Farmers are leaving their tractors at home and picking up their shovels to join the clean-up effort after Tuesday's devastating earthquake.
Federated Farmers has been mobilising farm tractors and diggers to help clear thick silt brought to the surface by liquifaction.
But Civil Defence and the Christchurch City Council have told farmers that roads are not capable of carrying the trucks which would be used to carry the silt away.
Instead, farmers were bringing spades, shovels and wheelbarrows to get the digging started, and on Saturday, morning began work in St Martins.
Federated Farmers has also been involved in efforts to set up emergency accommodation for displaced Christchurch people.
Rural residents and groups have offered 1000 beds so far.