Fieldays is nearly here. Excitement is building. Can feel it in the cold, winter, foggy mornings. The biggest farming event in the Southern Hemisphere is about to hit us. Attracting people from far and wide. The NBA final’s of farming some would say. Stretching from the 14th to 17th of June at Mystery Creek, Hamilton, Fieldays will be the place to be
Here you will see the latest in technologies, innovations and products from the agricultural sector. However, it is not just limited to the agricultural sector. You have various industries, such as the equine and horticultural sectors present along with many others. It is a great way to connect the rural and urban lifestyles, as both are very present at Fieldays. From cooking, health and beauty, wearable arts to tractors and everything in between. There is something for all. This includes the Rural bachelor of the year. You will be glad to know I did not enter and therefore still a bachelor.
The 4 things you need to know before attending the Fieldays is below. It has taken many years of attending the Fieldays and gathering experiences to compile the 4 must knows. Simple they may be, but yet very important aspects to consider when visiting the Fieldays. Lets not waste anytime and moooo straight into it.
Dress the part
Grab your gummies (gumboots). Preferably the red bands. A national treasure in New Zealand. These are smaller size gumboots that make for easy walking. More the in-between gumboot of choice. Not quite the corporate business man and not the hardy (tough) farmer. Next is whether you want to be seen or not. Do you feel duckie? (in reference to duck shooting season, which is still in swing #camo) Does camouflaged from top to bottom and then sneaking in to get all the freebies seem appealing ? If you said ‘yes’ then this my friend is the option for you. By wearing this camo, I guarantee you will not be spotted or seen. If your feeling the summer vibe in winter then the black ridgeline singlet would be suitable. Just make sure you wear your stubbies (short shorts), large woollen socks and a cowboy hat. The next look I like to call is the ‘pasture measure guy’. Its simple. Tan chinos and a checkered shirt tucked in. Sleeves rolled up of coarse. Next is my personal favourite. The classic swanney jumper (swanndri). Red or blue with black jeans. Keeps it classy, but a bit rough on the edges. Most likely to see me in this. There is always the option of just wearing your overalls if you get stuck and are overalled by the Fieldays.
Walk Walk Walk
It’s simple. A lot of walking will be involved. Going from one site to the next and back again will be the majority of your day. With certain events occurring at different parts throughout the day you will need to walk. Unless you hitch a ride with the golf carts going around. Each year they seem more tempting. You may find something you fancy at one end of the Fieldays and think about purchasing it. This is until you realise you will have to carry it the entire day. So you decided to comeback at the end of the day to purchase it. However, now you have to contend with a super long walk to your car. Despite this, you are still in a upbeat mood. This changes quickly when you have no idea of where you have parked. I have even heard of local stories of people training for Fieldays. It truly is the farming marathon. Even your fitbit will be tired! Not to mention your gummies.
Food and drink
Typically starts off with a free hot chocolate at a site of some location. You will seek this out immediately. This is to warm you up from the cold early morning. You may have multiple servings, depending on how good you are to not get noticed going back for seconds. Although, this hot chocolate quickly wears off. Just like milking the cows, it is an early morning. This time to beat the morning traffic rush and secure a favourable car park. Considering this, a coffee will be in order. Again free will be the main objective, but the desire may overwhelm you, so you might just purchase one. Saving the legs from walking…at least for now. Immediately after the coffee, you smell the hot chips. First of many to come during the day. The first hot chips go down a treat. Hot with tomato sauce (ketchup) makes it a perfect way to keep on exploring. As you keep walking, the first sight of donuts appears. WOW ! Just WOW. Now the question is not if you buy them, but how many? and do you split? The answer is ‘yes!, yes! and yes!‘ #dozen no splitting. Free will be the order of the day. As many taste testers will be consumed and be high priority throughout the day. By the end of the day you would have had 3 to 4 hot chips, dozen mini donuts, tons of free food and most likely be tempted by a pizza or some other appetising food on the walk out, which your cravings will give into.
Talk the lingo
This is the best part. You may have not done any farming talk before, but by the end of the day you will know the front and back-end of a cow and be talking pasture. The arms will be folded and the head nod ‘like you understand everything’ that is said will be in full play. If talk is going nowhere just mention the weather, ask what they sell and finally say ‘il come back at the end of the day’. It is that simple. Some key terms that will serve you well will be ‘sweet as‘, ‘she’ll be right‘,’ knackered’, ‘ Ta’, ‘suss’ and ‘ munted’. If you do not know what these terms mean, then just use them and see. I reckon it will be a conversation starter at least. However, you will not be in the wop-wops (middle of nowhere) and many of the people you will talk to will in fact be from the city. They indeed may have no idea of what you’re talking about, which shall be a bit of a laugh and be sure to give you bonus farming points.
Having read the 4 things you must know for Fieldays you should be more than prepared. There will be fashion, food, walking and talking. Whats not to love about that ? With 130,684 people coming through the gates last year there will be enough people to talk to from various parts of middle earth and overseas. Even if you are not interested in farming there is more than enough to keep you interested in other areas. It is an experience worth having and a day out that you will remember. Look forward to seeing you there. P.S. il be in the blue swandrai, Hot chocolate on me !