The Evolution of a Modern-Day Farm Wife

Archive for the ‘Harvest Time’ Category

Three Months Later…

Unless you follow me on Twitter or the blog’s Facebook page, August 22nd was the last time you heard from me.  We had started picking corn.  It would be the beginning of a long fall harvest season.

Fast forward three months and we have completed our 2014 fall harvest.

Hallelujah!

These last three months we’ve picked dryland and irrigated corn, harvested soybeans, hosted visitors, cut the grain sorghum, and sown the 2015 crop of wheat.

The final night of our fall harvest, before it began to snow.

The final night of our fall harvest, before it began to snow.

School had just begun when I last posted, and now we have just a few short weeks until our Christmas break.

The weather has gone from summer temperatures to snow falling on the ground.

Banks and I have delivered meals to the fields, graded essays, taken rides in the combines, attended football games, practiced the art of riding a bike, and shot a lot of photos and videos.

We also ran through bean rows on occasion.

We also ran through bean rows on occasion.

Some of those activities can be found online.

You see, I’ve taken to micro-blogging these last three months.

If you do have Facebook, feel free to “like” the blog’s page.  It’s been a way for me to post pictures and short explanations of what’s been going on at Baldwin Farms while I’ve been juggling work, a busy toddler, and wife duties.

Harvesting the soybeans on a crisp fall day.

Harvesting the soybeans on a crisp fall day.

As the temperatures continue to cool down, we’ll be spending more time inside.

More time inside should allow me to get back on the blog wagon.

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Guessing Games

It’s a guessing game…

Wheat Harvest 2014

Wheat Harvest 2014

The 2014 wheat harvest has entered McPherson County, Kansas.

heydude1

Combines are running in fields around the Inman area and the harvest continues to slowly move north.

In fact, there were combines running just a few miles south of us yesterday afternoon.

HEYDUDE2

Our combines have yet to enter the fields to begin our harvest, let alone run any test cuts.

When will our harvest begin, you might ask??

Well, harvest is in our immediate future, but your guess is as good as mine!

HEYDUDE3

That’s why I’d like you join me in the great guessing game that takes place every summer leading up to wheat harvest.

Here’s how to play…

  • Leave your guess–including the date and time– when you think we will deliver our first load of the 2014 wheat harvest to the elevator.
  • You can leave your guess in the comments below OR go to the Alive & Well in Kansas Facebook page and leave your guess there.
  • One entry person person, but feel free to share with your friends 🙂
  • We’ll use the ticket we receive at the elevator as the official timestamp.
  • The winner will get some yummy Kansas goodies (including products made from wheat) mailed to them.

Be sure to “like”  the Alive & Well in Kansas Facebook page  to stay up-to-date on the 2014 wheat harvest at Baldwin Farms and to see if you have the best guess.

-Kim

 

 

Wheat Harvest Anticipation

Wheat Harvest Anticipation

It’s getting closer and closer to the 2014 wheat harvest for everyone in our area.

As we anticipate the beginning of our 2014 wheat harvest here at Baldwin Farms, here’s a little video I created  to help get you ready for our harvest as well.

Think of it as a pre-game warm up 🙂 .

 

The Kansas wind has been blowing these last few days, which is helping dry out everything from the wheat to the soil.

There are reports that the combines are beginning to fire up south of us, and local elevators are reporting that farmers are beginning to bring in wheat samples to test moisture percentages.

Last year I wrote about why we have to patiently wait until the conditions are just right to begin harvesting our wheat and why it’s important to run test cuts and take wheat samples in to get tested.  You can read more about it by clicking here.

While we’re waiting, the guys have been doing maintenance work on the machines to prepare for harvest.  We’ve also been busy in the kitchen baking cookies and other sweet treats to deliver to our crew once they begin cutting.

Wheat harvest is one of my most favorite times of the year.

Luckily, since school is out by the time harvest begins, I get to experience wheat harvest in all its glory!

To me, it’s an extended holiday.

Family and friends come home to help.  Some take vacation days.

Multiple generations spend time together working toward a common goal of getting the crop in.

There’s stress like summer storms that threaten the process.

There’s great anticipation as we complete a cycle that we began the previous fall.

And there’s a real sense of community.

Everyone is focussed on the same thing and everyone has a job and responsibility to help make this process run as smoothly as possible.

Be sure to subscribe to Alive & Well in Kansas to get the latest on what’s going on here at the farm this summer–including the latest from harvest.

subscribe

 

We’ve also created a Facebook page that you can “like” to follow the latest updates from the farm.

