There’s been a bit of a hiatus on the farming front – Some other activities, including the annual Truck Simulator Christmas event and my efforts to get out and about more impacted on my gaming time. When we last visited FS22, I was running 2 farms on the in-game maps. Let me start by talking about the other one – Erlengrat. I have decided not to continue with that particular farm. The main reason is that I find the roads on that map too unrealistic. I mentioned the ‘drive-thru’ fences when I wrote about the map back in December – without that you’d struggle to get anything done on a lot of the fields. The other issue I had was the cows and the lack of proper winter protection for them on the farm. I said that I had a solution to that issue and it’s only right that I tell what that solution was. I planned to sell the cows and put the money into buying a small field or upgraded equipment. Later, when I had cash in hand I would then buy a proper cowshed and get back into the animal husbandry. That was the plan – but it’s irrelevant now. Ok – back to Haut-Beyleron…

If you recall, when I last posted about the farm, I’d bought a field and built my farmhouse. I also had a tractor and a plough. Returning to the game last week, I was back to ploughing neighbours fields to earn more cash. Ploughing takes time and time means you can think and plan ahead. While working on field 14…

…I was thinking – this could be a good second field for my farm. It’s just the other side of the railway, it has space for a small shed to keep equipment and it’s not too expensive at €205k. That isn’t going to happen soon though – making money is hard and I’ll need to do a lot more work for the neighbours.

As an aside from talking about where my farm is going, I want to mention one of the visual improvements in the game. In FS19, things got dirty and there was some visible paint damage, but not much. In FS22, the paint really does show wear and tear. Take a look at the red and green plough in the picture above, then compare it after completing a second job on another field…

…By the time I was halfway through a third job on a far larger field, the Share’s were shiny bare metal…

…and the front of the Mouldboard’s were devoid of paint too. This is so much better than before. If you want to repaint your farm equipment, you can – but it’ll cost an arm and a leg, so I’m just sticking to repairs for now!

Ploughing makes ok money and is reliable work throughout the year. But for quick bucks, fertilizing is a good option. With enough money in the bank I decided to buy a Bredal spreader…

…This will delay buying a harvester for my crop but allows me to take fertilizing and liming jobs. These can be done much faster than ploughing and pay well although you have to factor in the cost of buying the materials to fulfil the contract. I worked through all the available fertilizer contracts…

…in the game equivalent of 6 days (6am-2:30pm) – the spreader almost paying for itself in that time and leaving me with enough fertilizer to do a couple more contracts when they show up! It also means I’m ready to lime my own field after I’ve harvested the Soya Beans. Here’s how they look in late September…

…still some time to go before they’ll be ready to harvest!

Time to take a break back at the farmhouse…

…Which I’ll have to come up with a name for so I can dispense with the clumsy title for these posts😂

Cee’s photo for this week’s Midweek Madness Challenge gives a number of colour options and the possibility of candid, floral and landscape photos too. So here is my selection.

Picking purple and green to start – a Transport for London class 345 unit has the green light to depart from West Ealing…

…While at Clapham Junction the dispatcher is seen from the back, talking to the driver of a Southern service going to Victoria – plenty of green paint…

Back to last summer and we have some Michaelmas Daisies for the purple…

…and two ladies chatting beside a lake for ‘back, candid, green and landscape…

Finally for candid, back, green and purple, we return to West Ealing last Monday and a view of a young lady admiring a freight train…

…Last Monday being Valentines Day, I wonder if it was Love at First Sight? 😀

It’s time to join in with Clare’s Share Your Desktop challenge once more. I’ve been out and about on the rails quite a bit over the past few weeks and my current desktop is a photograph I took on 1st of February…

Often photographs of trains are devoid of human life – Just the driver maybe, if they aren’t hidden by the reflection on the windscreen. But sometimes there is an opportunity to enhance the photo with people. In this shot it was nice to juxtapose the young lady with the passing train. I posted the shot on Twitter with the caption ‘Beauty and The Beasts’.

The shot was taken at Stratford – a busy station in east London. Quite a lot of freight passes through the station on its way to or from East Anglia and the Port of Felixstowe. This is a Trafford Park (Manchester) to Felixstowe North Freightliner Terminal Intermodal service. It is being hauled by a pair of Class 90 electric locomotives owned by, and wearing the latest paint scheme of, Freightliner. These locomotives, 90008 and 90010, are back on home territory having previously worked Greater Anglia passenger expresses between London and Norwich, through Stratford, until they were replaced in March 2020. Each is capable of producing 5000hp.

The odd looking building above and behind the lead locomotive is the ArcelorMittal Orbit – an attraction in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There’s also a lot of post-Olympic Games building going on which will house cultural and educational facilities.

The photo was taken using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the XF35mmF1.4 R lens set to f8. Shutter speed was 1/1700th at ISO800.