Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Feeding America, Days 15-18 of Harvest 2011

Well my friends, the nut behind the computer key board (me) was having difficulty getting some videos loaded to tell you that we have been rained out, greened out and been having mechanical issues with Farmer Joe’s combine.  So I have lots to share with you, so come along and I’ll tell you all about it….  (many of these videos were taken over several days)
Some of the wheat around our house was too green to harvest, so we moved to another field about 5 miles down the road. Farmer Joe was not getting to harvest until late afternoon  on a couple of those days due to mechanical breakdowns on his header (yes again), but we did manage to get that field harvested and moved back to our home place.  Here is a video of the semi trucks moving back into the field by our farm house.

While harvesting, one of the chains was slipping so Farmer Joe moved the combine to level ground to do some minor adjustments as pictured below

Farmer Joe working on his combine

Wheat that was bunched up in the header due to the chain slipping

A view of what the inner workings of a combine look like. 
The side panel was up, so I snapped this picture.
Here is a video of my grand angels after their ride in the combine with Papa.  So far they have been logging in many rides as they can.  

A storm came through and brought lots of lightening, thunder and some rain.  Here you can see the dark clouds starting to roll in the picture below.

Son in law, Soren holding Natalie watching the combine.
Kaitlyn, our daughter, along with Andrew (her boyfriend)were visiting for the week-end and helped shuffle equipment from one field to another. Even though Andrew grew up on a cattle feeding operation, she wanted to show him that she thought she could drive a tractor better than he could.... =)
Andrew and Kaitlyn pausing in between moving equipment

Daughter Jen and son in law Soren, along with Maggie and Natalie
while waiting for rides in the combine

A view of the combine harvesting down a hill

Another view of the combine harvesting on our rolling
hills here in North Idaho
Earlier in the week, Ty, the brother of Cody (our hired man) came out to show his city born girlfriend what a farm looked like and to ride in a combine.  While she liked seeing what we do, she was not ready to give up life in Seattle.

Welina and Farmer Joe
With harvest in full swing, here is what is happening all around us.

A view of the service truck working on Farmer Joe's combine.  The service trucks come out to the field to service the combines.

Farmer Joe was down helping Farmer Jay with the Spring wheat at the Tammany Farm and after he got home, we headed into Moscow and came upon more combines moving from field to field on highway 95.
Not unusal to see combines traveling down the highway
to get to their fields
Baby Maggie our newest "farmerette" was baptized last Sunday.  Normally this kind of thing goes under the At Home on the Farm page.... but I've been neglecting my other blog pages.

Daddy Soren, Mommy Jen and baby Maggie with our Pastor
Lastly even in the middle of harvest,  I've been getting ready for our 3rd annual Dinner on the Farm series..... which is only a week away now.  

Whew!  There you have it, it has been very hectic.  Farmer Jay only has a couple more days to go before he finishes the Spring wheat down at the Tammany farm, then he will start harvesting garbanzos.  Farmer Joe will finish the winter wheat on our home place, then hopefully start on Spring wheat.  So thanks for stopping by.  Email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have comments/questions or post a one on the blog.  All my best, Gayle

Friday, August 26, 2011

Feeding America, Day 14 of Harvest 2011

Farmers are good at improvising to make things work.  Whether it is doing a quick fix with duct tape on some gadget or training  someone to do a task, they make it work. Today Farmer Joe was short handed on help as Cody our hired man was working with Farmer Jay harvesting Spring wheat down at the Tammany farm.  So the farmer taught Ryan, our seasonal help, to drive the semi trucks to the grain warehouse to unload the grain.  As this field is just a mile at best from the warehouse and the ground is level, it was a good training as well as a safe route for our young lad to learn this skill.

