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Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1 : Balancing Life on a Big Small Farm



Good morning all. I'm trying to devote some more time to my blog, so I have joined up with Holly Spangler, over at Prairie Farmer, and taken her challenge to write for thirty days straight about Agriculture.  Click here to see her post and connect with other bloggers taking up the challenge

It really isn't a hard thing to do, talk about Ag that is, but right now it's finding the time to do it!  For those of you popping over for a first time visit, my husband, FIL, and I farm about 2000 acres in northwest Indiana.  We also raise feeder cattle, a herd of barn cats, and two young ladies who will turn 10 and 12 this month!  2000 acres might sound like a lot of ground to farm, but with a bit of help here and there, we three can get it done.

Our farm from the back side (I'm in the tractor driving the auger cart and catching all the beans from the combine.)


My edited pic of the clouds using Snapseed



Last week,, however, it took that proverbial village to make things work out.  Fall break carried over to Monday for our girls, so they spent a good chunk of those four days with my parents while we were up on my family's farm cutting about 150 acres of beans.  Then we moved back to our home and started on beans.  I am blessed to have several great friends, one of whom graciously asked if I needed the oldest (I call her Tink here) home from basketball practice.  I took her up on her offer twice, and the last time she even took her to Subway for  supper!


Yesterday was Halloween, probably the holiday I enjoy least, and once again we spent the entire day in the field until Mother Nature literally blew us out.  I had posted earlier on Facebook if anyone out there wanted to take the girls trick or treating, I would be grateful.  I was so proud of myself for having their costumes ordered and in the house two weeks before they were needed, but there wasn't any time to actually take them out, so another great good friend volunteered to take them to an INDOOR  Halloween party held at a small town close by.  I took her up on her offer as well.

Our farm from the front side (with a peek back at the field we are in). This time I'm in the combine!



So I guess my first installment and probably the rest of these 30 posts will focus on how we balance our lives on a big small farm.  Time to get some breakfast and fight with my FIL over who gets to pick and who gets to catch the corn today.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Harvest: Day....Uhm.... I'm Not Sure!?!?!

Ok if I get my calendar out, I could tell you we started on October 5, and today is the 30th, so I guess it's only been 25 days.  That's 600 hours, and there were about four days we were out of the field due to weather.

It still doesn't seem like that much time....unless you have been putting in 10-16 hours a day seat time in tractors, trucks, combines, and in the chaotic time spent keeping everything running and moving augers and machinery.

I'm kind of pooped.  My Wonderful Neighbor Wannie and I were just talking on our phones yesterday.  She was in a tractor at the elevator waiting to unload grain, and I was sitting in the tractor that pulls our auger cart out in the field.  Our conversation went like this:

Me:  How are you doing?
W:  Good
(chatter chatter chatter)
W: Have you lost any weight doing this all day this long?"
Me: "Don't I wish!  If brain activity could burn calories I would be the skinniest girl in the world! The reality is I've spent most of my field time sitting on my butt, and it hasn't shrunk any that I would notice."
W: "Me neither!"

If only it was that simple!  We are officially into Day 25, and there are two large corn fields (like 180+ acres) and two bean fields (about 200+ acres) left to pick, cut, harvest....Whatever you want to call it.

Here are some pics from harvest, just in case you have been missing them on Instagram:





























When I've been in the tractor, I've had a bit of time to read and play with my pictures, so you will see a couple of before and after pics using the Snapseed App. Next rain day I will chat more about harvest, but right now I need to may hay while the sun shines!


Monday, October 13, 2014

Harvest Day 16: Rain Is a Good Thing...

Well, maybe not if you have too much, but this rain delay is allowing me to catch up on the rest of my life after spending a good part of the past 4 days in a combine.  Let's review what happened:

Volleyball:

Well, our girls tried their hardest.  They won the first tournament; actually, both 6th AND 5th grade girls won trophies...... Woo # 18



....but the county tourney did not see the same outcome.  They played very hard, and we are so proud of them, but the crappy thing about playing a game is that in order to have a winner, the opponent has to lose.  On a fun side, my little great nephew and his folks came to watch!



Do you see any resemblance in these two faces?  Miss Bear and Miss A.  Bear reminds me of my niece all the time~! The team was  sad a day or two, but now we are on to basketball practices.  First game is November 12.

Here are some views from the field.  We worked all week on a 360 acre corn field, and as of last night there might be 30 acres left.  It really does take a long time to pick corn, especially when there is a lot of it.  In an average year, one acre of corn should produce around 180 bushel to the acre.  An average acre of soy beans will produce 55 bushel of beans.  So a hopper, grain cart, and semi fill up three times faster with corn than with beans.  

This corn is crazy tall!  I'm  5'4", and the ear is above my head!


Playing with the setting on my new camera/phone!
The sky changed so much this past week.  Here a few views out the combine window:








Oh, and just so I didn't forget how to cook, Tall Guy wanted me to get as much of the food prep done as possible so it would be easier for him to put our lunches together.......REALLY!?!?!?!?!  YEP!


I did have some company in the combine:





And I added a few more skills to my resume by driving the automatic semi and the tractor/grain cart/ auger wagon!



Today has been spent trying to put the house back in order, catch up on laundry, and I still need to reconcile my bank account.  

I also might have spent just a wee bit of my day reading Voyager (Outlander).  This series of books are great reading despite the many pages.  I'm totally sucked in to the lives of Jaime and Claire!  Have you read or are you reading The Outlanders series????

Oops!  Time to help with science homework!  Hope you all stay safe out there.  We might be having a nasty weather event tonight or tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

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