Flat Aggie Visits for Dry Bean Harvest!

We are excited to have a special visitor for dry bean harvest that started this week!

Flat Aggie!!

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Flat Aggie journeys across the continent visiting farms and ranches, collecting great pictures and even better stories.   I’ll let him tell you what he’s been up to this week…

Hi Flat Aggie here!
This week I’m vacationing at A Little House on the Farm, it is located in the Thumb of Michigan. Did you ever notice that Michigan is shaped like a mitten?  If you look for the Thumb part, that is where they farm; surrounded by water on 3 sides! The climate here is warm in the summer and early fall, cold and snowy in the winter and cool until the lake warms up in the spring.

They plant corn, wheat, soybeans and dry edible beans.  Dry edible beans come in many different colors but they plant Navy Beans and Black Beans. Navy beans can be used to make bean soup and baked beans. Black beans are used in a lot of cooking and some salsa’s.

Beans are usually planted in early to mid June and harvested mid to late September. The farmer said they were blessed with an early planted spring this year so these beans were planted between May 30th and June 6th.

 


There are a few ways to harvest dry beans. On their farm they “pull” the beans.  Which means they use a Pickett rodder to bring the beans out of the dirt by their roots and put them in windrows. You can see in the picture that there are rods that bring the beans out of the ground, spike like teeth that pull them up to a conveyor and then the conveyor puts them in a windrow.

 

They do this in the morning and evening when there is still dew on the plants to help keep from splitting open the pods(also called shelling) while they get moved around. You can check out a drone video of them pulling beans right HERE.

In the afternoon when the windrows are dry the beans are perfect for combining.  The combine will harvest 2 windrows at a time and separates the beans from the pods, stems, and leaves. Check out a video HERE.

 

Once the beans are in the combine they are unloaded into a truck using a special belt conveyor that is gentle on the beans and helps keep them from getting split or cracked. You can watch a video of them unloading HERE.

After they are loaded into a truck they are taken to an elevator where they are sold to companies that make yummy food for us!

 


Did you know Navy beans got their name because of the frequency they were served to sailors at sea?!

You can find out more information about A Little House on the Farm on their FACEBOOK PAGE.  Their kids are always doing something silly!

You can also find out more about dry beans at the Michigan Bean Council. 

If you want to find out more about my adventures or even host me at your farm click HERE or on Facebook!

 

A Farmer’s Wife Harvest Prayer

Sharing this from The Fit Farmer’s Wife because its perfect!

We are about it enter into Dry Bean harvest and its an exciting busy time.  I run one of the bean puller and Farmer pulls beans, runs the combine, and keeps track of everything.  I pray for him daily but even more so during this time as he gets tired and works so hard for us.

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A Farmer’s Wife Harvest Prayer

Dear Lord,

Please watch over us during harvest. During the busy. During the crazy. During the parts runs, the harvest food runs, and elevator runs. During the fast paced on the go unloading, and the slower than slow break downs. Grant us the weather conditions that allow us to get harvest done in a timely matter. Guide and protect all of us during this season.

Help my husband to be safe always. Give him reason and time to think and somehow, enjoy this busy season. Cover him in your grace and blessings. Allow him patience during the breakdowns, because we know they are enviable. Allow him quick reflexes and thoughts when he has to think on his feet. Allow him the love and strengththat he needs to function during this busy season.

Help our children to understand why dad is busy, can’t tuck them in at night, or can’t be home for dinner. Guide their little hearts and bless them. Help them to understand this season and grow up with an appreciation of the farm and knowing how hard their daddy worked to provide for us. Help them to remember and cherish this season, as a time to harvest.

Help me as a wife, Lord. Help me to stay strong. Give me the strength to pack the coolers, help with the homework, clean the house, do chaff filled, dirty laundry, prepare and think of easy harvest meals, and somehow allow my heart peace during this crazy time. Help me to find time for You and for me. Even though I go to bed a tired, and alone woman at night, I know You are there protecting our family. Watch over my husband during the late nights and early mornings, and grant us the rest we all need.

Most of all, thank you for the harvest season. We know it’s tiring and seems endless, but it is just a season. And with You, every season brings a time of hustle, crazy, tears, and also joy and blessing. We are so blessed for this harvest, for this season, for our family, our love, and for You. Please lead, guide and direct us, during this harvest season, and in Your perfect timing and love.

Amen.

Source: A Farmer’s Wife Harvest Prayer

 

Wheat Harvest

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Wheat Harvest from above

It has been an exhausting week here at the Little House! I should have gotten on a post up earlier but I have to be honest with you, I was just plain tired.

