Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wild Harvest Day

Well, we are fully into bean harvest.  The combines have been rolling full speed all week.  We do not have any beans of our own, but we have been helping out my cousin and combining his beans.  Roger started on a field yesterday and finished this morning.  We took a little field trip to ride with him after church school last night.

There was no breeze at all last night, and the dust just hung around the combine.  It was hard to see as you went through the field.  Today was the complete opposite!  The wind blew about 30-40 mph all day.  There were numerous field fires around our area today.  One even started about 3/4 of a mile from our house.  The wind just kept increasing the intesity of the fire, and it went for about 1 mile before they were able to get it under control.  It burned off some beans, and unfortunately, someone's home as well.  This fire crossed the major highway that goes through our area.  They even announced on the local radio station that they would like to have farmers stop harvesting today to eliminate the chances for more fires.


This is part of the field of beans that burned along the highway.  The home that was destroyed would have been back to the right.  So sad!

Harvest will resume tomorrow as usual, and hopefully this will be the last of the major fires for the season.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rocks

Rocks are something that most farmers do not like to deal with.  They do major damage to your combine when they go through as well as other farm equipment in the field.  Like most farm kids, I had many "opportunities" to spend days out in the field picking them up to avoid equipment damage.  So....as you can imagine, when I mentioned putting a rock in the yard and landscaping with them my husband thought I was crazy.  After some convincing and a little work on my part to get the area ready, I had him convinced.

My mother had a spot south of our barn that she had landscaped with rocks several years ago.  Since the area had not been taken care of for the last few years, it was overgrown and needed to be redone.  I dug out all of the rocks that surrounded the area since they had sunken into the ground, and we pulled out the overgrown bushes.  We leveled off the area and added some new dirt.  We were pouring some more cement in the cattle yard on Monday and had enough left over to pour a little pad for my large rock!  Today was the day to move the rock.

Roger and Jacob carefully moved the rock over to the new pad.  We are hoping that this will keep in from settling into the ground.  Setting it was a little tricky, but after a few minor adjustments, the rock has been put into place.

We will probably wait until Spring to do anymore with the area, but at least we have a start.  Now we can focus on harvest, and I won't be bugging the guys for anymore "help" on my projects.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Relaxing Sunday?

For most people, Sunday is day to relax and enjoy some family time.  However, on our farm they seem to be family project days.  We have a bunch of projects left to complete before we get busy with harvest and/or the weather turns against us.  Today's family project was cutting down apple trees at the other farm.  We had 3 large and 1 small apple trees that haven't produced apples for the last few years and needed to be removed.  Roger grabbed the chain saw from the machine shed, and JM and I grabbed our gloves and a rake.  It wasn't long and the first large tree was down and cleaned up.  As we were starting on the second tree, my cousin stopped over.  He saw what we were up to and headed home to grab his chain saw and came back to help.  In just a couple of hours, we had all of the apple trees down and cleaned up as well as some wild mulberry trees that had popped up in the old garden area. 

These trees were located right behind where the new shop is being built.  Now the crew will have plenty of room to maneuver around when setting rafters or putting on steel.

After we finished this family project, we cleaned up and headed over to the Clay County Fair.  We love to walk through all of the farm equipment on display and check out the animals that are in the barns.  We came home with two new cattle waters for our yards and a new toy semi truck and two trailers for JM.

As for relaxing Sundays, we don't see too many of those, but we still get to enjoy each other's company and the farm!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A lot changes in a day

The construction began on our shop this week.  Last weekend we worked hard digging in water lines and putting in the floor drain.  The crew showed up on Tuesday to start getting the shop floor ready to pour the concrete.  The plumbers came in on Wednesday to lay down the floor heat.  When they were finished, the crew finished preparing the floor.  Early Thursday morning, the cement pump arrived and several cement trucks came rolling in to pour the concrete floor.  After the cement was poured, the crew started working on the shop walls.  And today, the shop walls started going up!

