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Let The Farming Lessons Begin By Galina"Slewfoot"Helen-Gene Kagen

The next 8 weeks were a major learning period for the girls. They were on a mission to learn how to be Sawmill farmers and they were focused and eagar to learn. They listened to me and also asked me a lot of questions. I was always impressed with them and told them so.

Every day I would see Marina a distance off from us watching usually for about 20 or 30 minutes. She would then get in her truck leave never once waving to us. She never once contacted me to see how things were going during the eight weeks I was training the girls.

The girls had gotten really proficient at driving their big tractors all around the farm on all types of terrain. They understood what makes their tractors work and how to make it work best them as the individual operator. They were proficient at connecting their plows to their tractors but I had not let them do anything more that raise and lower their plows.

I told them one Saturday morning to go attach their disk plows to the back of their tractors and told them we're going to field 6 and to follow me there. These are some of their larger plows and are very heavy. I had moved the plows up on the terrace before I went home the night before.

They asked me why their plows were up on the terrace in front of the barn...I told them...learning experience and laughed. I left, got on my tractor and drove out to Barn Rd and stopped and got out with a video camera.

They drove their tractors up on the terrace and attached their plows without any problems. Elena was the first to raise her plows and start moving. When she started moving the weight of the plows made her tractor bounce and it surprised her and BAM she hit the side of the barn with them. The same thing happened to the other three also. There was no way they could move away from that barn without their plows banging into something and it surprised each one of them.

Once they got it figured out the weight of the plows hanging off the back of the tractor and the their weight making the tractor bounce and move around they were able to move away from the barn.

Anuta was the first to drive down the terrace. The drive down from the terrace is a tight left curve and then straightens up and goes on a slight downhill to Barn Rd. When she started down with those heavy plows and her tractor bouncing a little, her tractor would not turn sharpe enough to make the curve and she took a striaght shot at a small pond and almost went out in it.

Once they all figured out how to get around the curve and on the straight part of the drive they were talking on their radios and laughing about those two experiences for them. Good for them and I was proud of them.

Their next lesson was uh oh to them. We're in these big tractors and have to go through a gate a little wider than our plows and then make a sharp left uphill climb and turn onto Barn Rd. This was going to be interesting for sure and I started grinning.

It took them several tries and they finally made it after knocking the gate and part of the fencing down. When they all got up on the road and stopped behind me they got out of their tractors and ask me what they had done wrong.

I told them those plows are some of the largest and heaviest they have. Why you think they got ties on them and started laughing. I told them when you were on the terrace and had raised the plows a little higher on the axles sitting on the ground then you would have had an easy transition from the terrace out here to the road. You could have easily managed the move through the gate and up on the road without any problems.

As the eight weeks of training came to an end I felt comfortable that these four girls could and would be awesome Sawmill farmers. They could handle their tractors and plows like any experienced farmer.

They have dedicated themselves to bring this once beautiful farm back to life again and make poppa and granny proud of them. Anuta and Beth grew up on this farm and trust me they know nad love every square inch of it.  Snoopy and Elena believe in their heats and souls a part of them was born on this farm.
The last day I was on the farm with them before I turned them lose to be the new farmers of Sawmill Farm we went to the west terrace where it all began for them 6 months ago.

We all held hands and prayed for a new beginning on Sawmill Farm. All four of the girls raised their hands to the heavens above and said...

We're ready now poppa and granny...We're ready to bring our farm back to life again...We're going to keep our promise to you and make our pastures beautiful and green again...We're going to plant and grow beautiful crops again...

We're going to preserve Sawmill Farm in your honor for another generation of Sawmill kids to come to and play and heal broken hearts and hurt souls just as it's done for us. We love and miss you poppa and granny and thank you for Sawmill Farm.


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