Fields of Gold

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Fields of Gold is a continuation of my previous post, Diary of a Wheat farmer.

Day 3:

One of my fields is growing weeds, which I need to deal with, or it could impact my crop yields. And if there’s one thing that I cannot tolerate, it’s low yields. So I thought to myself, this shouldn’t be a problem. I’ve pulled weeds before. I sauntered back to my farmhouse, grabbed my gardening gloves, then I saw this beauty in the farming catalog sitting on my coffee table next to my farmers Almanac and other unmentionable magazines a prime-of-his-life bachelor farmer may have an annual subscription to. Allegedly.

The Pneumaticstar 900. The entry-level, gas-powered, tractor attachable weed puller. More weed pulling power than a championship arm-wrestler. More pulling power than a chronic masturbator. Weight on the front of the tractor, just in case, and we’re off to the store to pick up our latest purchase.

When I arrived, this monstrosity was waiting for me:

This is not what the machine looked like in the catalog. Imagine if you were a weed, and you saw this thing coming. It looks like something that’d be used to stitch a hole in the fabric of the universe. As someone that lives in a city, this fills me with existential dread. When the machines take over something that looks like this is going to be used to thin the herd. It’s not a weed puller. It’s a dystopian mechanical horror. Poor mother nature. Look at these machines of doom that we’ve made. Imagine birthing a species and watching it create a tool of this kind, like some agricultural Ted Bundy. Why does it have to look like this? We need to paint a Hello Kitty pictograph on the side or some clouds and a rainbow to soften the look. Anyways, there’s money to be made, so back to the farm we go!

I set the weed killer loose on the fields under the supervision of one of the farmhands because I am honestly terrified of the thing. He worked throughout the night while I got some well-needed downtime. Now all that’s left to do is come up with creative ways to spend my last fifteen thousand Euros.

Day 4:

Up at the crack of noon by the crowing of the world’s laziest rooster. He’s my top cock. A dude after my own heart, like Yogi bear, or other famous night owls such as Elvis Presley, James Joyce, and Winston Churchill. In fact, that’s the rooster’s name, Winston Churchill. I always felt that Winston Churchill was an excellent name for a rooster. When I was googling for famous night owls – we call that research in the biz – there was a list right at the top of Google, and there was one prominent name that I left out. But if you’re curious, you have dig that one up yourself.

If the task list for Day 3 seemed a little short, it’s because I learned that, in addition to a boost to general manliness and attractiveness, owning a Red Tractor in the Farming Simulator also lets you speed up time. I paused a bit to pencil some notes into my trusty writers’ notebook, and when I looked up, it was dark.

There was only one answer to the conundrum of what to spend my remaining money on: A burgundy pickup truck. Truck nuts included. Look at this gem of a pickup:

Fifteen thousand Euros wasn’t going to cut it. So I did what any responsible adult does in such a situation: went into debt. One high-interest loan later, I have my shiny new pickup truck. And if you remember my last post, the town has absolutely no speed limit signs. Which means I get to go as fast as I want.

Minor setback. I noticed that the interest payments get automatically deducted from my total. And since I don’t like watching numbers go down, I had only one option left, to farm the simulator. This wasn’t Grand Theft Auto. It wasn’t Mount & Blade. Stealing and reaving were not on the menu. All that was left was the wheat. Fields upon fields of gold. We had our red tractor; we had that monstrosity of a weed puller, the combine harvester, fertilizer, and flatbed to transport it all in. And wouldn’t you know it, one of the fields, the very first that I planted, was ready for harvest.

Look at that beautiful crop. That bountiful harvest. Pure profit straight from the ground, and not coincidentally the only thing my province of birth produced for money other than oil. But rigging is a much tougher line of work than wheat farming, so I always opt for the wheat.

I fired up the combine harvester and started beating my wheat. After I had finished, my field looked like this:

Those leftover lines are straw. I have no idea what to do with leftover straw, but if my first few days of farming experience have taught me anything, it’s that there is probably a machine that deals with this very specific issue.

The machine I need is called a baler. It sucks up loose straw, grass, or hay, and turns it into bales, which is the very thing one of my farmhands had gotten my tractor stuck on in my first post. The machine is basically just a tractor-mounted vacuum cleaner, but it also spits out hay bales, which I can use to feed livestock or sell to another farmer. I never much liked vacuuming, but there’s something satisfying about using a baler. The machine inhales lines quicker than Hunter S. Thompson. And just like Hunter Thompson, it takes that powder and makes something beautiful:

With the wheat harvested and the straw bundled into bales, it was time to take our harvest to market. The price index for wheat lists a big rancher as the highest purchaser at 707 Euros per unit. Most of the grain is sitting in my silo, so all I needed to do was fill the flatbed and drive to the ranch.

The grain depot, if you can call it a depot, is just a metal grate that you dump your grain over.

I was expecting something more dramatic. Fireworks, trumpets, maybe an old rancher that would pat me on the back and say, “Well done.” The old coot didn’t even come out and say hi. Which was mildly annoying, but the flatbed, filled to capacity, netted me a total of five thousand six hundred Euros, softening the blow a bit. A few more trips back and forth from my silo to the ranch, and I had my truck paid off in full.

With the work done for the day, I settled down in my farmhouse for a little Netflix and chill.

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