Sárig Attila- farmer, part II

by admin on 02/10/2019

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I went back for another stay at Attila’s farm. The children had grown a lot since last time and a small girl had been born since last time I was there.

The kitchen garden near their house had potatoes ready for picking and a man with a horse should plow the potato field, but he didn’t arrive.

In the evening, I followed Attila to a pasture where some cows and calves were grazing. All of them came when he called, the calves jumping and running, being playful and full of energy. He had bought two calves from Tirol and they should be more robust against diseases than the local cattle.

The cows went inside the building where Attila chained their necks, gave them cereals in a bucket, tied the tail to the hind leg, cleaned the udders with water and milked a small amount from each udder into a metal cup. Later, the contents would be given to the pigs.

Next, he milked the rest into another bucket, pouring the contents through a filter into a stainless steel container each time he had finished milking a cow. Thereafter, he did the same procedure with the other ones.

The cows were busy eating the cereals while being milked, even licking the bucket when it was empty. When all the cows had been milked, he let them out. In fact, they would stay outside all night inside an enclosure. The next day, they would be allowed to go other pastures.

Next, we went back again to a place where he had a bull to which he gave hay. Then, he entered the pigsty where he fed 4 pigs cereals, potatoes and pumpkins from the kitchen garden. Finally, he let them out such that he could clean it. Like the calves, the pigs also seemed very content when they were let out, running inside the courtyard.

There were three types of potatoes, one red and two light brown or beige. They didn’t use any pesticides, but it had rained a lot and there was blight on some of them. Anyway, two of the potato types were good, while the third one was not good. The potatoes with blight would be given to the pigs.

On our way back, a horse was pulling a log being aided by a man who was using a tool to loosen the log, while another one was leading the horse.

After sunset, I followed Attila’s family up on a hill above the village, listening for rutting deer. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear any deer, but Attila did. Obviously, his listening is better than mine.

The next day, his father’s cows were used as beasts of burden. He brought them to the kitchen garden and attached a yoke  to their necks such that they had to stay side by side, added a piece of rope to be able to pull them and attached a plow to the yoke. Then, Attila led the cows and his father was plowing, everything at walking pace.

Using a mixture of encouraging commands and light strikes with a stick, Attila made the cows pull the plow, seemingly a very easy task for them, as potatoes were continually being exposed by the plow. When they reached the end of the field, his father detached the plow and Attila made them turn 180 degrees, making them ready for another round. The whole process was repeated until all the fields had been plowed.

At last, Attila and his father were picking the potatoes by hand, sorting the big ones for eating, the middle ones as seed potatoes and the bad and small ones for the pigs. The amount of potatoes were enough for their families and the guesthouse.

Next year, the field with lucerne would be replaced by a potato field and vice versa and maize would be planted along the length of the potato field, like this year.

Various vegetables lying on the sides of the fields seemed to be irresistible to the cows, which ate whatever they could get with relish. Actually, they were always trying to eat whenever it was possible, in particular one of them.

When the plowing had been done, the cows were attached to some farm equipment and they were fed withered maize and turnips growing along the potato field. The hungry cow looked very content as it was eating the maize.

Inside the courtyard of Attila’s family, a couple of ducks were roaming freely and a rooster was crowing from morning till evening inside the chicken coop.

It has to be mentioned that this village is acoustically interesting. During my short stay, in addition to the happenings described above, I could also hear people mowing hay, grinding their scythes, horses pulling wagons, cows being let out to graze in the morning, ravens, etc. I would like to come back and do field recordings. In the meantime, it’s possible to listen to these ones.

cows_attila

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