The semi truck waiting in the field until it is full and ready to be driven to the grain elevator

The other semi in the field and behind it is the grain terminal
Well that's all for today's report, thanks for stopping by and feel free to email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or post a comment.  All my best, Gayle

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feeding America, Day 13 of Harvest 2011

If you read yesterdays blog about farmers having “one of those days”, well sometimes they come in pairs. Yesterday as Farmer Joe was trying to start harvesting, a major breakdown on the other end of the header sent him into the combine dealership in Moscow in the hope they had the parts in stock ….. of which they did not. A breakdown on a combine in the middle of harvest is really bad news especially if the needed parts are not available and have to be ordered. So Farmer Joe headed to another combine dealership about 1 ½ hour away from our Genesee farm as that dealer had a brand new header and they “cannibalized” that header for the replacement parts for ours. Whew! Factor in a 3+ hour round trip to get parts, then get the header fixed meant the farmer didn’t get to start harvest till around 4pm. The weather forecast also had us concerned as it had warnings about a chance of thunderstorms too. Last night was the first night the lights on the combine were used and we harvested in the dark in order to get the 2 semi trucks loaded (the warehouse closes at 8pm, so a common practice is to get the trucks filled the night before so they can be unloaded first thing the next day).

I’m hoping for pictures or videos from Thursday’s harvest that I can share. Farmer Joe is hoping to finish the field around our home, then move the combine to another field 4 or 5 miles away.

As for Farmer Jay down harvesting Spring wheat down at the Tammany farm, all is going well despite a plugged up grain cart.

Stay tuned for more harvest tales. Feel free to email me at  idahofarmwife@gmail.com . All my best, Gayle

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Feeding America, Day 12 of Harvest 2011

Farmers are not immune from having "one of those days"  as  Farmer Joe discovered an oil leak on his combine and missing fan belts on the semi truck during the routine maintenance checks and cleaning. The combine dealership didn't have the parts needed to repair the oil leak, so they had to be ordered (not something a farmer wants to hear during harvest), but luckily it was not a major issue at this point and Farmer Joe decided he could run the combine as it was.  Farmer Jay stayed behind and got the semi equipped with new fan belts.... so we were able to get in the field late morning.

Above is the video of Farmer Joe with the air hose
blowing out all the dust and wheat chaff that collects
during the day.  A daily cleaning is needed to ensure the
chaff doesn't catch on fire.

The panel sides of the combine lift up and/or out for
access to the insides of the combine. Lots of nooks & crannies
to blow the wheat chaff out

Fan belts needed to be replaced on the semi

As Farmer Joe was harvesting right around our house, I rode in the cab with him a good part of the morning.  My voice doesn't carry as well as his so many of my comments may be  hard to hear.  To show you what is is like being in a combine on a steep hillside, I did a short film clip and was holding the camera level.  The combine is a self leveling one for the rolling hills in our area.  
A view of the combine reel/header in the wheat field

In this video (above) I was explaining the the "fingers" on the reel of the header scoop the wheat in, then feed it into the rolling "auger" and as the wheat goes through the combine, the chaff gets spit out the back and the wheat kernels go into the bulk tank and a window is in the back of the cab (so you can see it falling in).
A  view from inside the cab watching as the tractor & grain cart
are heading our way so we can unload the combine on the go

Unloading on the go, means that the combine doesn't have to stop and unload it's grain and the tractor driver (Ryan) matches speed with the combine so the farmer can fill the grain cart while continuing to harvest.

The picture below (altho blurry) is of a big hawk.  We will see hawks, owls and coyote follow our machines out in the field because they know once the machine passes through the wheat, that it exposes mice and it makes for "easy pickins".
The black spot is a hawk in the field
As always, thanks for stopping by.  Email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have questions or comments. (Or post a comment as well)  All my best, Gayle

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Feedng America Day 11 of Harvest 2011

Good Morning!  Another beautiful harvest day on the "Palouse" here in North Idaho.  Harvest is in full swing all around us with a flurry of activity not only on our farm but our neighbors as well.  This has been one of the latest harvests that many can remember.  The weather forecast looks great, the crops are ripe and those of us who feed America are intent on getting those crops in.
Sunrise on the 1st day of the Genesee harvest
The combine that was moved from Tammany sits quietly at the field entrance until called into action.  This winter wheat field is next to our home.  

