Thursday, November 12, 2015

More than harvest

Fall is more than harvest time on the farm.
 Growing up in Florida the leaves didn't change colors or fall for that matter. It's green year round.
I'm still adjusting to the season changes after being here my 8th fall in Kentucky.
I've learned to enjoy the changes of the year.
Summer is still my favorite season; which I try to hold on to as long as possible. I think the cold will still take my breath away and may be about the only thing I complain about. You won't hear me complain about the heat even when it's 100 degrees.
I've learned to be more attentive to the weather for the sake of the crops. Rain is good when they need to grow but not good when they are just planted. When just planted they could wash out of the ground. Cold is good to kill weeds but not good when crops could freeze.
I've learned you can have the best crops, best equipment, best help, and best planning but are still at the mercy of the weather and ultimately God.
I've learned to relive childhood through my boys eyes as the can enjoy the season changes of Kentucky (and the beach in the summer in Florida). They get the best of both worlds.
 C3 enjoyed the sunshine in the front yard; gloomy days are ahead.
The big boys raked leaves to play in.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It rained.

Rain...prayed for in the spring and sometimes prayed against during harvest.

Rain...can be welcomed or unwelcomed.

Rain came Monday and I can say it was welcomed. We had been harvesting for weeks. It's been days full of running meals to the field, pieces and parts to the field, and escorting to the next field. It's just been busy with several late nights. We honestly needed a bit of a break. We thankfully are in a good position for a break. Winter wheat has been planted and we are in the last field of corn to be harvested. Soybeans...we still have a bunch.

So what do we do when it rains? Take care of bills, clean house, wash clothes, run errands, and most importantly go out to eat. We get caught up on what got neglected while in the field from dawn til dusk or after. It's a bit of a breather in the midst of the busy seasons of the year. The rain we are getting now is going to make our break a long one. If it's a little shower we are rained out enough to get a supper out. We are going to be out a few days 'cause the remnants of a hurricane are upon us. Being from Florida; hurricanes well up many memories.

We welcomed the break but don't want it to last too long; 'cause we don't want to be harvesting Thanksgiving.

So we will get caught up on tasks and get geared up to finish harvest strong.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Meals on Wheels

There are many hats worn by the farmer's wife. During Harvest and Planting season one of those hats is a chef's hat. Tonight I delivered 6 plates of spaghetti to 3 different farms. It's was a busy night on the farm. I loaded up 3 boys and dinner, cookies, and sweet teas. Through many nights of delivering supper I have learn the best techniques for transporting meals through bumpy field so I do not have spills in my car. These to go boxes work great for the meal.
I dropped off 2 meals at a field where soybeans were being harvested for the combine driver and the grain cart driver.
 I dropped off 3 more meals at another field being harvested; a meal for the driver, grain cart driver, and truck driver.
The last meal was dropped off to Big C who was planting winter wheat in a harvested corn field.

 Needless to say, my explorer is a welcomed sight at the end of the day. I try to give them one last boost to finish the day strong.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The first of many days of Harvest 2015

Here's a glimpse into the first day of corn harvest 2015.
There were some very excited boys this morning when Daddy was getting ready to head to the field. Both boys wanted to be the first to ride. Daddy said one, so C1 was out the door with a bag of banana muffins in his hand for breakfast. C2 was promised a ride later in the day. I had a morning of washing laundry, paying bills, and bookkeeping things that were needing attention. C2 and I had our lunch then we loaded up with C3 to get lunch for Big C and C1. I'm in desperate need of a grocery trip.
Side note: Have you shopped with 3 little ones? I just keep making the food in the pantry work for another meal and pushing my trip later.
I picked up lunch from a great little diner and went to the field.
I left both boys to ride for a bit but that changed when we found out there was a breakdown at the grain bin site. I then took Big C to a semi to bring back to the field so he could continue to harvest while waiting for the other trucks to be unloaded. After we dropped him at the semi I took all 3 boys with me. We went to the pig barn to get records for me to enter into the database. Then we made a quick trip to The Dollar General for supper items and a few more meal items until I can get to a "real" grocery store.
We got home and it was naptime for the bigger boys. I put together some taco soup in the crockpot. It's was a chilly day to start harvest I don't think it hit 70 degrees today. Soup sounded good. Then I did more laundry and pig records. When C2 woke from his nap he was barely awake and said, "Take me to the combine." So to the combine he went. C1 and I ate soup then headed to the field with soup for Big C and C2 and two workers. Soup was well received.
I then traded boys. C2 came home with me and C1 got in to finish the day. 

