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:)