Sep 28, 2010

"Between the Hägg and the Syren"
Part II
Yes...they are reindeer!
You can see how green everything had gotten only one week after the blooming of the Hägg tree.  These furry guys suddenly found themselves down in the middle of the village instead of deep in the forest, but there was such a banquet of tender, delicious, grass springing up in the ditches that they took a minute to munch!
Quite a change of scene...

There were some changes happening on the farm-front as well.
Months ago, while the winter snows were still whirling in the air outside, we were woodstove-warm inside, counseling together as a family around the kitchen table. 
We knew we needed to have all our equipment for the farm work functional and dependable.  Because there is such an emphasis on proper maintenance (thanks to Pappa), our largest tractor was in excellent condition, but getting older.  We are in an area where servicing of vehicles is not always readily available should a problem occur. And if the tractor breaks down you are in real trouble on the farm.
Pappa did some calling around to determine what a fair market value might be for our old one, and was pleasantly surprised. 
With that information we decided to list it  for sale on Blocket 
 (a buying/selling site thoughout Sweden).
It had hardly hit the auction list when the calls started pouring in. 
Such a high level of immediate interest gave us the confidence to take the leap and order a new one that would give us the security of warranty coverage. It is understood here in Sweden that when you are dealing with an item on the Blocket you can ask to have it "reserved" until you make a decision - usually within a day or two.  Other callers are told that it is reserved and will always call back and check to see if the sale went through. 
This three-generation group were the first in line and were able to complete very quickly.  The Farfar (father's father), the Pappa and the Son all arrived to pick up their purchase.  They were THRILLED with it, it was perfect for their needs and they knew the price was reasonable considering the excellent condition and low hours of use.  In fact, if you look at the Grandpa, when we snapped the picture he was saying "Oy-Yoy-Yoy" in delight at the acquisition of the tractor.

And the very next day....

Pappa and I drove to Örnsköldsvik to the Lantmännen Maskin (tractor sales) to do the inspection of our new one. First was the general look-over and then came the 'up close and personal' part.
It seemed like it was going to work for us and WE were thrilled with our purchase as well.  A well-timed sales campaign in a slumped economy made the difference between what we got for our old one and what we paid for the new one smaller than we ever could have imagined.
Such a blessing.
We watched while they loaded it up and headed for Eden 121!

With that accomplished it was time for the serious business of:
'Getting the dung out'.
(Warning! parents strongly cautioned..)
  When I think of some of the aspects of farm life that have been an adjustment for me, this item would be near the top of the list. 
 I grasp the underlying logic, comprehend the rotational value of natural processes, admire the elements of stewardship, but...
it is still an enormous pile of dung!
It is a winter's worth from all the animals.
That is actually our good neighbor, Bo Anders Henriksson, who will be celebrating his 80th birthday soon, using the fork on his tractor to load the dung onto the spreader. He comes like clockwork to help us every year  which makes it possible to do in a few days what used to take a full week.
Once the dung is spread on the fields they can be harrowed (that's Gustav out there in the far left of the picture harrowing with the small tractor) and then they are ready to be seeded (those are the bags of seeds to the right below, all ordered and ready).  The growing grönfoder (green stuff) will provide food for the animals during the coming months. 

It's a big job, but not without it's moments of relaxation.
When I brought out this fika of pepper-beef sandwiches on knäckebröd, cheese-veggie sandwiches on homemade rye, sugared fruit buns, lemon bars, chocolate squares and red currant and rhubarb saft (fruit drinks), Bo surveyed the tray and said something I didn't understand in Swedish.
I asked Gustav what it was and he said,
We all had a good laugh over that.  I thought I was just doing what was expected but they thought it was Deluxe-O.
(the boys say it's the American in me..)
                                                         They ate, Gustav snuck a little snooze, then they went back to work and  finished up.
Last of all, the spreader had to be power-washed to remove any vestiges of dung which corrodes the metal.  Then it is put away "under roof" as they say, to keep it rust-free and ready to use again next year.

Before starting Part II of this post I read over the first installment.  I was surprised at the feeling of pressure/anxiety that was there even now, months later.  By the time we got to the point described in this post, I was
 feeling better, not so overwhelmed at the magnitude of what had to be done in such a short period of time. 
We were handling it well and there was a light at the end of the tunnel.                       
And we had our first bloom on the iris!
Now the only Big Job left was the garden.

No comments: