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Crimson Clover in Bloom 2017

22 May

I may be biased since I grow the stuff, but Crimson Clover has got to be one of the most beautiful crops ever grown!  It is currently in full bloom here in Oregon.  We grow the crimson for seed, which is used in many cover cropping systems, and also in wildlife mixes.  We grow it as a rotation crop on our ground that doesn’t have irrigation. It helps us keep our fields more weed free and it’s one of those amazing crops that actually puts nitrogen back into the soil! 

I was out spraying borders a few days ago, and got myself into a “situation” where I had some time to kill.  The “situation” was my little tractor getting stuck along one of the borders of one of these beautiful fields.  So while I was frustrated with the being stuck for a bit, and hungry because I got stuck at 11:45am (if you know me I rarely miss lunch!), I was also happy to be stranded with such a beautiful view.Here are a few shots of the fields. If you look closely you’ll notice there are a few bees flying around as well.  More accurately, a ton of bees! The whole field was literally buzzing with activity.  We bring in the bees to pollinate our crop, 1 hive per acre.  Without those bees, we wouldn’t have a seed crop to harvest!

So I guess in the end, even a frustrating “situation” isn’t so bad when you get to take in a view like this!

Happy Easter from the Field

18 Apr

When I mentioned in my “Happy birthday to my Farmer” post that Matt works at the beck and call of the weather, I wasn’t kidding!  It’s been doozy of a wet season here in Oregon.  We have been waiting, and waiting…and waiting for enough good days in a row to get crops planted, which means that our Easter plans turned a bit from the traditional.

Matt was up early to head out to the radish field.  We had to get preplant fertilizer spread, pre-emergent sprayed, work the ground another time, then finally it looked like we might get the window to get the radish seed in the ground.  Meanwhile I woke up early with the boys, threw Easter grass from the Easter Bunny all over the house, and headed to church with a few cousins.  We decided that someone better pray that we got this radish field planted ( and ask for forgiveness for working on Easter Sunday!!) The boys and I delivered lunch to the farm (because if you have people working on Sunday, you better keep them fed!), headed home for naps and then back out in the field (where the boys want to be all the time anyway!).  Hoot proved that farming can be done without pants without any problems (good to know!).  And Auggie almost kept his Easter clothes clean before we made it back to my parents for Easter dinner.

Things all went pretty smoothly, even for a Sunday.  The weather cooperated and right around dinner time the guys came in from the field, tired and hungry, we had a big dinner all ready for them.  I don’t know if they have ever earned their Easter dinner so much as this year.

This is exactly why farming can be so stressful, so risky, and such a seven day a week job.  We work when we can, because those days in some years so limited.  And I’m so grateful that I work with folks who understand when I come up to them and timidly ask if they could work on Easter Sunday, they look at you and don’t even hesitate to say yes, because they know I wouldn’t even ask if it weren’t a necessity.  They showed up, they worked hard, and we got at least one of our spring crops planted for 2017!!!  I know we weren’t the only farmers who worked all Easter to get crops in the ground, and I know that we will talk about the Easter that we planted radish, for a long time to come!

Happy Birthday to My Farmer

14 Apr

I have always loved this photo.  I took it a few years ago while we were out in a field that had just been planted.  We were down in the dirt counting green bean seeds to check the planting rate and I remember looking over at Matt as we both were kneeling down, and being thankful to have him out there with me.  I wasn’t sure how I got so lucky, I’m still not, but I’m reminded often that I am.

And today just so happens to be this great guy’s birthday!  And while it might seem like just another day on the farm, I wanted to share something special on here, because as real life happens, we don’t say all the good stuff enough.  My farmer is the one who gets to (has to) be there when I can’t (usually because of our growing family).  He works tirelessly at the weather’s beck and call, yes…even on Sundays.  He takes risks alongside me as we make decisions that will effect our success and ultimately our livelihood.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without this man, and I can’t imagine our farm without him either.

Although now that I think about it, he might be able to…I think it would probably involve a lot more fishing and hunting (sorry babe!).  Plus I have to be honest here, farming together isn’t always perfect moments of bumper crops, slam dunks and sunshine (especially this year!), and we are together very literally all the time, no really, ALL. THE. TIME.  Sometimes it’s tough, but we are doing it, we are working together, sometimes with trial and error and a few (or a lot of) deep breaths.   But I’ll give him credit, he’s my rock when I get (very rarely obviously) all wound up about this that or the other.  I can’t thank him enough for that.

He’s also a great dad, who loves his boys with a love that is unwavering.  We are finding that we are lucky….every single day….to get to do what we love with who we love.  So today happy birthday to my one and only.  You’re a great friend, my solid ground, an incredible dad, wonderful husband….and as it turns out, almost as good of a farmer as me (wink wink). And cheers to another wonderful year of hanging out in the fields, inevitably covered in dirt, with our little farming family!

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