Epi and I went for a post-Christmas trip yesterday evening to view the lights and I came back with some suitable shot’s for Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge😎👍

V for Valentino…

Valentino

W for Wicked with the Apollo Victoria as a bonus…

Wicked

W for Waste…

Biffa Waste

and for Weekday Worship…

Weekday Worship

…Invoking the Wings of Angels…

Angel on Piccadilly

But for the more secular, there’s Winter Wonderland…

Winter Wonderland

…reflected on the Waters of the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

I predicted that October in the village of Osada would be much like September… And, I was largely correct 😅 The month started with a harvest job for a neighbour…

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…The KMZ Vistula handling the soya beans well and the Bolinder-Munktell taking them to the grain mill…

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…If I look worried, I’ve heard rumours there are still Wolves in these woods – though maybe the locals are winding me up😅

The second week of October gave us the chance to try the newly bought Zetor 6245 on some cultivation work, which it handled well…

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…that was good news as it would ease the workload on the Massey-Ferguson 178. I bought a John Deere Sprayer to tackle weeds growing in my Barley crop…

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…That work also fell to the Zetor along with the subsequent fertilizing of the crop. Buying that third tractor seems to have been money well spent, even if I’m trying to build up my bank balance again!

As you may imagine the rest of the month was spent ploughing other farmers fields. All too often, it was a sad job – ploughing in a failed crop like these sunflowers…

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…It left me thinking about my own short-comings – The limitations of my farming equipment. There are a lot of crops that I can harvest for other farmers to help avoiding this sort of loss but I can’t help with Sunflowers or Corn because the harvester can’t fit a suitable cutter head. And, the amazing thing is that both crops are very popular alongside soy beans among the local farmers – because of the possible returns? All of which is of no consequence if they never get to harvest them!

So, and you can see where this is going, I’ve had to do some rethinking of my strategy – I too want to get into the Sunflower / Corn market. I had assumed that the next major purchase would be a 4×4 tractor to replace the Massey on ploughing jobs, but now I’m trying to work out how I get the money together to buy a better harvester – one that can use a corn header. The cheapest would cost over €30k and that wouldn’t be a move forward over the Vistula apart from being able to change cutter head. The next option is going to cost over €60k by the time we factor in both types of cutter head so we can do everything – the most I can expect to get as a sell price for the FMZ Vistula is €9k. That’s a big gap to cross! The Massey is going to be struggling on for quite a while but at least it’ll mainly be doing ploughing – the other jobs can be done by the BM and the Zetor, spreading the workload and easing the maintenance. I also need to look at the possible use of the far section of the yard – I don’t know what I will do there yet. In the main yard itself, I need to get another shed for vehicles – but that’s also a lower priority than getting a better harvester.

If you follow gaming then you probably know that games like Farming Simulator 22 are looked down on by many players of the First Person Shooter and Role Player genres – after all, where’s the fun? Who’s shooting at you, how do you die… FS22 doesn’t give you that instant of fear, nor does it give you the deep camaraderie that a multiplayer game can (though you can farm in multiplayer mode should you wish). Instead, you get given conundrums that challenge you directly. Every choice you make has consequences on how your farm will develop. Even on the easiest playing level, you will be having to make hard decisions on where to spend your money – often you won’t be entirely sure if you spent it wisely. It’s that challenge that makes Farming Simulator a very successful game alongside its Trucking equivalents – far more successful than the FPS / RPG players like to admit. And, like its fellow simulations, it also gives that moment of pause – some time to yourself in our otherwise hectic modern world. I would struggle to put into words just how at peace I feel while I’m ploughing those virtual furrows! 😎