I made it over to the other farm about 9:00 a.m., and this is what they had accomplished already.  Wow!  I was so surprised.


After JM got home from school, we decided to go over again and see how far they had gotten.  All of the walls were up.  Amazing!  This shop really looks big now.  It seems to look a lot larger now than it did when just the footings were standing there.  I can't wait to see what next week brings!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Big Game

We made our way to Ames this past Saturday to watch the Iowa State Cyclones game.  They played their instate rival - the Iowa Hawkeyes.  It was a beautiful day to be in Jack Trice Stadium to watch the game!  We made it to town a couple of hours before kickoff.  Just in time to stop by a couple of pregame tailgates.  We had bought tickets from some friends who had season tickets, and the seats were great!  We were on the south end of the stadium in the end zone.  JM was with us as well as the son of a friend.  Both were very excited for the game.

The teams came out on to the field shortly after 11:00 a.m., and the game began.  It was a very exciting game.  The two teams both played about equally throughout the game as the score showed.  And when the clock ran out............we were off to overtime.


Overtime was very exciting!  Both teams gave a very strong effort.  We had an excellent view of the plays since it was all taking place at our end of the stadium.  After three overtimes, the Cyclones came out on top.


We were naturally excited since we are Cyclone fans!  :)  Although both teams played their hearts out, and the game really could have gone either way.  Hats off to both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones for an excellent game played.  You gave both sets of fans a great game to remember!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Chopping Silage

It's silage chopping season in our area, and this year we decided to take a little different approach to chopping ours.  The chopper that we have is older and takes a little TLC before the season begins.  Since summer projects got off to a slow start this year, the chopper didn't get out of the shed in time to get that needed TLC.  So...we enlisted the help of Jake Franken and his crew at Franken Custom Chopping.  They had put up some haylage for us in June so we were familiar with the drill.  The group pulled in about 7:30 last night and started opening up the field.

We also had our customer appreciation supper last night at our seed dealership.  Therefore, I did not get back to the farm before dark to start taking pictures.  It was really fun to watch them go!







They were using a big Claas silage chopper.  It was amazing how fast they moved through the field.  The chopper was able to take 12 rows at a time!  That sure beats the four rows that our older John Deere chopper takes!  I wasn't sure if I would have the opportunity to get some shots in the daylight today before they finished so I did the best I could last night in the dark.



I managed to make it over to the other farm this morning when they were on their LAST round.  That chopper sure filled up the trucks in a hurry!








The silage looked great and smelled really good too.  I love the smell of fresh cut silage.







By 10:30 this morning they had the bunker filled and packed.  The new cattle are going to LOVE this in their feed ration!








And the small pile that we put out back was also finished.  We will be tarping that pile tonight.  This silage chopping year went a lot quicker that usual.  If we had used our chopper, we would be chopping for about 4 days.  They had it finished in less that 6 hours.  Now we can concentrate on getting equipment ready for the rest of harvest to begin. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Holiday Weekend Fun

Since it is Labor Day weekend, we have planned to get together with some friends tomorrow for lunch.  Everyone is bringing food, and the kids will have a great time playing together.  So...I have put together a little treat for the kids.  I started with an idea that came from Lisa at www.jerseygirlcooks.com.  She made orange creamsicle jello shots for a party.  I loved the presentation so much that I made a kid friendly version to take along tomorrow.  By the way, the link to Lisa's recipe is:  http://www.jerseygirlcooks.com/2011/07/orange-creamsicle-jello-shots.html.

I started with 4 oranges.  I cut them in half, squeezed out the juice, and removed what was left in shell.  Then I put the halves in a muffin tin to keep them level.  Next, I followed the directions on the jello package to make Jigglers.  I poured the mixture into the orange halves, covered them with plastic wrap, and put the muffin tin in the refrigerator. 

After they were set up, I cut them into quarters.  The kids will love eating these!  They look just like quartered oranges.  Thanks Lisa!  What a fun idea!