Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reflections on country living

          Over 5 years ago when I moved to the country I had quite a few adjustments to make. Our house was surrounded by corn on all four sides and it was very dark at night. I never realized how bright a neighborhood is at night. We put a light in the yard which helped with the dark winters. Also meal time can vary greatly. Lunch actually dinner as it's called in the country is anywhere from 12-3 and dinner or supper in country is anywhere from 5-12. The meal times depend on weather or length of daylight for field work. I also learned Saturday was just another day on the farm; work still had to be done. We did slow down and rest more on Sunday but pigs still had to be fed; some work doesn't stop. When people asked how I was adjusting I said just fine 'cause I have internet, phone, and running water; which was true I did just fine. I also learned about farming quickly. The first 2 years without children I did a good bit out with Big C. I also learned my way around country roads that are hardly wide enough for 2 cars to pass. I learned to adjust quickly.
             During harvest and planting seasons I would find Big C during meal times; sometimes 3 meals out in the tractor or combine. I also learned about baby pigs because I would check on them while Big C was in the field. I learned to hitch a trailer to the truck all by myself. I still can't back one very well or quickly. ha! I remember one night Big C needed just a little bit more corn to finish a field and I was already in bed. I took him another bag in my robe to the field so he could finish. We've also had changes in equipment since I've been on the farm. When we got married the planter we used had individual boxes for each row to be planted. When it was time to fill up the planter anyone who was available was in the field to dump bags of seed in the boxes. Recently we upgraded to a planter that had two big containers for the seed and the seed is delivered to each row. This upgrade has made filling up so much quicker and one person can do it. I also was unaware of all the technology in the farming equipment. There are GPS monitors to show the field and what has been planted, monitors to show about the seeds being planted, and many more I don't understand. Farming is always changing and progressing to keep up with the best. 
       My involvement has changed since the Little C's have come along. The boys and I still deliver meals to the field and ride in the tractors anytime we can. I'm not much help in the actual farming anymore just on the support end. I did learn early on farmers are very hardworking people. Big C puts in crazy hours during busy seasons and talking with other farm wives he's not the only farmer living on lack of sleep. It's truly a profession you have to love.

We are getting Spring Fever. On Monday our new soybean planter was delivered. All the boys were excited to see it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Farm Show

When February rolls around Valentine's Day is not on every farmers mind it's The National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. The show falls around Valentine's Day each year. We just drag out celebrating and I get my flowers and date after the show is over. This year we went out with a group from the Kentucky Soybean Board for Valentine's. The show lasts for 4 days and last year drew over 300,000 people in attendance. So yes it's crowded and I keep the boys in the stroller most of the time. It can easily become a sea of people. This year was the 49th year of the event with over 850 agriculture exhibits. Big C has gone every year of this life and the Little C's are working on keeping the record for themselves. I'm on my 4th year. Since this show is just an hour north of us this is an easy record to keep. Little C1 remembered last year and was very excited this year to climb on the tractors.
I'm not sure how to best explain this event to someone who hasn't attended. It's basically lots of tractor dealerships of all colors next to each other as well as every implement to pull behind a tractor. The newest, latest, and greatest equipment is there to be climbed on my young and old. It's a place to network and talk with organizations and companies for farming supplies. This event is a mix of work and play.
The boys checking out the show.


All three boys on the Kinze planter. This is the brand planter we use to plant our corn and soybeans.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Winter on the Farm

The view of my back yard. The snow is pretty and this week it has stayed around. There is also some ice mixed in there too. I knew very little about this winter precipitation before I moved to Kentucky. Growing up in Florida we didn't see anything like this. Although this year some of this winter mess has dipped down into my home state. I quickly learned that ice was no fun after my first winter here. We had a pretty bad ice storm and were without power for 13 days but were able to bunk in with gracious in-laws. I also learned that work doesn't stop on the farm when the weather is tough. Quite the opposite, more work is done to make sure pipes don't freeze and animals are fed and warm. Our pigs are inside and don't have to worry about outside elements; but we have to make sure they have food and water. When others are huddled by the fire Big C is out checking on the pigs. Also working in the fields while the ground is frozen and temps are below freezing to prepare for the coming planting season. The boys and I also get out in these cold temps to deliver meals, supplies and transportation while Big C is out working.

These pictures were taken a week or so ago when we were in the teens all day. It was too cold to snow.
 Little C1 and Little C2 liked running around the house to watch Daddy out the window. Don't mind the crazy blonde hair; they had just woken from naps.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beating the cold!

I would think its safe to say everyone is over this winter. I was recently shopping and was excited to see Plant City, Florida strawberries in the produce section. I forgot it was strawberry season. Then I thought a strawberry pie would help beat these winter blues. I thought I would share some pictures and the recipe. My boys love it.
Start with a box of strawberries. Wash.

 1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
4 Tbsp. Raspberry jello
Bring to boil.

The original recipe called for Strawberry Jello we think it tastes better using Raspberry. This was discovered when Strawberry Jello was sold out.
While the mix is heating I cut my strawberries and layer until the graham cracker crust is full.
 The Jello mixture should be thick; it doesn't take long to thicken after it boils.
Let cool; then pour over strawberries. 

Chill the pie for a few hours until firm usually 4 hours.
Finished product topped with Cool Whip. Very yummy!