Be sure to "like" the page for updates

Be sure to “like” the page for updates

 

Feel free to join us as we prepare for harvest!

-Kim

And That’s a Wrap!

I know we were cutting corn and soybeans in September.

I know we were cutting soybeans and milo in October.

I know we were cutting milo in November…until yesterday.

I don’t exactly remember when our fall harvest started, but I’m happy to report that we are officially done!

Just a few more rows to go!

The final rows!

This has been a long, busy fall.

Between school starting, a little boy toddling, wheat sowing, and a husband traveling, I’m thankful to wrap up this fall’s harvest.

It was time to be done.

Get that milo unloaded and sent to the elevator!

Get that milo unloaded and sent to the elevator!

School has kept me very busy this fall, but Banks and I have still been able to get out into the fields to visit Adam.

The Baldwin boys taking a break from sowing wheat.

The Baldwin boys taking a break from sowing wheat.

We’ve kept him company in the combine.

Riding in the combine.

Riding in the combine.

We’ve kept him company in the tractor.

CAUTION: Driver in Training

CAUTION: Driver in Training

We’ve kept him company in the fields.

Three generations: Only two chose to wear pants.

Three generations: Only two chose to wear pants.

This little boy enjoys spending time with his daddy–especially if it involves buttons to push, levers to pull, horns to honk, and wheels to turn.

Banks taking over the steering in a soybean field.

Banks taking over the steering in a soybean field.

Let me take over, Daddy!

Let me take over, Daddy!

We’ve delivered meals to the fields.

Meals to the field.

Meals to the field.

We’ve shuttled people to the fields.

We’ve sat in the car, rolled down the windows and watched the machines go through the fields.

This little boy can watch the machines go for hours.

This little boy can watch the machines go for hours.

We’ve also listened to the guys radio each other while eating Cheerios half naked in our living room.

Little man sitting underneath the radio listening to what's going on in the field.

Little man sitting underneath the radio listening to what’s going on in the field.

And now things will begin to slow down.

Cattle will need to be moved and fed this winter.

Projects around the house and on the farm will get done.

Wheat will continue to grow.

And we can all get some much needed rest before the next busy season rolls around.

Are We There Yet?

You know the scenario:

Family is taking a long car ride.

Parents in the front.

Kids in the back.

Everyone is smiling and happily singing their songs.

Then the kids start getting restless.

And in a whining, nasal sounding, annoying tone from the back of the car the question is asked:

“Aarrreee weee there yeeettttt?!?”

That’s where I’m at.

We’ve been harvesting wheat since Thursday, June 20th.

Let's get this wheat moved.

Let’s get this wheat moved.

I’ve been told that wheat harvest on Baldwin Farms takes 10 days.

Ten days.

Ten days!

Ten days?!

It is now July.

July.

July!

July?!

Adam has always said that the first day and the final day of harvest are the best while the rest is just a grind.

I get it, man.

I get it.

Hang in there, man.

Hang in there, man.

We have been so close to finishing up harvest this week BUT it’s rained just enough to keep us from finishing up in the fields.

It’s strange how you pray for rain all year and then when it finally does rain you’d rather it show up a little later–in this case because you want to finish harvest.

Cindy and I delivered the last meal to the last full field of wheat (at least for this year’s wheat harvest) on Wednesday.

We are down to clean-up cutting in a couple parts of a couple fields that were too wet when the combines went through the first time.

Getting closer to the end.

Getting closer to the end.

The harvest crew that we had helping just a week ago has started thinning out.

We’re down to running one combine.

We’re down to running one semi truck.

We’re back in some fields planting milo.

Large straw bales are now dotting the landscape that was–just a week ago–fields of waving wheat.

The swathing and baling crews have come in to transform the leftover wheat stubble into giant square bales.

The end of harvest is so close.

It’s about time.

My car is an absolute mess.

My laundry has piled up to scary heights.

My kitchen needs a serious cleaning.

My son is getting tired of getting tired in his carseat.

I'm a happy boy BUT you're pushing my limits, lady!

I’m a happy boy BUT you’re pushing my limits, lady!

My summer break is half over.

The 4th of July has passed.

I’ve completed a week of Vacation Bible School.

I want to see my husband again…in our house…at “normal” hours.

I delivered Wendy’s hamburgers and fries to the field this week.

Wendy’s.

