This first week on the farm has been a learning experience. I left the comfort of office life to tread the fields with hard working farmers, like the ones I see far off in the distance from the window of my central heated home. My life before was pretty cars, fast women, suits, ties and 8 hour days. Now it’s dirty tractors, no women, chequered shirts, Wellington boots and unlimited hour days. It’s quite a change of pace and style but it’s surprisingly fulfilling all this hard work, although this first week damn near killed me from all the hard work, almost anyway.
Like I said it was a learning experience. First off I needed to learn the layout of my new farm. Bloody hell it’s big. I’ve got a selection of buildings and machinery right outside my new bungalow that I only vaguely know what are for, and then there are these large towering funnels menacingly positioned to the side of this alien cavalcade of steel and wooden structures and vehicles, erect and leaking grain. I better fix that, time to strap the green thing to the red thing and drive them into a position to catch the fleeing grain. The green thing is a large trailer, primed for holding…well, whatever I guess. The red thing was my very own tractor. After messing around for an hour or so trying to couple the two together, I managed it, now to learn how to drive this thing properly.
Simply reversing to the trailer was a chore so I best take this out to a field and practise driving it little before doing work with it. But I’m curious about the rest of my land. The immediate area has my barns and a few fields but I’m informed that I have additional fields beyond the river and down the road a ways. Screw it; I’m taking the tractor out for a spin on the road to find these elusive fields.
After I dislodged my now not so shiny tractor from the car that do inconsiderately crashed into me, I went exploring to figure out what was what beyond my bungalow’s view. A few hours later and I found my other fields, complete with an additional vehicle, a yellow combine harvester. I think it goes without saying but I sure was pleased with this find. Now my dented red tractor can stay hidden in the back whilst I take this yellow beast of a vehicle out to impress the neighbours. Not that I can see any neighbours, in fact other than the occasional driver calmly driving along the road, I mean erratically and dangerously swerving along the road crashing into tractors…yeah, other than them it’s an extremely quite place, completely devoid of life.
Plant life seems abundant though, I’ve got wheat and the like growing all over the place. But it’s already dark and really should get the red tractor back and in a barn somewhere, hidden from view so no one can see the shameful dent. I uncoupled the trailer, leaving it ready to help collect grain in the morning and headed back to the bungalow.
The nights sure do pass by quick here, as I returned home with the tractor the sun was coming up. I was so surprised I took my eyes off the road for no more than a few seconds.
Well seeing as morning has broken I thought I might as well check out the rest of my farm behind the bungalow. Field, field, another field, wait a minute, this field is set up ready to handle live stock, so a helpful sign informs me, and next to it is a milking shed. Well I’ve got £5000 in the bank so next time I stop off at the market I’m getting myself a cow or two. What else is around here? Oh sweet, another tractor, a green one this time. Big smiles all round and Fox Alpha there’s a plough attached to the back, I know exactly what I’m going to do with this, off to the field behind my bungalow I go.
Okay, time to get some actual work done. Let’s try harvesting some wheat from that field I found last night. Bloody hell this harvesting malarkey aint easy. First I need to lower the cutting thingy, then maintain a specific speed, then turn at the right moments so to efficiently cut all the wheat. It took a few hours to get this right but I’m starting to get the hang of this now, problem is the harvester is full, oh wait I left a trailer here for just such a problem. Sometimes I amaze even myself. So after harvesting all the wheat I went back and grabbed the green tractor and carefully drove the trailer, now full to the brim with wheat, back to the funnels to try and figure out how to get all this into storage.
That proved to be fairly easy really. After finding a trap-door of sorts next to the funnels I was able to tip to wheat into it and this made its way into storage. I don’t know how exactly but my wheat reading in my storage computer went up so who am I to complain?
I’m getting the hang of doing this harvesting thing and the office worker in me has had an idea, delegation. So I set up the combine harvester on a fresh field of wheat and hired someone to harvest whilst I stood by with my tractor and trailer ready to collect the wheat once the harvester was full. This place is starting to run like a real farm. Whilst the hired help got on with the work I decided to head to the store and grab a new red tractor, I missed the old the one and with green ferrying wheat I needed another tractor to plough fields. I attached a great big plough to the new red tractor and whilst I continued to wait for the help to finish up, I raced cars up and down the road.
Without notice the hired help buggered off and left me to empty the wheat myself, looks like this help I can hire will only be able to handle the simplest of tasks. Oh well not to worry, it’s about time I cleared things up and prepared to learn about reseeding fields and dealing with livestock, I’ll be sure to get right on that next week.
A Farmer’s Life For Me is a limited series of weekly, diary-style articles by Greg Giddens based on his experiences of Farming-Simulator 2011, a digital copy of which we were provided by GIANTS Software.