Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 4th at the Farm

At the farm was a field of wheat. When the wind would blow the wheat bends, folds and waves with the breeze. "Amber waves of grain", come directly to mind as the sea of grain rolls with the wind. It was a majestic sight.

The wheat has since been harvested. Another sight is watching the grain flow from the combine (the machine that harvests the wheat). It is a representation of all the accumulated work to get the final product.

The wheat field not only produces grain, but also straw. A product used as bedding for animals or for all the hayrides that make the go around, among other uses.

The wheat field is now the pumpkin field. In 3-4 short months the field will be covered in green and orange, just ripe for the picking.
With the coming and going of Father's Day, I have been thinking about how my Father has played a roll in what I know about Farming. In a nut shell, he taught me almost everything I know about Farming.

As a kid (and even now) I love to be outside and with my Dad. Dad allowed me to be with him. Only when he was working a job that was potentially dangerous to have a child around did he not allow me to join him in the fields.

Just being with Dad, I learned about how to grow, care and harvest Corn, Soybeans and Cattle. In turn I learned how to run and sometimes even fix equipment. He taught me more than just farming, that is growing and harvesting. He taught me how to problem solve, as well as hard work, integrity, morals and character (although I don't know that picking rocks out of the field really built character, but he said that it did)

Farming is not just a job, its a lifestyle. Dad, thanks for including me in your life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday I cut our 2nd cutting of hay. Cutting hay is only the beginning of making it because it will still have to dry out, then be raked and finally baled. Here it will be put into big round and square bales, but as a kid my grandfather baled his hay into little square bales. Then the bales were stacked into an old barn.

When he needed the hay for his milk cows, he would drop the bales through a hole in the floor to the "basement" of the barn where he milked and fed the cows.

As kids we would stack the hay to one side so we could get as high as we could before we would swing out across the barn on a old fat rope, which was one of my favorite activities to do at my grandparents house with my cousins. We would also re-stack the hay to make tunnels that we could crawl through, or make forts out of them. It was always sad when the hay was used up because then we would have to find other things to do.

Now-a-days the hay making process is all mechanized (and for good reason; moving hay by hand is hot, itchy, hard work). I guess kids now will have to swing from trees and make their forts from materials other than hay:)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

When will the vegetables be ready? That is the question. Some of the plants are just emerging from the ground, like some of the green beans. Some of the plants are blooming, like the peppers. Some are becoming produce as I write. And some vegetables are ready for harvest, like the radishes.

Seeing that 1st tomato on the vine bring an excitement that only other tomato lovers can relate to. Some of my favorite garden memories are when the tomatoes would finally be ripe and my sister and I would go into my Mom's garden with a salt shaker and eat the tomatoes right off the vine, one after another until we could eat not more. What good time!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Being part of the process

Growing up on a farm in Indiana I experienced watching corn turn from a tiny seed to an 8 or 9 ft. tall plant and then to a shriveled dead stalk with an ear of golden treasure attached. I shared in part to get the seed to the finished product, but never had the opportunity to take part in most of the process, granted this is only the beginning.

This year I joined Mortimer Family Farms thinking I would be helping out wherever needed, but never did I believe that I would be the one that made it happen in part. Don’t get me wrong, it takes many people to make it all work. And it has taken many people, sometimes I am the “many people”. The thing that has made a difference is not preparing or fertilizing the soil, but planting the seed.
I watched, waited and wondered if I did everything right, in order for the corn seeds to grow to maturity. Then the day came that the plant pushed it way from darkness into light, each day, pushing its way up a little farther.

The feeling I had when the plant reached top-side was of one of wonder, pride, thankfulness, but mostly awe. The miracle of a life, plant or animal cannot be made to happen by human hands. I am thankful that I get to be a part of the process.

Now my vigilance turns toward protection, checking for weeds or damage that pests will inflict, but for now it is growing without hindrance. Hopefully, before I know it, my 74 day wait will be up and I will get to sink my teeth into the tender, juicy, loveliness that we all look forward to every summer.