George and Mary SUE
Wheel hoes came with one wheel or two. Single wheel machines typically ran between rows of plants and sliced off or tore up weeds, while two-wheel machines straddled one row of plants and sliced off weeds on either side. Several other attachments could be attached to mould up rows of plants, or dig a trench to lay fertilizer down as a base dressing before planting the seeds in the row.
This is a very essential grower's tool. They are usually self-made by hand or custom-made to the type of crop you are planting. They normally can be seen in a growers shed as a 3 row marker, 5 row marker or a 7 row marker. The most popular size is a 5 row marker at 15 inches space markers. These markers can be used for straight row planting or can be used to make a grid pattern, so each plant is located in an exact position, evenly spaced in all four directions. Or you may wish to plant 5 rows and leave the next one row as a walking track. You did not waste land or allow for weeds to grow.
Mary Sue FAN
In 1939, my sister Mary [范蘇秋容] came to New Zealand with my mother and brother and a number of other families from the Poon Yue county. The trip by boat took 8 weeks, with a stopover in Sydney to change ship to come to Wellington. These families came on a special temporary permit, to escape the Japanese invasion of China, and to unite with husbands and fathers. The long, difficult trip to NZ bonded many families for life.
Mary was 8 when she came to live in Otaki. It was happy days for her to go to school as we lived next door to the Convent, she just had to climb over the fence. However those days of education were short lived as the lease of the land was up and my father acquired a block of land and house in Ohau. There was no school nearby so she had to settle down and work in the garden. However, by being self taught, Mary managed to master a good degree of the English language.
Several years later, our father purchased a house and 13 acres in Levin, and here we stayed. Mary was not allowed to go to school, so she worked at home like most of the children that came in that time. She mastered all the jobs in the garden, ploughing, planting potatoes, rotary hoeing and even taking the truck load of vegetables to market. In 1958, my father decided to retire and we moved to live in Hong Kong. It was there she met her husband Laocino Fan [范名正], a young interior designer and budding architect.
Mary and her husband came back to NZ in 1963. Work for architects was hard to come by. So, living in our family home and having the garden equipment available, and now with three mouths to feed, Mary ploughed up a small paddock and started growing tomatoes, broccoli, artichoke and other vegetables for the local market. She continued to do this, supporting the family till her three children left school. She then sold-up and moved to live in Wellington.
George and Mary SUE
When I wrote this text, sadly George [蘇裕明] had just passed away. I had only met him several times and was very much instilled by his sense of humour. When I arrived at his home in Levin in August 2015 to photograph him and his sister Mary Sue Fan [范蘇秋容], despite the wet weather, he enthusiastically showed me in the garden shed, his collection of primitive and the then high-tech farming gears that his family used when they were young.
When I proposed to reconstruct a scene about their bittersweet harsh farming life, like many reticent Chinese, they posed gingerly and discreetly at the beginning. It was when I asked them to “Be you at young, helping out the family,” they were then afire and flung into a hilarious theatrical performance. Those once bitter memories are now ‘sweet as’.
King Tong HO
轮子锄头分单轮和双轮：单轮机器在成排的植物间跑动, 割掉或拔起野草, 而双轮机器跨一排植物, 割掉两边的野草。还有其它几种附属装置可用泥土覆盖成排的植物, 或在播种种子前掘沟施肥。
这是种植者不可或缺的工具。有自制或根据种植物所需而订制的。种植棚常见的有三行标、五行标和七行标。最普遍使用的是间隔十五吋的五行标。行标可用于直排播种, 也可进行网格种植, 以使每株植物被种在四方间距相等的精确位置上。它还可以种五排, 留出下一排作为步行小道。这样, 就不会浪费土地, 又避免野草生长。
姐姐苏秋容、母亲和兄弟及其它家庭一起从中国番禹来到纽西兰。为了躲避日本对中国的侵略, 一九三九年他们坐船, 历时八周, 途经悉尼, 然后换船到达纽西兰的威灵顿。他们获得了特殊的临时许可证, 与她们的丈夫或父亲团聚。这次纽西兰之行保住了许多家庭的生命。
秋容八岁时, 来到 Otaki 生活。对她来说, 上学是快乐的时光。因为住在修道院隔壁, 她爬过篱笆便可上学。但接受教育的时光短暂, 父亲租赁的土地到期了, 他在 Ohau 获得了一块土地和房子。由于新居附近没有学校, 秋容只好安顿下来, 在花园劳动。通过自学她掌握了英语的基础。几年后, 父亲在 Levin 购置了房子和十三亩土地, 我们就在那儿住下了。秋容不能上学, 像那时大多数的孩子一样, 在家里劳动。她精通花园里的各种工务, 例如犁地, 种植土豆, 翻土以及用卡车将蔬菜运到市场。
一九五八年, 父亲决定退休, 我们搬到香港居住。在香港, 秋容遇到了后来成为她丈夫的范名正, 一位年轻的室内设计师和建筑师。她和丈夫后来於一九六三年回到纽西兰, 而丈夫建筑师的工作, 难以维持生计, 为了抚养三个孩子, 她住在我们家里, 用家里的花园设备和工具, 开垦了一个小园地, 种植番茄, 西兰花, 菊芋和其他蔬菜, 运到市场出售。她一直这样维持生计, 直至三个孩子完成学业, 然后卖掉农场, 搬到威灵顿居住。
当我书写此记录时, 遗憾地苏裕明已离世。与他数次会面, 都沉浸在他的幽默之中。我在二零一五年八月, 往他在 Levin 的家, 替他和他姊姊范苏秋容拍照。尽管当日天雨, 他热情地带我参观花园棚内的珍藏：年青时所用原始的及之后的高科技农业工具。
我提议重构他们当年那苦乐参半的艰苦农家生活景象, 像大多数沉默的中国人般, 他们最初小心谨慎的摆姿势, 当我请他们表现自己年青时如何帮助家人务农时, 渐渐地他们燃烧起谐趣的舞台式表现, 把当年的刻苦记忆变成甜美。
秋容八歲時，來到 Otaki 生活。對她來說，上學是快樂的時光。因為住在修道院隔壁，她爬過籬笆便可上學。但接受教育的時光短暫，父親租賃的土地到期了，他在 Ohau 獲得了一塊土地和房子。由於新居附近沒有學校，秋容只好安頓下來，在花園勞動。通過自學她掌握了英語的基礎。幾年後，父親在 Levin 購置了房子和十三畝土地，我們就在那兒住下了。秋容不能上學，像那時大多數的孩子一樣，在家裏勞動。她精通花園裏的各種工務，例如犁地，種植土豆，翻土以及用卡車將蔬菜運到市場。
當我書寫此記錄時，遺憾地蘇裕明已離世。與他數次會面，都沈浸在他的幽默之中。我在二零一五年八月，往他在 Levin 的家，替他和他姊姊范蘇秋容拍照。儘管當日天雨，他熱情地帶我參觀花園棚內的珍藏：年青時所用原始的及之後的高科技農業工具。