Shortly after 1:30pm, Farmer Joe cut a sample of wheat, headed into town to get the moisture test, came back with a big smile as he said it was testing at 11% (a good number to be at) and that harvest was on!

A little later on in the day Kevin and his wife Susan arrived to film our wheat harvest for a music video he was working on.  They had traveled from Meridian, Idaho to film this for their company, Good News Records as  Kevin had written a song and thought this would be a fitting scene for his lyrics.   I forewarned them as they were filming to not stand "downwind" of the combine unless they wanted to get coated in wheat chaff and be itchy the rest of the day.  Kevin got to ride in combine and was amazed at all the technology in the cab and that it was not anything like he imagined.  The cab is air conditioned, has monitors that tell the operator what the wheat is yielding, where he as been in the field, moisture count, and it monitors when the bulk tank is getting full.  The combine has a little beacon outside that flashes to alert the grain cart driver to start heading over to the combine so it can be unloaded.   Plus there are two-way radios in the tractor and combine, so everyone is in communication with each other.

The grand-angels were out and also got to get their first ride of the year with "papa" too.

A few hours later, a photographer for Idaho Grain came to photograph our harvest as well, and gosh, we were feeling somewhat famous!  =)

Kevin from Good News Records posing with his
guitar on the combine

The combine at sunset after a good day of harvesting. The tractor and grain
cart are in the far background.
 I will be on had to record harvest in action today so keep stopping by and as always, email at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have questions or comments.  Posts are always fun too.  All my best, Gayle

Monday, August 22, 2011

Feeding America, Day 10 of Harvest 2011

The agenda for this Sunday morning  was to be a day of just moving equipment and getting ready to harvest winter wheat at the Genesee farm.   And so the early Sunday morning found Farmer Joe and I having breakfast with Farmer Jay, Lisa, their son, Zack, and Lisa's brother, Jeff and his girlfriend, Mindy.   After breakfast our guys headed down to Tammany to bring Joe's combine up and I rode home with Lisa.  This has become sort of an informal ritual during harvest when we finish winter wheat down at one farm and move up to the main farm. 

The combine and header are transported separately and the interesting thing about this header is that it can be towed without a special trailer.  The wheels move into transport mode, a detactable long hitch hooks up the header to the pick-up.  Once the destination is reached, then the hitch is removed and the tires are put back into position under the header and it is ready to go.

Arriving at our Genesee field next to our house to
hook the header back up to the combine

Farmers Jay (in the forefront) and Joe in back adjusting
the wheels under the header

All set up and ready to go!  Just hope the wheat is ready to be harvested
Thanks for stopping by ! Have to get some cookies baked for the crew as well as be on hand to run a moisture sample of the wheat into the grain elevators to see if we can harvest today (Monday), plus the song writer will be out later on this afternoon to film wheat harvest (hopefully) for his music video.  Stay tuned I'll have more.  All my best, Gayle.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Feeding America, Day 9 of Harvest 2011

From my kitchen window, I've been seeing a flurry of activity as the farmers around us in Genesee are either getting ready to get in the field or they are already harvesting their crops.  It is a busy time and many farmers including us have seasonal help from our high school kids to help get our crops in.  School starts next week and due to the late harvest, I've heard talk that the school officials may delay the start of school until after the Labor Day holiday to aid the farmers.   This would be a good thing for us as well our other farm friends.

The video below is narrated by Farmer Joe who, along with Farmer Jay have their CDL license to drive the semi trucks.  This was Joe's turn and you get to see what he sees  as the grain is loaded into the semi, a view of driving down the road, and when the semi unloads at the grain terminal. 