IMG_5242Wheat harvest is always hot and this year it seems like its been one of the dirtiest too! Farmer has had more changes of clothes this week than in a while!  He said it seemed like all the extra greasy jobs happened this week.

When the rain came this weekend and cut us off from finishing the last wheat field we grabbed the kids and went to a festival before church.  Yesterday we picked all the produce from the garden, went up town and played a game Putt Putt golf and then I came home and took a 2 hour nap.

This morning the kids got their goat walking in and a trip to the library. Then we went to town to run errands and meet my dad.  He took Luke home with him after work to spend a few days getting spoiled and helping my parents get some projects finished around the house.  As I said on Facebook earlier this week, our family is really blessed to have such wonderful grandparents that can pick up the slack when we are in our busy time.  My mother in-law has been picking kids up from daycare, feeding them supper and getting them to bed for about 5 days straight. She is a Godsend and a wonderful example of a FarmHer.

We are still waiting for our last wheat field to dry out a bit before we finish up our season but in the meantime that garden I mentioned earlier has been in over drive!  So far I have frozen 21 cups of peas, 4 packages of radishes, and 14 cups of green beans.  I am currently waiting on my beets to finish boiling and also have about 15 pickles cut up and ready to go.

Gardening is not my first love, as a matter of fact it is kind of an farm garden(Everyone on the farm shares all the produce) and unless I walk over to it I sometimes forget that it is there and needs tending.  This year the weeds got a head of me and it’s not really pretty, but it is also still producing plenty to eat!
We currently have a few more peas, lots of pickles, some beets, and the tomatoes and sweet corn are about to start ripening!

What is your favorite treat from the garden? What do you do with it?

PS: When we are super busy in the field I still manage to get some funny updates on Facebook so follow me HERE too!

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

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Photo Courtesy of: codecanyon.net

If you are NOT a farmer you may have noticed that some of your outdoor plans have been cancelled due to rain…
If you ARE a farmer you may have noticed that some of your outdoor plans have been cancelled due to rain…

While we have been fortunate in our small part of the world, the majority of the areas around us have been hit very hard with LOTS of rain.  Anywhere from 5-10 inches in the last few weeks!  We know… you would think that rain would be good for crops. But, this much rain has been too much.

Dry beans are really a big worry right now. They just cannot take excessive rain. There are already talks of considerable losses in the dry bean industry. Some farmers have had to face replanting while others, with standing water, are concerned about the nitrogen that was lost in corn.

So we are praying that we get some good heat and sun to dry out the fields enough farmers can get back in to manage crops.  On our farm right now we are attempting to find dry bean ground that is dry enough to let us cultivate.  We use a row crop cultivator for weed control and for “hilling” up dirt around our beans; which makes it easier for our type of harvest.

In other Little House News we have been keeping busy cutting up some wood for our summer camping, doing some rainy summer camping, and playing with our goats.  Yesterday we also poured some cement for a bin project we are going to be working on later this summer.  I think our Faith is going to be a great Farm Mom someday, check her out raking dirt and carrying her baby  in the backpack carrier!

Summer Has Finally Begun!

Today is officially the first day of summer break for our family and to celebrate in style we initiated our kids (and a neighbor kid) into a farm kid tradition that is as old as time…

Picking rocks!!

Well, this isn’t the first time our kids have picked rocks but as a parent I have to say that I think this is the first time we’ve managed to pick a whole field without any meltdowns and actually get some work done! Even if the girls managed to put more “pretty rocks” in the cab of the backhoe than they actually picked…  Picking rocks is character building and a great workout for your arms and legs.

Growing up I lived in the country, but after 2nd grade I no longer lived on a working farm.  That didn’t stop my parents from teaching us all about hard work though!  Splitting wood all summer long, working with our 4-H animals and having to stack wood in the basement for an hour when friends came over before we could play.  Then there was baling hay and picking rocks with the neighbors.

The best part was always building forts in the hay mow and getting to climb up the bale elevator to the loft. The not so fun part was always how HOT it was and taking a shower after baling hay was a painful experience if you forgot to wear the right clothes.

My good friend growing up was so upset about picking rocks she always swore up and down that if she ever married a farmer he would be required to own a rock picker! **She didn’t end up marrying a farmer**

So to celebrate getting our work done today the kids are getting to relax and watch a movie this afternoon, Farmer is out spraying corn for weeds, I’m about to tackle the mountain of laundry and tonight we are taking the kids 4-H goats to get tagged for the fair.

** Stay tuned for that rodeo!

What are some plans you have for your family this summer?