Saturday, August 22, 2009

Harvest, 08.22.09

From here on out, I decided to have two sections, one basic info and facts, the other will be more of an insight of a farm wife.

The Farm perspective:

Harvest is in full swing on the Palouse. There was a sign outside of an implement dealer that said farmers have 3 kinds of seasons, before harvest, harvest and after harvest - which is true! Harvest is what farmer's live for, it's the final completion of all of our efforts and hard work. No one feels rested until the last grain, bean or kernel is in storage.

Two of our neighbors are harvesting their wheat which borders our land, so there is activity all around our house. The semi trucks are a frequent sight on our road, either loaded up with grain to go to the warehouse or empty and heading back into the field. Once harvest is complete then, another kind of busy activity occurs, which is the fall planting for next year's crop and that is a future topic.

Harvest brings a frenzied kind of energy into everyone's life. The day starts early, usually around 5:30am ish, lunches are made, plans to meet the crew at a certain spot are made, combines & tractors are inspected and dieseled up, windows cleaned and we are off to begin another round of bringing in the crops to feed America. Our farm has winter wheat, spring wheat, mustard and garbanzo beans. All our winter wheat has been harvested as well as the spring wheat on our Tammany farm. Today we started harvesting mustard and once that is done, then we will move the equipment up to our Genesee farm to begin the spring wheat harvest.

The Farmwife perspective:

I thought about my very first harvest after we married, I was working off the farm full time and hadn't quite gotten it figured out about the grocery thing and what all I needed for harvest lunches. So as I was making a lunch before work for my new husband, and me being the almost "vegan vegetarian" I only had one piece of Bologna and a little bit of tuna fish, not really enough of each for a sandwich - so I thought, well they are both disgusting, I'm sure they go together and put both the tuna and Bologna in one sandwich. Well, new hubby ate half of the sandwich before he realized how bad it tasted.... haven't quite ever lived that one down. Now of course, I'm seasoned and know what kinds of things to have on hand, make proper sandwiches for his lunch, it makes for a much calmer harvest for both of us. =)

As I said, harvest is a frenzy of activity, especially with two farms, one in Tammany which is an hour away from the home (Genesee) farm. It makes for lots of time traveling between the two and the need to move equipment from one farm to another. Farming isn't just a job, it is a great way of life and what other job affects every single person in the world? Think about it, if every farmer and rancher in the world decided to not do their job, world disaster and famine! Good thing farmers/ranchers love what they do. This is not a 9 to 5 kind of job, there are lots of long hours and for months at a time. For those who have livestock, it is all the time, 365 days of the year. We don't have animals, we only farm, and so from March through October is a busy time on the farm. It takes special people who love what they do to face the challenges of raising crops and livestock given that we have no control over weather and the price of crops/animals. But raising a family on the farm has it's special rewards and we are thankful for the life . As my husband heads out the door, he says, I'm off to feed America! I love it, and tho some may view it as corny, it warms my heart and makes me proud.