Archives for category: Harvest

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It’s another cold, frosty morning so I thought It would be good to post a photo from a warmer, sunnier time this past summer. We’re also recovering from corn harvest here (while many friends and neighbors are still working to finish up), the harvest season dragging on because of the cold and rainy weather, so I’m ready to look at something other than corn. We haven’t seen much blue sky lately either, so here ya go.

This is one of our wheat fields – I took the photo in early June. This crop was harvested in late July. Next spring it will be planted to corn. We have 3 main crops here; corn, soybeans, and wheat. Corn and beans are planted in the Spring and harvested in the Fall, however, the variety of wheat that we grow here is Soft Red Winter Wheat; it’s planted in the Fall and harvested in Summer. Many of the fields that were planted to soybeans this year now have wheat growing there. Right now the wheat is short and green, the fields almost resemble a lawn.

Rotating the crops is just one way that we take care of the land. Everything is a cycle here. I know the cold weather has only just begun, but I’m already looking forward to Spring, and the warmer part of that cycle!

Interested in learning who else is participating in the 30 days blog challenge or the five things Holly Spangler will be talking about this month? Head over to Prairie Farmer to find out!

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Today brings an element of relief and happiness – Harvest 2013 has come to a close! We finished harvesting the last of our corn last night. All harvest seasons bring challenges and this one was no exception, complete with weather delays, machinery breakdowns and other assorted distractions. The end of harvest is a big thing to farmers, probably similar to how accountants feel when April 15 rolls around.

To the farmers still at it: I wish you a safe and successful harvest. For us, there’s time to briefly savor the moment, catch our breath, and get back to work. Next up: fall tillage.

Interested in learning who else is participating in the 30 days blog challenge or the five things Holly Spangler will be talking about this month? Head over to Prairie Farmer to find out!

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This photo shows how harvest was handled on our farm in the late 1970’s. I, for one, am thankful for the improvements in technology that have made the task easier and more efficient. The photo is also a representation of early efforts to educate non-farm kids about agriculture. The children in the foreground are part of a class (kindergarten?) that came out of their classroom to visit the adjoining field and learn a little about the crops grown in their neighborhood and the harvest process.

This field, adjacent to the Greenwood School, is part of the original farm that has been in my husband’s family since the 1840’s. We’re still farming here and still using the Case 1370 tractor fairly often. It was just a few years old (and Gary’s pride and joy) when the photo was taken. The Gleaner combine is long gone – we’re using a John Deere machine these days. Many of our family members are involved with Farm Bureau and try to contribute to that organizations ag education programs whenever possible. It’s more important now than it was back then as the number of people removed from the farm continues to grow.

Another great program offered by Illinois Farm Bureau is called Illinois Farm Families. “Field moms” get the opportunity to tour farms, meet the people growing our food, and get answers to their questions. If you, or any Chicago-area moms you may know want to learn more about food and farming, I’d encourage you or them to become a Field Mom. Find more info and an application here. The deadline to apply is December 15.

Interested in learning who else is participating in the 30 days blog challenge or the five things Holly Spangler will be talking about this month? Head over to Prairie Farmer to find out!

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There’s rain in the forecast for tonight and into tomorrow.  So, it’s all hands on deck today to get as much done as possible before we’re forced to once again shut down.  This means I’ll be preparing a few additional lunches since there are extra people helping with harvest today.  If we’re able to go late,  it might be a 2-sandwich day.

Lunch prep is part of my job and I have to admit that I don’t dislike it.  I don’t get crazy and deliver piping hot lunches to the field like some overachieving farmwives – I’ve tried that using styrofoam covered containers and it just never works out. Too messy and is never as hot as it should be since something always comes up on the way to the field. So, it’s just a sack lunch here.

I’ve gotten efficient at it and use the assembly line method on my kitchen counter. I do try to put a nice sack lunch together and put some thought into it.  It’s a piece of fresh fruit, a couple of snack items like string cheese, crackers or granola bars (for later in the day), some kind of dessert like a couple of cookies or a brownie, a bag of chips, and of course a sandwich.  And the sandwich, being the keystone of the lunch, must be on fresh bread with plenty of meat piled on and include cheese, onions and lettuce.  I’ll add pickles on occasion but I find that if a sandwich containing pickles is not eaten fairly quickly it can make the sandwich kind of soggy.  I vary the kind of bread (rye, whole wheat, sourdough and Italian make a rotation), meat (usually beef, turkey, or ham), cheese (cheddar, swiss, pepper jack, or munster).  The chips can be Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, Barbeque, Cheddar, or Classic Potato Chips. I even like to switch up the condiments; my mustard collection is extensive (dijon, honey, stone-ground, spicy, classic yellow, etc.), although I always use Hellman’s mayo – never Miracle Whip.  Each sandwich also gets a light shake of Nature’s Season, an all purpose seasoning.  The sandwiches get wrapped in Saran Wrap, not a plastic bag, since the bags are usually too small for the thick sandwiches.  If I use the larger bags, the sandwich will slip around some and may fall apart. 

Okay, after writing this out it does seem a little anal, but I like to give the guys something decent to look forward to.  I greatly appreciate the hard work that they do and the long hours that are required during harvest season.  It’s the least I can do.

Interested in learning who else is participating in the 30 days blog-a-thon or the five things Holly Spangler will be talking about this month? Head over to Prairie Farmer to find out!