Friday, October 21, 2011

An American Farm Family Telling Our Story

Hooray! With great pleasure I have added the video from our 3rd annual “Dinner on the Farm” that Farmer Joe and I host during two week-ends in September. This is a free event and our way of connecting the farmer to the consumer. My friend and former co-worker, Camille Rigby taped & edited this magnificent footage from one of our dinners held last month. The images she captured show the true quintessence of what I try to say in every blog: that we love farming, we are an American farm family who makes our living providing food for the consumer, and we want to tell you our story as well as answer your questions and concerns about American agriculture.

I’ve been blogging about our farm for the last 2 or so years and this blog has taken on a life of its own. It shapes the way I think and view things around the farm. Farmer Joe and our hired-man, Cody have joined with me in giving you a “hands on insight” of what we do, day in and day out.

One of my goals with this blog is to be able to have a broader audience and give the consumer that connection to where their food is grown and who grows it. I also hope to someday garner the interest from one of the major women’s magazines and have a regular column that answers questions from the consumer about where their food comes from. So far Better Homes & Gardens, Country Living and a few others have repeatedly turned me down or just ignored my suggestion and offer to write for them. So I will keep doing what I am doing and am thankful for each and everyone one my blog readers. =)

In December, I will be in Chicago to be on a forum for Top Producer’s Executive Women in Agriculture to talk about being an “Advocate for Ag”, and if you have something you would like me to share about what you like most from this blog, please post a comment or email me at . Thanks and as always, appreciate you stopping by. All my best, Gayle

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seeding Wheat the "No Till" Way, Fall Work 2011

On our farm, we are no till farmers, which basically means we seed our crops directly into the soil with minimal disruption of the ground. This is a soil saving process as well as a cost saving one for us and we feel, a better carbon footprint for the environment.  It takes special equipment (which is expensive) and, while we, and many other farmers in the area utilize this practice, not all farmers buy into the "no till" way of doing things.  It basically comes down to what is best for your own farm.

Here is a short video of Cody (our hired man) in the tractor pulling a shredder that breaks up the wheat stubble into little pieces.  It is sort of like composting and it helps the crops and the soil by helping keep weeds down, keeping moisture in the ground, preventing erosion of the soil and making it a better condition for the tiny wheat seed to grow.

Hot off the press from Farmer Joe..... a look at seeding wheat. 

Thanks for stopping by, email me if you have quesitons at or feel free to post a comment.  All my best, Gayle

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall Seeding

Just as the weather has seasons, so does farming.  Well besides the inside farm joke that "the only seasons we  know are before harvest, harvest and after harvest",  we actually do have 3 distinct farm seasons and we call them "spring work, harvest, and fall work".   And our life, both personal and business, revolves around those farm seasons.  In fact I can still remember (27 years ago) being  newly engaged to the farmer and finding out the that the only months that would not interfere with farming were November - February..... so we had a beautiful  winter wedding.   So when I say our personal lives revolve around farming, I am serious. =)

As I look out my kitchen window, all of the fields have now been harvested, the weather has turned from summer into fall and our new focus  is on getting 1/3 of our farm planted into winter wheat.   What does a typical day in the life of a farmer look like in Fall Work?  Well come along and I'll show you.

But first, here is a picture of Cody washing up Farmer Joe's combine before it gets put away for the year.

The combine is put away without it's header
Farmer Jay doing maintenance  on the seeding drill which puts down fertilizer & seed

Anhydrous ammonia truck filling the tanks on the tractor
And Farmer Joe explains......

A still shot of the "nurse truck" being filled

Each year, to aid the University of Idaho, we set aside some acreage for the wheat lab to do test plots in actual  field conditions.  Here are two staff members plotting out the areas for different wheat varieties they want to grow down at the Tammany farm.
Test plots being staked out

And finally (yea) it rained. The ground has been rock hard, so the rain was very welcome and it will make the process of seeding go much easier.

As always, thanks for stopping in, and now you get to see what a fall seeding day looks like. If you want to see what the farmwife does while the farmer is working, check out At Home on the Farm page.

Feel free to email me at or leave a comment.  All my best, Gayle