Monday, August 13, 2012

Farm to Fork Harvest Report Days 13-17

We've had a few relatively minor breakdowns on Farmer Joe's combine, and unless the repair is really bad, the service repairman comes out to the field to do the repairs.  Farmer Jay has also experienced a breakdown or two as well and thankfully nothing catastrophic.

This truck is like a mobile shop on wheels

The repairman must have nerves of steel, as he knows
that the farmer can't harvest until he gets the combine running again 
 Here is a video (click here if unable to view) that Farmer Joe took that shows what  lodged barley looks like in the field.

The wheat at the Genesee farm was ripe enough to begin harvesting, so this meant the the crew would be split up, and Farmer Joe moved his combine along with one tractor, grain cart and 2 semi-trucks up to the main farm.  Farmer Jay along with the other half of the crew will remain down there until they get the rest of the wheat harvested at the Southern Tammany farm.  Below is a video that Farmer Joe took while making the move.  Normal driving time between the farms is one hour, but with slow moving equipment, we usually plan on 2 1/2 hours - so a good chunk of traveling time.

Last week, my blog caught the eye of 2 different people and I was invited  to do a guest blog for  Faces of Agriculture. This site features other farm bloggers like myself who all tell their Ag story in their own way. A great collective spot to see the other faces of those whose job is to feed the world.  The other was a writer, Heather Villa, for Inland Northwest magazine who was doing a story on "highlighting the people behind farms, how food connects people, and seasonal/local eating".   A few of the questions she asked were did we export our crops? And if so, how many people did we think we feed (millions)?  Both myself and Pacific Northwest Farmer's Co-op (PNW) didn't know how to quantify the numbers fed, but we agreed that yes, we do feed millions of people, and PNW advised they anticipate exporting 70 million pounds of legumes and 12 million bushes of wheat to 20 different countries.  Some of the USA's best wheat buyers like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines are loyal customers who demand  and expect high quality products (a good comparison would be like the Nordstrom or Saks Fifth Avenue customer) and then there are customers like Egypt who are more price conscientious rather than quality driven (more like the Walmart customers) and will buy what they need from whomever will sell at the lowest prices. USA's crop quality is consistently excellent, but farmer's do not get to set their price for the crops, the market conditions do that, and for the last 3 or 4 years, they have been good, but that is not always the case.  As one farmer friend put it, "It is like working all year long, tallying your hours that  you put in and then the buyer will tell you what he will pay you for all your year-long work." 

As for my baking addition...  well my impatience with the zucchini in my garden forced me to go ask a neighbor if they had any.... I wanted the really big kind (you know the monsters that you will jokingly put in a friends unlocked car??) =)  So with a monster zucchini in hand, I tried out the Zucchini Cobbler Bar recipe that I swear tastes like apple pie.  I also tried out a White Zucchini Cake that still needs a few tweaks - but both will be shared with my favorite public office (local Sheriff's Office, of whom I've dubbed my "taste testers" ).  The Zucchini Cobbler will show up on my OMG Dessert page in the next day or two and once I get the desired results from the White Zucchinni cake, I will post that one as well.  (Note: it's good to have friends smarter than myself - as my friend Kristi found a way that I can make "printable recipes" so that will help those of you who want to print them out.) So keep checking those pages as I work on that little conversion project.

I still  have more pictures to upload/videos on our harvest progress so hope you will make sure and stop on by.  In the next 2 or 3 days Farmer Jay and his crew should probably be finished with the wheat down at the Southern Tammany farm and then will move up here to help Farmer Joe.  Talk to you soon, and I'm just an email away at so drop me a line or leave a comment.  All my best, Gayle