Muddy tales in print
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.