Thursday, July 30, 2015

Farm Kid Fun in the Mud & Folding Laundry

I am hoping we are raising a well rounded young lady here on the farm.  In one day she can do any variety of things.  We want to raise a child that knows how to cook, clean, and work on the farm as well.  That way she can be a good wife, mother, and hard working human in the future!

Today included the following for the seven year old.

Checking irrigation with Dad.

Baking a cake with Mom.  

Reading, practicing piano, and folding laundry as well. Oh sure there was a little tv watching and playing in her bedroom too.

Life here on the farm we keep a pretty good routine, with some added life experiences thrown in on any given day!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Concaves & Chickens

It was time to prepare for our next type of harvest here on the farm. Milton worked on cleaning up, waxing, and changing concaves on the combine.  This photo was taken prior to the washing and waxing, he had it put away in the shed before I remembered to get one of his handy work!

The concaves are parts of the combine.  Don't let them fool you, they are heavy, so he called on his trusty farm wife to come help him! He is holding one of them in this photo.

See the metal rod, I'm holding the other end.  Too hard to get a photo while working to include me! I promise I'm there.

Inside view of a Case IH 6088 combine anyone?

The chirps are growing quickly and if we are outside in the early morning we can hear those lovely roosters we have too!  

We have started letting them out midday and they do enjoy it!  The cleaning of the chicken coop was long overdue.  Time got away from us.  They gathered the items needed.  The mule, a couple shovels, and straw.  

The red thing on PV's head is a Frogg Togg. Seriously a great purchase in my eyes.  She loves it on hot days and Milton has one too. Although he doesn't wear his on his head! :) 

Off to get straw! Watch out farm yard animals and people, young driver!

That pretty much sums up our current events.  I'm hoping this week to get some photos of our current crops to show you.  Corn, soybeans, and milo are growing in our fields!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Farm Wife Reality - I Married a Risk Taker

One of the biggest risks I ever took was marrying a farmer.  I was oblivious to this reality on our wedding day in 2003, even though we had dated the year before. I didn't really understand or know the realm of things in farm life.  

This photo truly shows the happiness we both felt that day.

Perhaps it took that long for me to realize it because the first part of our marriage he worked full time in construction, farming was the second job.  Even when those roles switched, I still didn't realize the depth.  I believe it was because I worked full time outside the home. The "safety net" so to speak.  

We don't always have smiles on our faces together
but they are present more now than ever!

I grew up in a farming family until I was 11, I honestly didn't know what the reality of farm management was.  Then I lived as a "city folk" for the rest of my life until 5 years ago.  That's when we actually moved to the farm.

Honestly, we should have moved long before that time.  I believe the reality of living "on the farm" and being more involved in the farming operation has brought about a better understanding for me. A better marriage as well.

When we moved to the farm, I grieved the life I had and even the house we had in town. I recall sitting with my spouse looking out at the same field I am right now. It was during the building of our farm house.  Together we sat where our fireplace is now, without any walls built.  I remember having a mixture of sadness and fear about leaving behind the life I had come to know for so long. Fast forward to the present. 

My life is better for being where I am, more meaningful, and yes more difficult at times. With my change of occupation from working outside the home to stay at home it has brought a time of transition.  It has been almost a year now.  In that time I have participated in the farming operation in different ways. The farm books, paying the farm expenses, watching how many bushels of grain we have, organizing information for insurance and government offices, not to mention tax stuff.  Including some physical labor too!

Working together on the farm

Due to my more active involvement, as wheat harvest arrived a few weeks ago the need for a good wheat harvest came into my view clearly. This year I found myself more committed, interested, and involved than ever before.  I've been a partner in this farm operation for 12 years, but I don't think I ever understood most of it. It's starting to really click now!

I married a risk-taker. A man of risk.  Those of you that know my husband may be laughing right now, but I'm right.  Farming is a huge risk. 

one of my favorite photos of him

It's no wonder he loves it, he has to, because if anyone didn't, no one would last long in farming. I feel any man or woman that can depend on the seed, dirt, fertilizer, chemicals, hard work, and mostly the weather is a risk-taker.  Which means if I married him I must be one too! I can now add that to my resume, right? 

Milton waited a long time to get to this point in his career, he deserves every good crop produced, every sunset he sees from the tractor, and the opportunities he has been given. There will be successes and failures in this farm life, but he knows this.  He is OK with that, and knows the following.

We are sustained, not by the work of our own hands but the abilities that have been given to us. We are not able to stand firm in our moments of risk without the abilities that have been created in us.  The farm would not function if not for God.   I think many need to remember this, the farmer is just the steward of the land.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wheat Harvest 2015 - Recap

Milton drove the Case IH 6088 combine, RV took care of hauling wheat via the semi and grain truck, while LV weighed the trucks as they came home to store the grain. Julie helped some with weighing and scale tickets and cooked one meal for everyone each day.  PV, well we will call her the supervisor that played a lot!

Once the grain bins were full at home, the grain began being hauled to the elevator in Canton and the new Ag Producers LLC terminal on Hiway 56.  Hauling to the terminal was a new experience for all, but turned out to be a good choice in our eyes. Depending on the priced being offered in the future, we will see if it is more profitable to haul there verses ADM that is located 40 miles away.

While harvesting Milton did deal with mud in the fields from the rains that blessed our area days and weeks before harvest.  I do not believe ours were as bad as others or at least my farmer didn't complain much about that.

The yields varied anywhere from 43 to 86. Our average was 62.  We harvested 881 acres of wheat.  Being able to apply the fungicide was a critical component to having a good harvest we believe, along with the rainfall that came in May and June.

The harvest lasted 9 days.  Milton and RV worked the longest hours, normally cutting by 10:00 am and not stopping until 10 or 11 at night.  Milton’s brother VV helped us by planting soybeans and milo.  At one point, Milton did give him the opportunity to drive the combine.  My farmer was pretty protective of our investment. I can understand why as this investment was something that is essential in our farming operation and costs a great deal of money.  We are grateful for the help that his brother offered.

I did do some new things during this wheat harvest.  I drove an empty truck from one field to another, drove a loaded truck to practice, and went to get fertilizer with a trailer.  Baby steps is how I'm going about this farm wife journey and it works well for me. :)

Now the days are less stressful as the new crops are planted and beginning to show growth.  

This wraps it up for our wheat harvest and we are focusing on the new crops.  Time to get things caught up as in paperwork, housework, and spending time together as a family.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Entertaining Kitchen - Mother/Daughter Summer Series - 2015 - Blackberry Cobbler

During wheat harvest our fresh blackberries that I order from Elderslie Farms came in.  PV and I made a quick trip to get them and that afternoon tried another new recipe.  We found on Pinterest Blackberry Cobbler from Five Heart Home.  As always, please be sure to check out the recipe from the link.  The website is beautiful and looks to have lots of great recipes!

This time around I decided it was time for PV to learn to read a recipe.  Normally I just get all the ingredients out and tell her what to add and when.  I had her read it to me and also participate in mixing it up. She did well and so I decided she could make the box potatoes for supper.  We decided to go easy on supper this night so Betty Crocker Au Gratin potatoes it was!  I also made her clean up her mess and rinse the dishes. 

After we were done she looks at me and asks the following.  

"Mom, does cooking make you relax?"

"Yes, usually."

"Me too."

That makes me very happy! :)  Big joys in little packages! That's what life is about isn't it?

We hope you enjoy this recipe.  Our family found it to be very yummy with vanilla ice cream! I did cook mine longer than the 30 minutes, it was juicy, but oh so good!

Thanks for stopping by!