Wheat & Green Beans…More Harvesting!

27 Jul

We have still been busy here at the farm.  Although the small amount of dust settling rain we got this weekend really gave us all a moment to take a deep breath and relax for a bit.  We have been harvesting since the middle of June, so 5 weeks into the process it’s nice to be able to tell everyone to take a day or two off.

Last week we were busy harvesting wheat.  We grow spring wheat for seed, seed that will be planted to make even more wheat and sold to make breads, cereals, noodles, all sorts of products!

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We also had our first planting of green beans picked.  The company that we grow for has their own harvest crew.  It allows them to work closely with the cannery  as far as timing of product coming in, and allows us the savings of not having to purchase or rent special equipment just for one crop on our farm.

FullSizeRender(10) FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender(13)They work 24 hours a day, and showed up around 2am in our field to get going.  By the time we took a look at the field they already had a large chunk harvested and before we knew it they were packed up and heading down the road to the next field.

I’m not going to talk yields today, let’s just say this farm has had much better years.  This will be one that I will be glad once it’s over and we can close the books on a rough season.  The good news is that we will be doing it all again next year, hopefully with better news…every year is truly so different!  Still to come this year, the last two crops, radish & hazelnuts!

Top 10 Ways You know it’s Harvest at our House

20 Jul

Harvest is a crazy time of year for farmers.  We work all year to grow a crop that is healthy and happy, and we have a very short window to get all that crop off of the fields.  Which means long hours, everyday of the week, no matter what.  So I got to thinking today, how if you were to walk into our house, how you would know it was harvest time.  So here are the top 10 ways you will know it’s harvest at our house…

1. You will notice the frozen lasagnas are slowly disappearing out of our freezer, by slowly I mean, we eat a lot of frozen meals during harvest.  It’s fast and easy, and can be thrown in the oven while you run out to check on harvesters or catch up on e-mails or calls.

2. You may see seeds on the ground in our laundry room.  During harvest I can always tell what crop we are combining by examining the lint trap.  Clover seed, grass seed, cabbage seed, are all on the ground in front of our dryer currently.

3. You will not find socks.  I don’t know where socks go during harvest, but they completely disappear.  You will however find socks on the list of things to buy on Amazon, lots of socks!

4. You will see laundry everywhere, sock-less laundry, but laundry just the same.  My best advice for finding jeans or another specific item during the midst of harvest laundry.  First, check the folded clothes basket.  Second, check the unfolded clothes basket.  Third, check the dryer.  And lastly if you still haven’t had any luck, grab your jeans from yesterday, they are going to be just as dirty in the first hour anyway.

5. You will not hear intelligent conversation.  Unless it has to deal with yields, moisture levels, planting plans, and field rotations.  It’s all we have room for in our tired brains.

6. Don’t be shocked to see us leave at all times of the night and early morning.  Like I said we work all hours, all days…did I mention we are tired?

7. You will see farmers tans. It’s not just a saying, these white legs and tan arms of mine resemble a ying yang symbol most of summer.

8. You will see Hoot napping in our pick-up while we move combines down the road.  Yes, if we can, we synchronize nap times with long road moves from field to field.

9. You will see Hoot with us a lot. He’s been quite the trooper, combine riding, checking fields, starting irrigation, this farm boy has had no lack of field time!

10. Mostly though I hope you will see a hard working family. A family that everyday works together to make it through, tired, haggard, and impatient at times…but together.

The crazy part is that after all is said and done this year, the weather will cool down and leaves will start to turn, we will look back and contemplate all the decisions made for the year, and I know without a doubt we will look forward to harvest next year.  It will hit the very next spring, forgetting the messy house and laundry, frozen meals and exhaustion and get excited for that time of the year when when all your hard work and hopefully mother nature have worked together well enough to get a good crop out of the soil. Because, in the end, this is the life we love, this is the life we have chosen and that’s farming.




Combining Cabbage Seed

17 Jul IMG_4398

This year we grew our first crop of cabbage for seed. It is always fun to add a new crop to the farm, although learning curves can be steep, we had a lot of help to get the crop to harvest. But then came harvest, and using a brand of combine that no one had used before, we hit the ground running and patiently tweaked on our yellow gal for about 3 hours to get her all set right.   There was lots of climbing inside the combine to double check what was going on.   

 I got to drive the harvester, my pregnant belly still fits so far!  And I got a few helpful riders to keep me company. 

 We dumped it into our truck to took it down the road to Triangle Farms. It was then unloaded into boxes and taken to be stored until it is cleaned.    

 It’s really pretty seed!  So even though it took awhile to get it all set right, it was a fun process of trial and error to get the crop to look like what we wanted! 

And now the yellow combine heads back to join the John Deere in ryegrass harvest. Back together again! 
   Happy Friday!


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