Sunday, May 13, 2018


They reckon it was a three hectare field, give or take a boundary dispute. As an apprentice I'm not really expected to know what a hectare might look like, but I can tell you this much, by around noon on a very sunny day touching the nineties Fahrenheit, with hotter gusts from the south, a single hectare feels like the size of Rhode Island and by around three in the afternoon two hectares begin to look like the size of Texas. By five in the afternoon you're basically wondering where the Nubian Vultures and the Long Legged Buzzards are because you're in the Sahara Desert keenly anticipating a visit from a Zoroastrian Saint.

A two seat carousel planter towed by a tractor. The planter dug a shallow trench, it applied a stream of water, deposited a seedling, and then mounded soil back into the trench. The individual seedlings had to be individually plucked from the flats and manually placed into the turning carousel. As an apprentice my job was to join the walk behind the machine, fixing errors such as planting occasional missing plants and regularly re-setting improperly planted plants. I'm told that planting 70,000 Tobacco seedlings is the easy part. Next will be hand weeding the rows, probably after hay making.

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