Monday, 17 January 2011

Dusty Boots

Firstly I would like to wish all followers of Farmer Jake a Happy New Year and may this be an exciting and prosperous one for all sectors of the agricultural community.

Last week I had the pleasure of heading down to the wild south west of the USA, near Phoenix (Arizona) to be exact to have a look at rather interesting bits of machinery.  The flight out was direct from Heathrow and took nearly 12 hours from take-off to clear customs.  I can't believe that they only had three booth's open in customs to serve a jumbo jet with nearly 400 people on board! 

On day two we stopped on the outskirts of Phoenix to survey the city and it is vast.  From the vantage point here we couldn't see either end of the city.  Not a particularly high rise area, even 'downtown' just a sprawling metropolis with fields of farmland as green islands between the concrete expanse.  These areas still farmed from underground water supply by the farmers who didn't want to sell for houses!  If water could reach it it would be farmed.   Much of the water used here is from underground or borehole water that has seeped down from the rocky mountains.
We visited a museum while we were staying out in the desert and found out that historically each of the land owners would have had their own brand of barbed wire so that people could identify who's land they were on.  They were very intricate and would have taken an age to put together, some didn't even seem to have much of a barb on them at all.
The high street in the small town we stayed in could have been taken from a western movie set, with small saloons and cacti bordering the, less than, main road.  Roll up the tarmac and tie up your horse, it really could have been 1851 not 2011.  There was quite a lot going on for a sleepy town, but at the heart of it was still the rodeo and the cowboy way of life (oh and the fast food outlets...), evident in the trucks driving around branded with stickers and the leather shops selling boots, stetsons and saddles.
Although the trip was short, only 5 days in total, we had a great time and a big thank you to our hosts for looking after us so well.  At the moment I can't really say too much more about what we were doing but who knows maybe in the future there will be an opportunity to let you all into the little secret!  Watch this space....

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