While we wait for the ground to dry out and harvest to kick into high gear I’ve been using my new camera (the old one was dropped one too many times!) to capture the beauty in my own front yard.
As we drove to church yesterday I noticed the balconies on a set of apartment buildings. Small platforms, maybe 4 x 6 feet where families store a bicycle or two, maybe a potted plant.
Making me very grateful.
Farming is more than a career.
It’s a lifestyle.
And a pretty amazing one at that.
Sure, many crops are harvested in the summer, but for corn and soybean farmers pulling the combine out of the shed conjures thought of apples and pumpkins, chilly nights and football games. Not so with wheat harvest.
We have been planting a small percentage of our acres to wheat over the past few years to help build terraces. Summer is the time to take the bulldozer out to the fields to fix any damage done by torrential rains or the effects of time. That doesn’t work so well if you’ve got crops growing in those fields, so we started growing wheat because the late June/early July harvest window means time to work on our soil conservation efforts.
For those who are new, I love growing wheat. It’s the first thing to green up after a long winter and it’s beautiful in all it’s growing stages.
This year, however, I thought instead of snapping my usual photos I’d ask Wayne to take some shots from his place in the driver’s seat.
How’s that for a workplace view?
A little privacy please!
I was outside shooting pics of the dump truck when this photographic opportunity popped up. And despite the fact that bathing should really be a private matter, I couldn’t resist snapping this girl in the middle of her bath. Dust bath that is!
Chickens won’t bathe in your typical bird bath, but coating themselves in a layer of fine dust actually helps them be hygienic. They roll about until their feathers covered because the layer of dirt suffocates any mites that might be looking for a permanent residence. When they are finished they’ll run their feathers through their beaks to lock the barbs on the veins together like a zipper. If you’ve ever found a feather on the ground and pulled it apart you’re doing the opposite.
And while chickens, like the Romans, seem perfectly fine with public baths, the look this hen is giving my camera just screamed annoyance.
A little privacy please!
So much fun! Our weekend adventure of harvesting wheat and learning about where the ingredients in our pizza come from was a HUGE success! Thanks so much to the Brays for hosting this awesome event; their farm was perfect.
FSA brought coloring books and rulers.
Our Farm Bureau agent helped kids plant their own seeds.
This is me, showing how the harvested wheat is turned into flour.
Grinding wheat with electricity was much easier than doing it by hand!
These are beef cows for the hamburger toppings!
And Nubian milk goats for making the mozzarella cheese.
There was a straw maze.
The sensory bin filled with wheat to play in!
Riding in the combine was probably the best part!
Caroline waits for her turn to ride and sports a “Thank a Farmer” sticker!
Finally, its Carson’s turn!
Is this machine way cool or what?!
The stalks from the wheat are baled into straw. These huge bales are being sold to the highway dept. to be used to keep dirt in place while workers fix roads.
All right, maybe the pizza was the best part! Yummy!
Pepperoni comes from hogs!
Lovin’ the cheese!
There are five insignificant differences between these two photos. Can you spot them?
Little differences can be hard to spot. In fact it is possible for someone to change something so slightly that others don’t even notice it isn’t the original.
I was thinking of that this week as I wondered how to teach my children how Satan attempts to confuse issues by making the smallest of changes. A misused verse of scriptures. A common phrase attributed to the Bible. A tiny sin.
Did you find the changes?
These are a few of my favorite pics I snapped during harvest season this year. l.eave me a message and tell me which is your favorite!
Last Saturday we enjoyed friends coming for a visit to the farm. Like most families, these friends don’t have a combine in their backyard, so we had a grand time climbing up the ladders to look in the hopper, checking out the engine, riding around the field, “steering” the tractor and cart, and honking the semi’s horn.
Now that you’ve seen the photos, what would you most like to do on a visit to the farm? Use your journal and your imagination!
If you didn’t see the chicks when they arrived in April, check them out here.
If you did see the chicks when they arrived in April you should still check them out here. They were really cute after all.
And here is a photographic update of those same baby chicks!
The chickens began laying eggs at the end of August. We gather 3-4 per day now, although you might be able to tell from the picture they are still on the small side. They should get bigger as the hens get older.
Another interesting tidbit to note: one of our hens is actually a rooster. (You can order all girls, or hens, but sometimes it happens!) In the photo directly above you can see a white bird with black tail feathers. That’s him. We call him “McChicken” because he is the biggest scaredy of them all, but just watch him protect those girls when he hears one of them cry out. McChicken turns into a valiant knight and defends the women of his flock!
They are so much fun to watch and one of the funniest things they do happens when we open their coop in the mornings. Those chickens literally run out of the pen and into the corn field like school kids at recess time! A video of this hilarious experience is coming soon, so stay tuned!
Try this taste of farm life– literally! I’m not exactly sure why, but although anyone may can food at home, farm families tend to do a lot of it! Fall is a busy time in the field, but it is also a busy time in the kitchen. Tomatoes from the garden turn into salsa and crushed tomatoes for chili. Peaches from a near-by orchard taste great as peach halves, peach butter, and peach sauce. Apples from friends make lots and lots of yummy applesauce. Any of these foods are readily available at your local grocery store or farmer’s market and believe me when I say they taste so much better than what you buy already canned!
Before you get started canning I suggest you make a plan. Learn the steps for home canning from a cookbook, internet source, or canning book. I like Blue Ball canning and Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Check to see if you have all the supplies you need. Most supplies can be purchased for little cost, but consider borrowing them if you have never done this before. Then schedule a day when you won’t have to quit half way through the process. I’m much faster now, but when I began canning it took most of the day and is still a big event in our house.
Applesauce is a great place to start, but crushed tomatoes are probably quickest. Choose your favorite foods for best results and try a taste of farm life!