We came home and I bathed the 2 smaller boys and got them in bed. Then I started my evening routine of starting the dishwasher and washing more clothes.
 I hope C3 cooperates as well as he did today. This will be a great harvest season with a baby in tow.
C1 stayed out with Daddy til 10:30pm. He felt quite big to start and end the day with Daddy. I told him working men get showers no matter how tired they are. He told me he almost fell asleep in the semi coming in from the field.
Now the night is ending watching UK football hoping they pull out a win.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More than funnel cakes and ferris wheels

When I think of the fair I think of greasy food from trailers and rickety rides that came in on a trailer.
In the agriculture community other words come to mind such as cattle shows, horse shows, blue ribbons, and grand champion. Since I didn't grow up with a farming background I didn't realize the livestock presentation side of the fair. I had been to a few county fairs growing up and we saw the animals but it seemed more like a petting zoo to me; not people's pride and joy. I still don't know all the steps to have a show pig or goat or cow. I do know it takes effort and work to get an animal ready to show.
We attended the KY state fair last week for a few days. There is so much more than food at the fair. We volunteered at the KY Soybean Association and KY Beef booth. There was a putt putt golf course with farm facts which was great for the non-farm attendees. I'll share a few.
Animal Agriculture (our pigs) is the number 1 consumer for US soy, consuming 97% of US soybean meal.
Kentucky is the 18th in the nation for soybean meal usage.
 We grow soybeans which then are processed and fed to our pigs.
Soybeans consist of 2 primary components 20% oil and 80% meal.
The meal is mainly used to feed livestock, while the oil is used in a variety of forms from cooking oils to biodiesel.
A staple at the KY state fair is Freddy Farm Bureau an interactive talking man.
We missed the fair last year since we were on vacation in Florida but C1 remembered him from when he was 3. He wanted to talk to the "big blue guy".


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Summer 2015

Summer 2015...where did it go?
I know this is a question many ask each year but seriously where did the summer go?
As I get older the years do go faster and faster. I'm going to recap our summer since I didn't do very good updating as the summer happened.
At the end of May I had a baby. Baby boy number 3...that pretty much sums up the whole summer. With a new baby comes lack of sleep and adjustment to caring for another person. I do have to say C3 has joined in nicely. He's been a pretty easy baby.
He was born in the middle of planting season and right before wheat harvest.
Maternity leave...not sure what that is. Two weeks was about all I got and honestly I was feeling pretty good two weeks after having a baby.
 This is June 5th, 2 weeks exactly after giving birth I delivered supper to the field while Big C was planting soybeans. Little C3 just slept in the car.
Picking the big boys up from riding with Daddy.
The big boys spent the morning riding with Daddy as I ran some errands with the baby in tow. Big C was "side dressing corn" in other words he was putting nitrogen in the ground to help fertilize the corn.
Feeding the wheat harvest crew
Wheat harvest started in June and I delivered several meals to hungry men in the field. They normally get homecooked meals but this summer they had to get a few fast food meals. Here are 7 sweet teas to go to the field. They are happy to see our "meals on wheels" come to the field.
July 4th was spent at home instead of in Florida. C1 didn't think July 4th could happen at home; he's always been at the beach for the holiday. Wheat harvest and soybean planting were not finished in time for us to make the trip to Florida. We watched fireworks from all across the country from our front porch.
Wheat harvest
 We have had a full and memorable summer with our new addition.
I have learned the last few years that life is just busy. On the farm life keeps going. We may have added a new addition but life went on. We have transitioned well to our growing family. I may have seen some hours I had not seen since college. I'm getting more sleep these days, hence this blog post. I'm not making any promises of how often I'm going to post because we are living our life. I hope you enjoyed seeing our busy summer on the farm.
Our summer ended with a relaxing much needed trip to Florida.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Sausage for supper?

Sausage for supper?
This was a new concept for me when I moved to the farm. I thought of sausage as a breakfast meat as patties or in gravy for breakfast. I was wrong it can be enjoyed at supper time too.
There's a casserole from my husband's family that is served for supper using sausage. I quickly learned when you live on a hog farm sausage can be for supper. I'll share the recipe.
Sausage and Potato Casserole
1lb sausage
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup milk
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 t pepper
1 cup shredded cheese
4 cups peeled, diced potatoes
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cook sausage with onions. While the sausage is cooking mix milk, soup and pepper. In a 9x13 casserole dish layer 1/2 the potatoes, 1/2 the soup mixture, and half the cheese. Then repeat layers. Cover with foil and cook at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.
Uncover and cook 5 more minutes.
I like to serve with a green vegetable like green beans or broccoli.
Before cooking

After cooking

Dinner is served!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

The corn is getting tall around our house.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

C3 has arrived!

May; what a busy month?
We had 2 big boy birthdays and one new baby's birthday all while planting corn between rain showers. Our planting season has been delayed so our hopes of being finished planting before baby's arrival did not happen.
These are some very excited big brothers!
First let's rewind our month:
We had a family joint birthday party for C1 and C2 early in the month to not interfere with C3 arrival.  
Little C1's 5th birthday his choice: Mexican

 Little C2's 3rd birthday his choice: Texas Roadhouse
 Corn planting lots and lots of corn planting in the month of May.
 Playing in a creek where Daddy was planting. Boys being boys.
 Preparing for the baby.
 Welcoming home Little C3!

Spending time with Daddy after brothers have gone to bed.
Little C3 is adjusting well to our family. We still have soybeans to be planted and wheat to be harvested. Corn planting was completed after his arrival. We are still in the busy time on the farm so we are hoping he continues to be an easy go with the flow baby.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Corn popping up in rows in our backyard

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

There are no words. Headed to the field on April 29th to plant corn! It's been a wet spring but things are finally drying out. This is the latest start I can remember in my 7 springs on the farm.
The boys are all excited!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

As I was assembling a shelf for the new baby's closet the older boys thought it would make a great feed trough.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter!

