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Walking Fields & Changing Shoes

17 Feb

final-54final-53Out checking fields today and the cabbage was top on my list.  This stuff has seen some cold temperatures this year, but the good news is that it is looking good today!  final-51A little sparse in areas, and it has a river running through the middle of the field still, but other than that, a pretty good crop of cabbage seed should come from this field.  Fingers (always) crossed of course!final-55

I’m also not in my regular farmer attire…colored skinny jeans under my muck boots is not the usual uniform at Kirsch Family Farms.  final-52But I’m wearing a few different shoes today.  Much boots in the morning, then changing to heels to go speak on a panel for Oregon Women for Agriculture.

So another random and busy day on the farm…with my favorite, lots of shoes!  Happy Friday everyone!

Weather Update…It’s Still Cold!

13 Jan

Well it’s still freezing here in Oregon on the farm.  We did get a little insulation for the crops in the form of snow, but not sure it’s enough to make a difference. final-25

I get a lot of questions about what this will do to our crops.  So far I’m really only worried about our vegetable seed crops that were planted in the fall.  We have both cabbage & swiss chard that is still pretty small and not looking too happy with this cold weather.  I am told not to worry too much until 12 degrees, we have gotten down to 14 so far, hopefully that is the lowest we get!

final-22final-23This is a photo of some of our younger hazelnut trees.  These trees pollinate in the winter, however not when it’s this cold!

Just another reason why being a farmer is truly so risky, no one can control the weather, and no one can tell you what is going to happen.  Would we have changed our planting schedule last fall if we had known this was going to happen…probably so!  But once again (I feel like I say this a lot) that’s farming!

final-26Yukon sums up how we all feel about all this cold weather & snow pretty well…we know how you feel old dog…and we are right there with ya!

Happy Friday folks and stay warm!

Harvest Excited, Harvest Tired

22 Jul

I finally sat down and took a deep breath today. We are in the heart of harvest here and there’s a part of me that thrives on all that we accomplish in a day.  And there’s a part of me that’s just exhausted and wishes I could sleep for days.  I am harvest excited and I am harvest tired.

Catching a quick lunch in the shade of our seed truck.

There’s a part of me that sees harvest as dragging on forever then there’s a part of me that laughs at that part because we aren’t even close to being done.  There’s a part of me that gets so excited with good yields and very frustrated with fields that aren’t producing.  Because for us, this is it, this is when it all either happens or doesn’t for our whole year.

final-129A very rough, very awful cabbage field….wondering where the crop is? So were we unfortunately.

Harvest has been long, long days, long nights.  Days filled with paperwork that still has to get finished, bills that still need to be paid.  Logistics of who goes where and what needs to get done, what fields to irrigate, what fields to harvest…a constant triage of priorities.  Then evening comes, the boys in tow, and dinners and family time out in the field.  Which moves us straight into nights of infant cries, and the many needs of a toddler at 3am.  We are smiling, because that crazy spirit in us, that now 4 generations of harvest, heat, dust and dirt…we just can’t shake it.

And the truth is, I already know I’ll be sitting in the same pickup, watching the same beautiful sunset next year, looking forward to the harvest on the horizon.  I am continually excited at the potential, and feeling of a years worth of hard work, just hoping it all pays off.  This farming thing, it isn’t easy, it’s tough on levels that you put your heart and soul into.  It’s something that maybe only a farmer understands and only a farmer would sign up for.  It’s our life though, at times it’s beautiful, at times hard…but either way here we go again for another day!

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