Our high school seasonal help, Ryan who drive the tractor
that pulls the grain cart

An employee that unloads the grain posing for Joe 
A blow out on the truck, this was the 2nd one within 2 days

Farmer Joe snapping a picture of the damaged tire
Stay tuned for Monday's harvest blog as a songwriter/producer is going to film our wheat harvest for his music video.  Once I get permission from Kevin, the artist, I will post it!  As always, thanks for stopping by and email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have questions or comments.  Plus leave posts too.  All my best, Gayle

Friday, August 19, 2011

Feeding America, Day 8 of Harvest 2011

Coming home tonight I got behind a combine on highway 95, so now I know harvest has officially started on the Palouse, here in North Idaho.  

On Thursday we harvested about 200 acres of winter wheat and have a little over 100+ acres left.   Again we will not know what this field is yielding until all the weight tickets are totaled.  Once this field is done, Farmer Jay will stay in Tammany with his “level-land combine” as the ground is flat and Farmer Joe will move his “self-leveling combine” up to the Genesee farm as our ground has the “rolling hills of the Palouse".  Farmer Jay, Cody (our hired man), Ryan (our summer high school help) will be Jay’s crew down at Tammany.  Farmer Joe will start on the winter wheat fields at the Genesee farm and we will have to hire 2 temporary people to help drive the other semi trucks and the other grain cart.  Luckily we have a recently retired friend, Hale, who is willing to drive the grain cart and hopefully our hired man’s dad, Roger, can take some vacation time from his job and drive the semi trucks.   
The colors of the crops this time of year are so varied, as you can see below.  This year we planted a new variety of hard red spring wheat that has a very distinct color.

Our green garbanzo field is along side our reddish color wheat and the neighbors
golden wheat field

Here are two wheat fields along side each other, the reddish color
is our hard red spring wheat along side the normal golden color

Once again, thanks for stopping by and email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have questions.  All my best, Gayle

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Feeding America, Day 7 of Harvest 2011

Wednesday was a better day for our harvest crew and below are short videos of our day.   We finished the field and moved over to the next 300 acre field to harvest.  The weather forecast is for sunny and hot temps, so all is good in our little harvest world.

A view of what a loaded semi truck looks like just before heading off
to unload at the grain terminal

As always, thanks for stopping by and email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have questions or comments (or post a comment too).  All my best, Gayle

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Feeding America, Day 6 of Harvest 2011

Well my friends, after moving back down to the Tammany farm, we again got "greened out", which is farmer lingo for wheat that has too high a moisture count for the grain terminals to accept it.  That definitely puts a crimp in our harvest plans for the day.  So Tuesday, August 16 we will not be harvesting and the crew will spray Round-up on weeds, cut thistles and other odd projects while we wait and hope for the grain to ripen a bit more and the moisture count to reach the acceptable level.  Farmer Joe was saying he didn't know who was more frustrated, the farmers or the grain elevator staff, as the farmers want to harvest their crops and the grain terminal staff have the difficult task of holding their ground and not accepting wheat that is above the moisture ceiling level, which is 13%.  At the grain elevators, each truck load is carefully tested for its moisture content and no one wants to return back to the field with a loaded truck because the warehouse will not accept the grain, but that is sometimes the case (but it is rare). (To clarify -  depending on the grain terminal, they usually will accept the grain that is above moisture count, but the farmer will get docked {sort of like a really stiff "discount"}, our combines have the technology to determine the moisture count so we are aware of  the moisture content of the grain).  The reasons why terminals don't want to accept moist grain is to protect their wheat inventory from rotting, bugs or fire as moist grain can mold, or create a bug infestation, as well produce heat and become combustible.  So it was a frustrating and disappointing day for all, but as Scarlett O'Hara says, tomorrow is another day.

From my Twitter account, I just came across a YouTube video of the Urban Wheat Harvest project that we participated in last year in Washington DC. This was to help educate urban America how a wheat plant develops and shows the stages of wheat and how it ends up in products you find in a grocery store, this project was sponsored by WheatWorld, so take a look and enjoy.

