Your Shopping Cart

It appears that your cart is currently empty!


Small farmers on small farms

by Julie Spears |

I have been day-dreaming this week about what it would be like to be tall and broad-shouldered. To have huge strength and be able to leap across one metre beds in a single bound. To be able to reach the top shelf and carry a big bag of fertiliser by myself. There are many people doing manual labour who fit this description and look made for the job. I am not one of them. At only 160cm I often have to cut long-handled farm tools down to size, leave footprints in the middle of beds as I attempt to jump over them and seem to grab every tall person that passes and ask them to reach something for me that eludes my grasp. I watch others carry large gas bottles and crates of zucchini with ease and sigh with frustration.

It is for this reason that I have recently purchased a 10 horse power walking tractor to use on the farm, as opposed to a traditional sit on tractor. Having driven a large tractor and taken heavy implements on and off for the last 3 years I have realised that there must be an easier way to farm. I am very excited to use this smaller machine which will allow me to change implements without banging and lifting and easily see over it where I am going. This machine originated in Italy where many farmers have small market gardens and need a more manoeuvrable and versatile tractor. So far I have a tiller attachment and a rotary plough, with a flail mower and a power harrow or spader coming soon. I think they will change my farming life.

So, as I scale up my equipment and break new ground, it helps to remember that small farmers have advantages too. Weeding and harvesting are easier as we are closer to the ground. Bent backs don’t get as sore. We can squeeze into tight spaces and never hit our heads on overhanging pecan trees. It takes all sorts to farm – women, men, tall, short, broad and slim. It’s the heart that matters most. As long as that’s in the right place amazing things happen!

Yours in veg,

Comments (0)

Leave a comment