Wendy’s!

Wendy’s?!

Don’t judge!

Wheat harvest needs to be over.

Are we there yet?!?!?

Waaaaaah.

And then I have to remind myself that the wheat pays the bills…

…And that we’ve been blessed with a great harvest this year…

…And that if we lived a little further west we would have been done with harvest long before now simply because we wouldn’t have a lot of wheat due to the drought.

So I tell myself to suck it up and to count our blessings.

Yes.

Yes, we are ALMOST there.

The Bright Side

You’ll never see the bright side unless you go through the storm.

The calm after the storm.

The calm after the storm.

The good news is:

The crew has the morning off…
There could’ve been a lot more damage…
Everyone is safe.

Yesterday afternoon we had one heck of a storm blow through that caused zero visibility at times, downed trees, power outages, property damage, increased heart rates (at least for me), and stress eating (again, at least for me).

We knew a storm was coming.

It was on radar.

Storm's coming.

Storm’s coming.

The combines were running.

Over the radio, Adam said that they could finish cutting the field they were in within 15 minutes.

They were racing the storm.

I was driving south to my in-law’s house to help Cindy pack up the evening meal to the field and all I could see to the north was a wall of dust.

Within minutes that wall reached us.

I think you can see from the video that it was pretty powerful…and stressful!!

It was calm after the storm.

But the damage was evident.

Snapped power line.

Snapped power line.

Flipped gravity wagon tangled with one of our augers.

Flipped gravity wagon tangled with one of our augers.

Damage at our local elevator.

Damage to a construction project at our local elevator.

Rearranged planes. (Photo by Jeff Smith, S & S Farms)

Rearranged planes. (Photo by Jeff Smith, S & S Farms)

Snapped corn stalks.

Snapped corn stalks.

Damaged uncut wheat.

Damaged uncut wheat.

The guys have been out today surveying the damage and cleaning up.

They’ll be walking fence lines later to make sure the cattle are in and stay in.

And maybe–just maybe–we’ll be able to start cutting wheat again later this afternoon.

All (little) Hands On Deck…

Everyone is here now to help get the 2013 wheat crop harvested.

My sister-in-law, Emily, and her sons arrived Sunday morning to help with harvest.

Rowan, Emily’s oldest son, was caught off guard last week when he was told over the phone that we had started wheat harvest.

All this little boy needs is a field of wheat, a combine and a bottle of water.

All this little boy needs is a field of wheat, a combine and a bottle of water.

He later told his mom, “Mom, they can’t start wheat harvest yet!”

When Emily asked him why they couldn’t start, Rowan replied, “They can’t harvest wheat yet! I’m not there!”

Emily had to assure Rowan that there would be plenty of wheat for him to cut once they did arrive.

Rowan has grown up in the combines.

Rowan watching Uncle Adam and Grandpa hook up the wheat header on one of the combines.

Rowan watching Uncle Adam and Grandpa hook up the wheat header on one of the combines.

He takes a special interest in wheat harvest.

Rowan takes a look at some straw.

Rowan takes a look at some straw.

There have been days when that little boy has climbed into the cab at the start of the day and not come inside until it’s long past his bedtime.

Come on, Uncle Adam, let's go cut some wheat!

Come on, Uncle Adam, let’s go cut some wheat!

If he needs to, he’ll take catnaps in the seat right next to his grandpa or Uncle Adam.

You can’t get him out of the machines.

Technically you can get him out to eat or to conference, but other than that he’s perfectly content.

Taking a short break from the combine to eat.

Taking a short break from the combine to eat.

He watches and takes in everything.

A serious discussion.

A serious discussion.

Luckily, Adam and Dwight have allowed him to be part of the harvest experience.

A serious discussion taking place.

A serious discussion taking place.

I really believe that if his legs were long enough, Rowan could probably operate a combine or the grain cart because of the shear number of hours this 5-year-old has put in over the years.

One of Rowan’s special jobs while in the combine is to operate the unloading auger.

When it’s time to unload the wheat into a grain cart, Rowan is responsible for getting the auger arm out and letting the wheat unload into the grain cart.

It’s a very important job.

Those buttons need to be handled with precision.

It’s no surprise that Rowan has been in the combines every chance he’s had since they arrived here on Sunday.

He was ready to cut wheat.

And luckily for him, there’s still plenty of wheat that needs to be cut.

Now that Rowan has arrived, we have a full crew and we can NOW get the rest of the wheat harvested!

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