As always, thanks for stopping by and email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or post a comment. All my best,  Gayle

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Feeding America, Day 5 of Harvest 2011

On Friday we finished the Genesee rim wheat field and we were pleased with the yield of 109 bushels of wheat to the acre.

A view of the combine unloading the wheat from its auger
into the waiting grain cart
The prior and first field harvested (from the Tammany farm) yielded 96 bushels, and that was a record as it is one of our drier fields with less rain fall. These numbers are very welcome as we have had to incur extra expense in either additional fertilizer and/or spraying the crop to stop the Rust disease so it is really nice to see the bigger yields.

So the crew moved back down with our mini parade of farm equipment.  Although I was hoping for some shots on the narrow steep gravel road, it probably would have been too difficult to do that, so Cody our hired-man took a short video clip (below) closer to our Tammany farm.

Farmer Joe's pick-up with the oversize load sign and
pulling the combine header behind
As the combine header is too large (40') it must be removed from the combine each time we move equipment from field to field.  The header is loaded onto a special trailer and pulled behind the pick-up which is the flagging vehicle.

A couple of our semi trucks that will be driven down to the next field

The field that we moved too needed to ripen a bit more, so we were shut down for the week-end.  Typically we don't get week-ends off during harvest, but that is how it worked out.  The crew is hoping to be able to get back on the combines and tractors and harvest more winter wheat first thing Monday morning.

As always, thanks for stopping by and if you have questions or comments, please email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or post a comment.  Stay tuned for more on the Anderson harvest.  All my best, Gayle

Friday, August 12, 2011

Feeding America, Day 4 of Harvest 2011

Today we are harvesting Hard Red Winter wheat up on the Genesee rim.  Farmer Joe was making this video from his phone, so the quality is not  as clear (sorry).   It was a hectic day for him as he was fixing an oil leak on his combine... and in his haste to get things fixed & back into the field,  his camera was left in the pick-up.  As Farmer Joe narrates, the wheat is yielding well, but the protein content for this particular kind of wheat is not quite at the optimum level, which will affect the price the farmer will get for the crop.  This wheat is graded on it's protein count.


Different kinds of wheat are grown and used for different kinds of baking, so here is a quick run down:

• Hard Red Spring – Hard, brownish, high-protein wheat used for bread and hard baked goods. Bread Flour and high-gluten flours are commonly made from hard red spring wheat..

• Hard Red Winter – Hard, brownish, mellow high-protein wheat used for bread, hard baked goods and as an adjunct in other flours to increase protein in pastry flour for pie crusts. Some brands of unbleached all-purpose flours are commonly made from hard red winter wheat alone.

• Soft Red Winter – Soft, low-protein wheat used for cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, and muffins. Cake flour, pastry flour, and some self-rising flours with baking powder and salt added, for example, are made from soft red winter wheat.

• Hard White – Hard, light-colored, opaque, chalky, medium-protein wheat planted in dry, temperate areas. Used for bread and brewing.

• Soft White – Soft, light-colored, very low protein wheat grown in temperate moist areas. Used for pie crusts and pastry. Pastry flour, for example, is sometimes made from soft white winter wheat.

As always, thanks for stopping by and email me if you have questions or comments at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or post a comment too.  All  my best, Gayle

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Feeding America, Day 3 of Harvest 2011

