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.