It's already Easter (well yesterday); we just had Christmas didn't we!?! Each year does go faster it seems.
Around the farm Easter usually has marked the time to start planting; this Easter the weather is a bit different. We have rain in the forecast almost everyday this week. Planting will wait a bit longer.

We had a busy day yesterday with family gatherings.
We started at church.
Seven more weeks give or take until we are a family of 5!
The C's have mastered the egg hunt this year!

We joined some cousins for lunch. The kids enjoyed playing together.
We were home long enough for the boys to get a quick nap and head to the grandparents to eat again with more cousins and egg hunt.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

It's beginning to look like spring. The corn planter is out of the barn and hopefully will be in the field in a few weeks.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

He was so proud. He cut some flowers for Mommy. It's looking alot like spring, finally. Yes, that's a sticker on his head.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Other Side of Agriculture

Think of the first phrase that pops in your head when I say:


Was it? growing food, farmers, or tractors.

While all of these phrases are true I'm going to draw your attention to another aspect of agriculture that I have not thought about too much. Yes, agriculture does include growing food, but there is so much more that comes from the crops farmers grow and the livestock they raise.

I just finished reading Farmer Boy to my boys about Almanzo Wilder set in the 1860's. The plot of the book followed the young boy, Almanzo on the family farm. Through reading the book to the boys I realized how much work was done on their farm. They raised their own food for the whole year and worked together with their family day and night to get the work done. The mother even made the kids clothes from the sheep wool or fabric they bought. I'm thankful I can buy our clothes. I'm thankful for modern technology that allows those that want be off the farm to have the opportunity. I'm sure before I married a farmer I didn't even think about how our food made it to the grocery store. I'm quickly learning how agriculture effects every aspect of our lives more than just food.

I realized that apples, bananas, potatoes, onions, peppers and the whole produce section were grown somewhere.

What about the ink on your newspaper, particle board bookcases, candles, crayons,
and foam in your car seats?
All these items are made from soybeans. Soybean have a high protein content and soybean meal is used in animal feed while the other part of the soybean is oil used in soy foods and other non-food items. A bushel of soybeans weighs 60 lbs and produces 11 lbs of oil and about 48 lbs of protein meal.

What about mouthwash, floor wax, bandaids, boots and purses?
These are just some of the uses of a cow's fatty acids, and the cow's hide. I knew yummy things like ice cream and cheese came from cows milk and steak is a product from cows but not these inedible by-products.

What about fireworks, rubber tires, and fuel for your car?
These products are just a few of the many things made from corn. One of my favorite uses of corn is grits and I have a hard time finding good grits here even though I'm surrounded by corn fields. I have to bring good grits back from Florida. A bushel of corn weighs 56 lbs off the cob. A bushel of corn can sweeten 400 cans of coke.

What about antifreeze, chalk, and fertilizer?
If I said bacon and ham I'm sure you would have no problem guessing these products came from a pig. The above items are some by-products that come from pigs.

My hopes in writing this is that you have a new perception of agriculture and how important it is to your daily life. We have become removed from having to provide for ourselves as Almanzo's family did. On our farm we have corn, soybeans, wheat and pigs; we don't make all these products, but we are doing the best we know how to grow a good crop and raise a healthy pig. There are many non-food items not listed here but this is just a glimpse into how important agriculture is to us.

I hope when you think of agriculture now you think of more than just tractors.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Wayback Wednesday January 2009-my first winter in KY. I'm thankful this winter was just snow and not ice like this. We were without power at our house for 13 days and the pig barn thankfully only 4 days. We did have generators to run power but it still didn't make
 it easy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The snow is melting

Spring is coming...the snow is melting.
The highs should be in the 50-60's this week which is a welcome sign from the negative and below freezing temps we've seen lately. It's hard to believe that in about a month we will be in the fields planting corn and soybeans. The little boys have enjoyed the snow this year but they are ready to play in the water hose and their sandbox. I'm ready to leave the jackets at home.

We have a little down time between meetings for getting prepped and ready for spring planting. I've  used these past 2 weeks snowed in for nesting since C3 will be here in 11 weeks give or take some days. Lots of changes coming along in the next few months. The older brothers will be 3 and 5 in May and both are excited to have a baby brother after their birthdays. I just hope little brother does wait til the older boys have their birthdays.

It's hard to believe we just had "spring forward" with snow on the ground but hopefully it's the last snow we see 'til the end of the year. C2 noticed the time change when we were eating supper and it was still light. He thought we had an early supper when really it was 7 the new time 'cause I just couldn't get it ready any earlier.

Warmer days are coming and I think everyone is ready. I'm not sure why anyone would like winter other than it makes you appreciate summer. This year the little boys and I have seen more snow than we've ever seen and I'd be fine if we didn't get dumped with a foot plus of snow every 15 years. 

C1 with the black cat Shadow
This soon will be our daily view.