Purple, cyan, pink, green, and gray.  I had to ask, what is the deal with the colors?  I have never seen a purple seed.  I admit I have never looked.  Quintin informs me that they are coated in a particular way to make them specially germinate.  “It’s scientific”, he tells me and shrugs.  I shrug back an “It’s scientific” shrug.  We both know that seeds are boring and playing with colors is fun anyway.  Out in the jumbo-shed here, between the bails of hay and the large truck that carries the horses, I mix the seeds.  2 parts purple stuff, one part green.  Don’t forget some cyan.  Where’s my red?  Who took my red?  No red.  I guess I will have to make due without, but I tell Quintin I will be filing a complaint to the seed company.  How can we work in these conditions?

Quintin backs the tractor into the shed.  It has a large bucket attached.  The bucket has a windmill looking thing that will spin out the seed as he drives along the paddock.  We take a mix of seed and dump it into the bucket.  Then we take a shovel and churn it.  We mix so that each of the seeds are evenly spread throughout.  It takes some time and it gets a little dirty.  Seed dust is covering every bit of me.  I fear that if I were to fall into water I would grow into 8 various plants.  Uh oh, it just started raining.  I’ll stay in the shed for now.  The tractor pulls out of the shed.  Quintin takes the seeds to one of the several paddocks as I mix the next batch of seed.  After I mix a batch I sit on the hay.  As I sat here I decided to write this.  I grabbed my laptop a moment ago, before it started raining luckily.  So here I sit on hay typing, but now I must go because I can hear Quintin’s tractor approaching and I have a mix of seeds for him.

Grain and Seed

Updated the Kooloombah Grazing Co. gallery.

I’m sitting on hay and it is scratchy.  A row of about 10 in

width and about 22 in length.  The hay is about 12 high and as

you get towards the middle they lower down to one.  That is

where I sit on top of 3 bails of hay with my back resting on a

stack of 4.  I came to Kooloombah to help with the fencing and

tractor work.  The tractor work is for the grain and seeds that

will be grown in the fields, or paddocks.  A portion of this is

nearing completion.  We have been working the fields at a steady

pace.  The fields need to be cleared.  The lucern and grains

were in large part washed out with the heavy rain a few months

ago.  Time to start over.  Unlike the grain, which has to be

planted each year, the seeds we are planting should replenish

each year.  To clear the field we burn it and then chop the soil

up.  In some cases we only chop the soil.  This is done by two

sets of large discs angled in opposite directions that follow a

tractor.  The discs grind the soil up and turn it, taking out

whatever is planted and turning it outward and left.  The next

set of discs takes the unplanted soil and turns it right,

replacing it partly from where it was originally.  This is where

I come in.  I have done a lot of “chopping” of the soil.  I have

chopped about 55 acres of land.  After we chop the soil it must

dry.  Like Florida, the rain is sporadic here, and that causes

the soil to moisten and clump.  When the soil is dry it flakes a

part, like powder.  That is good.  We want powder.  Yay powder,

boo clumps.  We recently completed the burning and chopping.

Now it is time for the grain and seed.  We began with the grain.

One morning Quintin arrived with an enormous back of grain.  If

it were to fall on you it would feel like a truck being dropped

on your head.  I am guessing that is what it would feel like,

although unlike a truck, you would smell a nice aroma as you

were being crushed to death.  The large sack of grain is liftd

by a tractor.  We untie the bottom and fill the seeder.  The

seeder trails the tractor and the grain is spread out into a

paddock.  Some paddocks get grain, others get seed.  The grain

is for making hay, the seed is for the livestock to eat.  Both

will bring in profits for Quintin’s company.

Yesterday Quintin and I drove 20 k/m into the near town of

Nanango.  Quintin spent A$1000 (one thousand Australian dollars)

on 15 sacks of various seeds.  These would be mixed together in

various ‘parts’ to create a mix.  That is my job.  The names of

the seeds are funny, “gatton panic kickstart”, “super”, “green

panic”, “rhodes grass”, and “katambora”.  I want to find the

person that has named the seeds and congratulate them.  Job well

done.  No really, you out did yourself my friend.  I take the

40kg bag of super and convert it to lb.  I am American after

all, and oddly enough, so is the scale I am using.  I guess that

poses the question, why is the scale in pounds and the bags in

kilograms?  That is Australia for ya.  Don’t take anything too

seriously.

The seeds come in different colors.  Purple, cyan, pink green,

and grey.  Ok I had to ask, what is the deal with the colors?

Quintin informs me that they are coated in a particular way to

make them germinate in a particular manner.  Sure.  I think it

is because seeds are boring and playing with colors is fun.  Out

in the jumbo shed between the bails of hay and the large truck

that carries the horses I mix the seeds.  2 parts purple stuff,

one part green.  Don’t forget a dash of the cyan.  I am missing

a red.  Who took my red?  I guess I will have to make due

without, but I tell Quintin I will be filing a complaint with

the seed company.  How can I work in these conditions?

Quintin backs the tractor in and it has a large bucket.  We take

a mix and dump it.  Then we take a shovel and churn it so that

each of the various seeds are evenly spread throughout.  It

takes some time and it does get a little dirty.  Seed dust

covers every bit of me.  I fear that if I were to fall into

water I would grow into 8 various plants.  Uh oh, it is raining.

I better stay in the shed for now.  The tractor pulls out of

the shed and Quintin takes the seeds to one of the several

paddocks.  I mix the next batch and sit on the hay.  That’s when

I grabbed my laptop, before it started raining of course.  So

here I sit on the hay typing.  Now I must go because I can hear

Quintin’s tractor approaching and I have a colorful mix of seeds

ready for him.


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