What can we say?  We like "red machines" on the Anderson Farm
Day 3 of winter wheat harvest ended with us finishing our first field down at the Tammany farm.  The weight tickets have not been added up yet for us to know what this field yielded, but it was enough to keep 3 semi trucks busy all day.  Having enough semi-trucks is important as time is money and it is not efficient or wise to keep a combine lingering in the field waiting to be able to unload the grain.   Typically we will have either Farmer Joe or Jay in his combine, then the other farmer will drive one of the other semi trucks, while Cody, our hired man, will drive the other combine.  We also will have Kirk, the hired truck driver with his semi truck out in the field as well.  The two combines keep Ryan, who drives the grain-cart busy as the combines will unload grain (as shown in yesterday’s video) into the cart, and then Ryan will dump his loaded grain cart into one of the semi trucks. 
This is one of several fields that we farm and it is 37 miles from our main farm.  The climate is warmer and milder by about 10 degrees and thus this area is usually the first to be harvested.  As the other Tammany wheat fields are not ready, we had to move the equipment up to another field closer to Genesee.  Moving from field to field is like a mini parade of farm equipment (minus the crowds, confetti & candy), 2 combines, 1 tractor pulling a grain cart, 2 or 3 semi trucks plus our pick-ups.  The normal driving time from one farm to another is about 1 hour, but when moving equipment at speeds of 15-20 mph, you can easily add another 1 ½ hours to that time.  To get to the next  field, we will go up a steep gravel canyon road and one of the pick-ups will flag for us to alert other vehicles on the road  that we are en route as often times there is no place to pull over and the equipment takes up the entire gravel road.  (Next time the farmer promises to have a video clip of this mini parade).

The video clip above shows Ryan blowing off the combine before we move out of the field, and as Farmer Joe narrates - 2 things are important: 1) keeping the wheat chaff cleaned off prevents it catching on fire and 2) sanitation purposes so we don't infect other fields with any foreign or unwelcome weed seed. Some of the weeds that are common to the Tammany area are not up in our area and therefore, we do not want to be a "carrier" and contaminate our other fields.

Ryan blowing off the equipment.  Proper eye, ear & breathing protection
are mandatory safety requirements on our farm
As this area is in a lower elevation than where we live, reptiles can sometimes be seen.  Ewwwww, as you can tell, I am not a fan of snakes and glad it wasn't me that discovered this little surprise.
A rattle snake.... that had been run over and was found next to the
combine just before we were heading out to move.
 As always, thanks for stopping by and please email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have any questions.  I love posted comments too.  Stay tuned for more on our harvest.  All my best, Gayle

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Feeding America Day 2 of Harvest 2011

Day 2 of the winter wheat harvest went better for our crew and we were able to get into the field after lunch.  Above is actual video that Farmer Joe took on his camera.  The yields look good, some parts of the fields are yielding better than others, so until we harvest the entire field, we will not know what the average bushel to acre is, but we anticipate it being good.

Here is another video that showing Farmer Joe unloading the combine into the grain cart.  As the farmer said in the video, he is unloading the grain from the combine into the grain cart which is pulled by a tractor (and driven by Ryan) of which it will then be unloaded into a waiting semi-truck.  Once the semi is full it will head to the grain terminals which are located on the Port of Lewiston.
Ryan (sitting) and Cody on hand to help the mechanic if needed
while repairs are being made to one of the combines

The semi-trucks in the field waiting to be loaded
 As I've said before in my blogs, it takes a lot of equipment to feed America.

Farmer Joe and his big red combine
Thanks for stopping by and please email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com if you have questions, or post a comment.  Thanks and keep watching for more updates on the wheat harvest.  All my best, Gayle

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feeding America, Day 1 of Harvest 2011

It’s harvest time and there is a certain smell in the air that I can’t explain, but it is fresh and earthy.  Farmer Joe was excited to get into the field and begin cutting, (it’s a lot like the first day of school as for excitement level), and so as I packed his lunch, the dog and I sent him off with well wishes..... 

