All Farmy and Stuff

Tomorrow night should mark the first night this year that I’ll be writing from somewhere other than my house. I’m staying overnight at a friend’s place, and then travelling to Fieldays on Friday. Looking for a good deal on a water tank.

Most people outside of New Zealand have no idea what Fieldays is (and a fair few people within New Zealand don’t either), so for the uninitiated it’s basically a trade show. An agricultural trade show. There isn’t much of the “Let the city kids see a sheep” to it. It’s a place where business gets done. It’s a place where you go to buy a $300,000 tractor and learn all about latest innovations in walk-over weighing systems. It’s also the biggest agricultural trade show in the Southern Hemisphere. Every year it has around 120-140,000 visitors over four days. Agriculture is big business in this country.

Given that the new section is semi-rural, and we’re looking to be as self-sustaining as possible, I’m intending to visit Fieldays with a shopping list. A cheaper option for a rainwater tank is first on that list (cheaper than the one the plumbers have quoted us anyway). If buying in bulk will get me a better deal, I’ll see if they can throw in a septic tank too. And I’m still on the lookout for biodegradable weedmat, kitset sheds, and maybe a small wind turbine. I’ll look into options for chickens. Exhibitors are often offering good deals on smaller items (the kind you can carry home) because they don’t want to have anything left to take back at the end of the show. For this reason, I may also be able to find a good raincoat and some warm socks. It’s a strange list, I know.

Those who have been to Fieldays before know that one must be prepared. Comfortable, hard-wearing gumboots (or whatever your country chooses to call calf-high, rubber boots) are a must. You’ll be walking for miles and some of that will be through mud. A warm coat is also advisable, given that it’s winter and a day-long bout of freezing fog is not unknown. Cash is sensible (as the mobile phone network frequently collapses under the heavy traffic). If you wish to drive there: leave before dawn and expect a 10 km journey to take around an hour. Book your accommodation well in advance, as every motel or hotel will be full. It’s always an expedition rather than a casual way to fill an afternoon.

I’m not sure if my friend will come with me. I may end up going stag, which will be fine so long as I don’t buy more than I can carry. I’m perfectly okay being self-contained.

Except I probably can’t fit a 25,000 litre water tank in my car…

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