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Green Bean Harvest 2017

21 Jul

We don’t grow a lot of acres of green beans, but even one acre produces a ton…or a number of tons!  This field was harvested this week and will produce around 500,000 bags of green beans for grocery stores!  That’s a lot of food!! 

Even Hoot and Auggie couldn’t make too big of a dent in our yield with those kind of numbers. Which doesn’t mean they didn’t try….these boys LOVE green beans!

So keep eating those veggies and we will keep on growing them!  

Summertime as Farm Boys 

14 Jul

Summertime for many families means family time, vacations, summer camps and camping. For our family it means field time,  harvest time, tractor time, field meals and lots of dust and dirt. All of which, our boys, Hoot and Auggie don’t know how to live without!  Here’s just a small glimpse of what summer time looks like in the life of farm boys. 

Auggie basically runs the crew hence the radio…aka “Boss Man”. 

He really keeps us on task. 

Hoot is usually busy harvesting behind our big machines, he just shakes his head and tells us our combines are leaving a lot behind. They both take a break from the hard work for some dinner out of the back of the pick-up. We call these field meals.

And then off to look at all our other crops to make sure they are growing well!  With so many crops on our farm while we are harvesting one the others are still growing! 
Auggie usually tries to rest up when he can… this farming business can be a bit exhausting!  He caught a quick nap while on the swing the other day. 

Then the day is over and these boys of harvest wash off the dust and get up to do it all again tomorrow.I wish I looked this cute farming, I wish I could farm without shoes on, and although Hoot promises me no pants farming ” is fine mama!” I think I’ll leave that to him for now!  Harvest 2017 is in full swing and these future farmers are having a ball out in the fields!  Come out and say hi….you can find these farm boys out in the fields covered in dust until September! 

Cropping Decisions and the Weather

19 Jun

The cropping rotation on our farm, which includes around 11 different crops every year, is planned about 5 years out.  We plan that far out because there are a lot of things to consider.  Examples such as, which crops can follow others, keeping the mix of crops at the right acreage amounts, assessing our risk with each crop, what we can get contracts for, overall economics, level of labor intensity, etc.

But also the weather…oh that darn weather.  When we get a year like this past one, it doesn’t just mean that we wear our muck boots and rain gear more, it means that we have cropping decisions that are made for us by Mother Nature.

This field of green beans is the perfect example.

  • Plan A: Plant to Tall Fescue.
    Didn’t get the ground worked in time due to many circumstances.  On to plan B…
  • Plan B: Plant Perennial Ryegrass.
    It started to rain in early October….it never really stopped until that planting window was well closed.  So plan C it is…
  • Plan C: Plant peas.
    This would have worked, but then we got a contract for another crop that could potentially be better economically.  And finally Plan D…
  • Plan D: Green beans were planted….phew!

This is a bit oversimplified in many respects, but I thought it was a good way to show how much we are the mercy of the weather.  Other factors absolutely come into play, but the weather is one that we just can’t control and is tough to protect yourself against because it can be so unpredictable.  So the weather, economics, cropping decisions…they all play a part in the answer to what seems like the very simple question, “How do you decide what to plant in what field?”

So now this field when I drive by, just sort of exhausts me…it’s been a long road, and one that I will see happy to be harvested.  Of course it’s so we can go ahead and try again next year, Mother Nature willing of course!

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