Monday, November 22, 2010
Rain in West Wyalong
When most people hear about Australia, they would probably imagined Uluru and the hot dry dessert in which most of this island covered with. This great country can be seen to be unpleasant sometime, and unfortunately it has been true for the farmers in the past 10 years of constant drought. But, our prayers had been answered in this special year as Greg’s parents farm has finally been getting lots and lots of rain, and it was so incredible to see everything becoming green again!
I remembered when my parents visited their farm for the first time in 2007. Everything was so dry that they were even having sandstorms! The dams were all dried up, and water supplies for the houses are very limited, even in the cities. This is a photo we took of the farm in 2007. Most of the ground is dry. The canola only grows in wet patches and it didn't grow very tall at all. (Greg also still has his crazy hair-do like a Dragon Ball kid back in the day... :p)
Greg’s parents live in a small town called West Wyalong which is North West of Canberra. They own 4.500 acres worth of land that they have been working on for a long time alongside Greg's uncle. After persevering 10 years of drought, they're finally experiencing the complete opposite and had a little too much rain for their crops this year, which is amazing to see! Crops can get 'too much' rain which will make them drown and die, but most of them had grown very well. Some crops that are closer to the house are growing as high and as big as they can get, like chickens on steroids, they almost look like something else other than what they are. The main crops that they’re growing on their farm are canola, wheat and barley with a little bit of lupins for stock food and chickpeas. You can imagine how exciting it is to see these crops reaching its potential growth once again after the farm had been dry for so long!
This is a photo of the canola seeds that developed from the canola flowers. They have very strong distict smell, and are mostly used to make vegetable oil.
... the wheat that's bursting like fireworks,
and the drooping barley.
Greg and I went to visit the farm one weekend and his dad let us ride with him on the windrower. I didn’t know what a windrower was when I got there. A windrower is basically a machine that is attached to the tractor. They're used to cut the dried, tall canola plants that are full of seeds and lie them on the ground so that when it has been cut down, the wind won’t blow all the canola seeds away. We basically went round and around the farm to windrowed the canola, and I've realized that the ride can get a bit bumpy and tricky to do. (No wonder farmers are great drivers!) When we were there it took Greg's dad 3 hours to do the last paddock. They had to do nonstop rounds of windrowing during the previous days so he had to swap with his brother every 12 hours so the tractor never stops.
This is the windrow cutting all the crops, leaving a trail of canola behind it.
This picture shows what's left of it, the canola pile, and sticks of the 'beheaded' canola... Well, they're pretty much dead anyway. :p
I wasn't there when it happened, but Greg's mum sent me a few more pictures to put up on this blog. This is a photo of the header with the draper front picking up the windrowed canola
And this is the header filling the mother bin which is filling the truck to take to the silo (a silo is basically a huge barrell where the grain is kept) with Greg's dad and a huge smile on his face! =)
I'm so amazed by this event. A lot of farmers have given up, but Greg's parents hadn't stop praying and always had patience and hope, even for 10 years! That's like, almost half my life time! We always felt the struggle but we very seldom saw them getting too caught up about it. They always keep trying to celebrate everyday in other things knowing that there's 'bigger' things other than the farm.
Congratulations mum and dad, we love you and are sooo proud of you. You totally deserve the rain. =)