Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sitting on Pins & Needles

Greetings! Last week we gained another great son-in-law into our family, and while I'm working on doing a blog about what a farm wedding looks like, I wanted to give you a "dinner plate update" (i.e. crop report).

If your mom was like mine, you most likely heard the phrase “don’t count your chickens until they have hatched” …. And that is why I titled my blog “Sitting on Pin and Needles” because our carefully tended crops are susceptible to weather destroying them in one fell swoop. And are we nervous?? Yes, but always optimistic.

So far, we have received adequate rain and the wheat looks good.....

But it also meant that the wheat was susceptible to a disease called "RUST" and therefore, extra expense was incurred  as we had to have it sprayed by the crop duster to keep it healthy.... click here if unable to view the videos

The crop duster drops a white paper flag to mark where he has been in the field
For all you garbanzo fans, the plants are doing okay, blooming and hopefully producing lots of pods.

This is what a mustard and/or canola crop looks like, bright yellow in contrast to the rest of the various green fields growing around our area. 

Although we don't have hay, here is a short video of it being bailed just a few miles from our farm

By now most of the hay has been bailed and picked up out of the field

Here is a video of the spring wheat as a storm was blowing in.  I was standing on my back deck filming the swaying wheat... watching it is sort of like watching a fire in the fireplace, mesmerizing

While the thunderstorm missed our home farm, we learned this morning that the wind and rain "lodged" the barley that Farmer Joe is shown (below) standing in down at our Southern Tammany farm.  As you can see, it was chest high, now the crop was knocked down to the ground.  Although it can still be harvested, it means that the combine header will have to be ground level and that is not the best as it means the header could pick up a rock, which would damage the equipment. 

Even with the threat of crop diseases and thunderstorms, we know we are blessed, and that many other farmers (even in the very Southern part of our State) and all across the USA have not been so lucky and have had to helplessly watch their crops wither and die in the parched soil.  We have all experienced drought, hail and other crops hazards, so that is why the Farm Bill is a critical part of keeping our farmers with a financial safety net, because in a split second we may have our paycheck completely wiped out by a force of nature.  So as harvest approaches in the next few weeks, we will be anxiously watching over our crops and keeping that eternal flame of hope in our farming hearts as, call us crazy, but we love what we do. 

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and by all means shoot me an email at or leave a comment.  All my best, Gayle.


  1. Kudos to you guys for farming. Such a tough job!

  2. Gayle, another great farming post! I wish you were writing for Grit or Mother Earth News... I would love to point them towards your blog! People need to read about this.

  3. Gayle -- Been hearing about severe thunderstorm watches for the Idaho panhandle. . .hope and pray that all is well with all you farmers out there. Praying you don't get too much damage.
    Tonia, in Monitor, WA