Josie, the spoiled dog, is the "tester" of the lunch meat, her favorite job!
She likes to make sure it is the best & tastiest for her beloved  master

Lunch box in hand, sipping the last cup of coffee
Farmer Joe is ready to head out for the day
The harvest crew that I will be talking about are, Farmers Joe & Jay along with Cody
(our hired-man), Ryan (our seasonal help who drives the tractor & load-out wagon) and Kirk, who drives his own semi-truck, along with our fleet to take the grain into the terminals.   Around noon I called to check to see how things were going and found out, the job of feeding America got off to a slow start.  After cutting our first semi-truck load of winter wheat, the moisture testing came in at 13% which is the highest amount that the grain elevator will take.  This is not a good thing to be at the highest level right at the beginning.  Moisture samples indicated the rest of the field was measuring at 14% so we had to shut the operations down for the day. =(  We were experiencing a few mechanical issues, so the combine repairman was called out to our field to fix an issue with Farmer’s Jay combine.  Farmer Joe was fixing some other minor mechanical issues on his machine as well so we will hope to get into the field later on today (Tuesday, August 9th).  The forecast is for sunny and hot temps, which can mean that the moisture percentage will decrease and be in the acceptable range for the warehouse to take the wheat.  Farmer Joe took his camera and plans on getting pictures and videos that I can upload for you, so stay tuned.   As always, thanks for stopping by and if you have question or comments, please feel free to email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or post a comment as well.  All my best, Gayle

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Waiting for Harvest

Good Morning everyone!  All is quiet on the home front for now....
A view of my lavender and the wheat field that starts just
inches from where our yard stops and the fields start
Farmers understand the art of patience…. as everything we do depends on the weather, and we all know - you can't hurry it up or make it do what you want.  The late cold spring delayed the planting of the crops and the cool summer weather has meant that harvesting the crops is also late by about 2 weeks.  So here it is the 1st of August and not a combine in the field.  We are hoping to move our combines down to the Tammany farm which is 37 miles away from our main farm here in Genesee.  In normal years we would be about ½ way through harvest down there and gearing up to move up to Genesee to begin harvesting the home place around August 10.  But this year we are hoping to begin on Monday, August 8th.  But as Farmer Joe says, a late harvest usually means better crops, so he is patiently waiting for the crops to ripen.  So the combines are out of the machine sheds, have had a good checking over and are ready to go once the crops ripen.  Before the combines roll out, I wanted to take a few pictures,  so last night I took out my trusty 1950’s bike with its fat tires that makes navigating the wash-boardy gravel roads easier and rode the ¾ of a mile over to the farm shop.

The crops are starting to ripen, here you can see the parts of the
field are starting to turn golden, but lots of green can be seen

Here is Farmer Jay's combine parked by the shop

A view from underneath the "header", the tines shown help gather
up the wheat as it is cut  by the row of shears on the bottom of the header

Farmer Joe's combine in the forefront and Farmer Jay's combine in the back

One of the Anderson farm semi trucks parked by the farm shop and
waiting to be called into action once harvest can begin

Another view of Farmer Joe's combine by the barn and
shown in front of the garbanzo field. This field will be ready
for harvest mid to late September
So as I peddled home, I stopped to take a picture of our house from the road (below). This is our neighbor's field and again you can see the gold and green colors of the wheat.   I love harvest, but I know once it begins the days fly by in a flurry of activity and before I know it, Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  On our farm, once harvest begins, we will harvest wheat in August, then the garbanzo bean harvest is on its heals and harvested in September.  In October is when the Fall seeding takes place and usually takes the entire month.  Then once all the equipment is put away, it seems like it is almost time for Thanksgiving.... whew!

Our house in the middle of the wheat fields

When I looked the opposite way, here is the entrance to the church that we attend and were married in, where our daughters were baptized,  where oldest daughter Jen was married and where  the youngest daughter  Kaitlyn hopes to be married as well.  As you can see this beautiful church has very special ties to our family. 
My bike parked at the entrance of our beloved church

Genesee Valley Lutheran Church, a very photographed
church with it's picturesque setting
As always, glad you stopped by and if you have questions or comments, feel free to email me at idahofarmwife@gmail.com or leave a comment.  Stay tuned as I'll be posting more pictures of harvest once it arrives.  All my best, Gayle