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!!

IMG_0042

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!

 

Wheat Harvest

Drone

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!

I Lost 100 Pounds!

Seed Bags

100 Pounds of Seed

Do you see those 2 bags of seed?  They each weigh 50lbs.  We were finishing up our last field of corn Friday night and Farmer needed 2 more bags of seed so I ran back to the farm and loaded them in my car.  As I was struggling to lift one of the bags and carry it over to the planter it hit me. Right there in those bags was the 100lbs of weight I had lost and I could barely carry half of it, let alone both bags at once!

IMG_4710

It was a bit of a shock and also a revelation.  It has been a lot of work and commitment getting to this point and not every day has been a positive one.  But today we celebrate the positives!

** I have lost 100lbs!
** I can walk 3+ miles without stopping
**I can walk faster~ 3 minutes less per mile than when I started
** I climbed up the tractor steps this planting season with ease
** I have more energy

I have a long way to go on the journey but today I’m stopping and appreciating how far I’ve come.

What is your positive for the day?

 

IMG_4736