Lets face it. It’s not every day that a woman, in her fifties, gets asked to drive a chaser bin – especially since my experience was in an era that would barely recognise a harvest today. Many farmer’s wives are hands on at harvest time – but not in this paddock for one reason or another. Neil’s wife, Marg, works full time so is off farm for the most part. The offspring of the Schirmer clan all have full time jobs away from the farm but have in the past been available to do the job I’m doing now. At the 11th hour Neil was left with out a chaser bin driver. So, a desperate call, and it was desperate, had me packing my bag and organising a flight home from Singapore having only arrived 5 days before! And though I was a last resort, I also feel very honoured that there was just enough trust that I could do the job that warranted that call from Neil. As I write – just 4 days before the expected end of harvest – and sitting in a paddock fast becoming not full of lupins, I feel I’ve earned my stripes. I may not be able to do the brute strength stuff but I give it my best shot! And, just quietly, am getting some great tips on how to use a hammer as a “gentle persuader”, thanks to some rather brutish demonstrations from Neil!
So, that’s it. Just when I think I’ve added that one last thing to my bucket list, along comes a curve ball and this amazing opportunity to do something I never really expected I would ever do again. Feeling blessed – in so many ways.
If you’re wondering… a chaser bin driver collects the crop as it’s harvested in short sharp spurts of chasing. The idea behind this, is that the header doesn’t have to stop. Therefore maximising it’s efficiency. Enjoy the photos.