Muddy tales in print

CHB Mail - - News -

Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay farm­ing iden­tity Mark Warren is pre­sent­ing his new book, Many a Muddy Morn­ing Sto­ries from a life off road and on the land, at the Waipuku­rau Li­brary this week.

The book is filled with Mark’s off-road­ing, hill-seek­ing and muddy-morn­ing ad­ven­tures af­ter a child­hood spent driv­ing all man­ner of farm ve­hi­cles on school friends’ farms, and a rapid plunge into farm­ing af­ter be­ing thrust into sin­gle-hand­edly man­ag­ing a muddy Hawke’s Bay farm in his 20s. This was just as Roger­nomics was in­tro­duced and the removal of sub­si­dies would change the face of farm­ing for­ever.

Mark grew up with an ob­ses­sion with Lan­drovers, coun­cil tip trucks, bull­doz­ers, hill-coun­try trac­tors, snow­ploughs — if it had four wheels, it war­ranted his at­ten­tion. His book tells of work­ing as a grease mon­key, ral­ly­ing in a pur­pose­built Toy­ota landy, res­cu­ing ski­bun­nies off icy moun­tain roads. Over the years he turned his love for off-road ve­hi­cles into a side­line busi­ness on the farm, work­ing with many or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the po­lice, train­ing driv­ers to han­dle a 4-wheel drive ve­hi­cle in dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions.

CHB read­ers will recog­nise many of the char­ac­ters that pass through the later pages of Mark’s mem­oir, deal­ing with the farm­ing fra­ter­nity in the re­gion.

The spills and the tri­als are in­ter­spersed with up­beat mo­ments, hu­mour and down-toearth hon­esty and a good many “hairy goals and un­usual so­lu­tions”.

Many a Muddy Morn­ing has been de­scribed as an of­ten hi­lar­i­ous, some­times ir­rev­er­ent tale that many will re­late to, about dreams and per­se­ver­ance as a farmer in chal­leng­ing times, while al­ways keep­ing an open mind.

■ Mark will be pre­sent­ing his book at the Waipuku­rau Li­brary, 7-8.30pm Tues­day June 12.

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