Hello friends

I’ve been really thinking about my purpose of having a blog – and I’ve come to a few conclusions.

I want to focus on being a mom and connecting with other mothers via blogs. I want to intertwine agriculture into the blog, but I don’t want it to be the primary focus.

Visit www.PlowingThroughLife.com to follow my life’s adventures. :-)

I’ll still post stories about little buddy, so be sure to follow!

A Superhero on the Farm

I took some “vacation” time off work to drill soybeans (beans) in May and June.  One day just to change it up, I brought Superman along.  I asked him to fly up and see how many beans we had left in the seed boxes. 

Or the honest version is that I was so tired from the long days that when my kid said, “I want to wear my Supermans [pjs].” I was 1) too tired to argue 2) kind of excited that I didn’t have to get him dressed.  One less thing to do before getting to the field.  So we rolled with it.

 Well I was rolling, looks like he was chewing.  I have told him that we eat protein, like pork, not our shirt.

Checking the beans again, or maybe we filled the grain drill when this picture was taken.  My mom came and got him out of the field and when he reappeared later in the day the pj shirt was missing.  I don’t know if he ate it or my mom changed it.

This is the tractor and grain drill that we used to plant soybeans.  The soybeans will be crushed creating oil and bean meal.  The bean meal is high in protein and will be used in animal feed, likely swine or poultry.  The oil may be used for frying oil, made into biodiesel or many other things.  Writing this made me tired again, so please comment if you know other stuff that we have courtesy of soybeans :)

Chicken Entertainment

Farmers obviously take care of their animals everyday, so I’m not sure whether to be proud or embarrassed that I went a few weeks without so much as a glance at those chickens.  Don’t worry, my mom and kid were on it.

I think my mom might be buying extra bread and waiting on some to go stale so that she can give it to the kid to carry down to the chicken pen, tear up and toss at the birds. 

Chickens eating bread

It’s dual entertainment.  Both the kid and the chickens are pretty fun to watch during the bread feedings.  The chickens get pretty excited, I also get excited to see my little buddy, so I’m not sure if it’s him or the stale bread. 

Note the chickens always have a corn and soybean based feed in the long silver tray and water in the white waterer at the bottom of the pic.  Enough with pondering why stale bread is exciting.  Now I know what my mom has for a few weeks, the laughs from watching this are well worth an extra loaf of bread.

The Fate of an Old Pig Barn

I was in third grade and my dad was doing some type of building or improvement project around the farm about every year.  This was the year he built what we call “the new barn”.  The name just stuck even though it was only the newest barn on the farm for a few years.

I remember being around and helping a very little bit when it was built.  I remember shoveling a lot of pig manure out of the back corners of the barn once it was completed and filled with pigs.  It was supposed to be designed so that they didn’t go in the back corners; there were a few design flaws.  No problem, there was cheap labor…my brother and I.  I remember the expectation was that we would shovel the poop out of the back of this barn every time we did chores. 

One time my dad paid me for working.  He asked if I cleaned out the back of the barn.  I said yes.  I had not (this time only did I decide to skip it), I figured pigs poop everyday, he wouldn’t notice the next day right?

Well he was riding his four-wheeler around checking on things and happened to double check the back of the barn that I was supposed to clean.  I lied.  I knew that was wrong, but it wasn’t until realizing that I was caught in the lie that I really started to worry. 

He didn’t give me a big speech, there was no grounding, there wasn’t even yelling.  He made me give him $5 back.  Yes, I had to pay back the money that I was supposed to have earned.  This was one of the single most distinctive punishments that can clearly remember.  My old man effectively performed his parenting duties, instilling life lessons, etc. that day.

In the past ten years the size of the swine herd has been decreasing.  In that process the barn with some design flaws (the new barn) was taken out of commission.  Until the events of this spring brought new life to an old pig barn…

Chisel Plowing

About the chickens…yeah, I’m just up to talking about them today.  However, there has been a big development in their housing that I will post later in the week.

So, we’ll cover some of the other stuff that’s been happening on the farm.  We’ll start with rain.  It’s rained a lot here.  We got a couple days without rain and tried to get in the fields a couple weeks ago.  The fields need more time to dry and for the water to drain, but more rain was in the forecast, so we tried to get in anyway.

We began the day helping my mom in the pig barn. 

Once the pigs chores were done we got to chisel plow, in the mud. 

 

The helper didn’t worry too much about mud though, he still enjoyed the ride, and the banana.

Chisel plowing is deep tillage.  In the winter time my parents give their pigs straw bedding to lie on and provide a layer of insulation from the cold.  The bedding must be changed at least every day, sometimes two times per day.  That straw which ends up with some manure in it is then spread on the field.  The chisel plow helps to better incorporate that manure (which is organic fertilizer that plants need to grow) into the dirt.

We lost a piece of the plow in the field, but found it lying in the previous pass after making a round.  We drove to the shop and got some help putting new bolts in the shovel to hold it on.

The helper does not miss a second of the action.  I love that he watches so intently.  And I love that he tries to help fix things.  One of these days he’s going to get good at fixing things.  And after that he’ll get really good.  I look forward to all of this because then he can help with my list of things that need fixed :)

When Things Go From Bad to Worse

Apparently too much rain, which has prevented my dad from getting in the field to plant corn and soybeans, is truly driving him crazy. 

15 new chicks

In the Back of My Mind

I was set up as an exhibitor at a Taste of Home cooking show and focused on promoting pork.  Women are continuing to line up outside the door as I attempt to put a finishing decorative fan shape to the pork recipes adorning the pork tablecloth set up in front of and next to pork displays. 

The women start flooding in and surrounding my table as I go into auto-pilot mode.  I’ve got the key phrases to convince people to eat more pork on the tip of my tongue. 

These chicks are everywhere grabbing pork recipes, pork cooking instructions, registering by e-mail to win a new crock-pot.   AHHHHH! 

It was bound to happen.  The pressure of these events is pretty high with chicks AAAHHH. 

It has nothing to do with the women.  That’s part of my purpose in life right?  I was partially made to help improve people’s lives by empowering them with quick and easy recipe ideas featuring the most underutilized mainstream protein.  And I’m fine with all of that. 

But I remembered the chick thing.  I’m the mother of a chicken farmer.  It’s the chicks that my buddy stayed behind to watch over.  They diverted my attention from the task at hand a few times.  Can I do the best job saying, “Eating properly cooked pork will change your life,” when my kid’s at home with chickens? 

 

Check out the smile on that chick, I mean woman’s face.  She didn’t know pork was safe to eat when slightly pink in the center until stopping by my booth.  Hers wasn’t the only life I improved this week, so I guess I’ll keep at it.

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