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!

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?

 

 

We are planting!

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We finally made it into the fields and have been working on putting our corn in the ground!! Spring planting can get a little hectic because there is the working ground (my favorite job!), picking stones, putting nitrogen down and then the actually planting. We love it though!

This year we are pulling a rolling basket behind our field cultivator to help with lumps in the soil and will hopefully make a better seed bed for our plants. Pulling onto the road can be a bit intimidating for me because it makes my equipment about 80 feet long and you need to make wide turns into the driveways to avoid putting it in the ditch…

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As I was traveling down the road last week, about 1/8th of a mile from one field to another, a pick-up truck came up behind me and as I swung wide to make a right turn into the driveway he passed me on the right!  I was pretty mad because it was VERY dangerous and also illegal.

So in the spirit of keeping my family and yours safe on the road here are a few tips when driving around farm equipment!

 

 

 

Tips for Rural Drivers

  • Always be on the lookout for farm machinery. Remember it can unexpectedly turn onto public roads from a field or driveway.
  • Farm machinery typically travels at 25 mph or less, so be prepared to slow down in order to avoid a rear-end collision.
  • Keep a safe distance. This gives better visibility to both drivers and equipment operators.
  • Allow adequate time and distance for farm equipment to make wide turns.
  • Just because you see the equipment does not mean the equipment operator sees you.

Tips for Passing Farm Machinery

  • Be sure the machinery is not turning left. Look for left turn lights or hand signals. If the machinery slows down and pulls toward the right side of the road, the operator may be preparing to make a wide left turn. Likewise, sometimes to make a wide right turn, the operator must fade to the left.
  • Determine whether the road is wide enough for both your vehicle and the farm equipment.
  • Check for roadside obstacles such as mailboxes, bridges or road signs that may cause the machinery to move to the center of the road.
  • Be sure there is adequate distance for you to safely pass and be on the lookout for oncoming traffic.

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Tips taken from: http://www.kinze.com/post.aspx?id=330

Spring planting is just around the corner!

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One of the wheat fields we sprayed today.

Around here you don’t need a calendar to tell you when it’s starting to get close to planting season.

First equipment starts getting shuffled around and those last-minute maintenance projects get finished up. Equipment gets hooked up to its corresponding tractor, then the weather app gets a workout speculating when a weather event will occur. Is it going to rain? How much will we get? What’s the temperature?

Then the field scouting starts or in my world “date night!” Driving by fields on the way home from town, hopping out with a shovel to check the moisture. Is it getting dry enough we won’t cause compaction? Calling customers for seed deliveries and coordinating drop offs start. Will they have enough? Will they change their order?

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Grace & Faith getting the gator ready for spring!

Lastly the excitement mixed with anxiety starts. It’s almost time! If we get a few more days of sun we could start! If planting in the corn belt is delayed will it cause a price increase?

It’s a promise of new adventure, growth, income and most of all God’s beauty. If its dry and we get in the fields early things can be fairly calm. This year things are not all that calm. A combination of low crop prices and unfavorable weather has increased anxiety in this house for a time. With low temperatures and lots of rain it has been a waiting game to see when it will be dry enough to get in the fields here. The north wind off the lake and more low temps are currently not helping the drying conditions though.

IMG_4565However, today we are able to spray our wheat for weeds and fungus! We grow Soft White Winter Wheat. We plant it in the fall and will harvest it in mid-July. Soft white wheat is ideal for baked goods that are not kneaded- like cookies, pancakes, pie crusts and crackers. Soft wheat has a very low gluten content, which, when used in baked goods that are not kneaded, results in a tender finished product. A lot of our wheat will end up in Jiffy pancakes, Kellogg’s cereal, and Goldfish crackers!

 

So the next time you are flipping some pancakes think of us!

pancakes joyofbaking

Photo credit-Thejoyofbaking.com