Friday, October 29, 2010

Desperately Dry

In an effort to help our crops to hang on until the much hoped and prayed for rain, David sprayed the fields with fish fertilizer. Everything was looking so parched, and we hoped that a little boost of nutrients would help them to hang on just a little bit longer.

The sunflowers, drooping pathetically in the heat.

Our popcorn plot. It doesn't look like we'll be getting much of anything from it.

If you squint hard you'll see the amaranth.
Lesson learned; don't plant little test plots along the tree line. When the weather gets dry, the trees will suck up every bit of moisture. That leaves your test plot looking like it went through a toaster.

Full Bloom

Growing Some More

Pods are forming near the end of September! It's exciting to watch! David will count the number of pods per plant, multiply by the number of beans per pod (2-3), multiply that by the number of plants per acre, and come up with a bushel per acre yield estimate.

I'll admit that I just stand there and nod. I'm not a numbers person. Even with a calculator in my hand, I'm still not sure unless I've run the numbers through it a few times.

More and more sunflowers are opening. So pretty!

Early in the morning is a good time to do some hand weeding. The weeds aren't bad in our fields, but we don't want those stray pokeberries dyeing our soybeans at harvest time!

Our brave assistants thought it was more comfortable to huddle in the truck with blankets than to get out and help!

Getting Dry

By the middle of September, our beans and sunflowers were starting to get seriously dry. Daily prayers for rain became common in our house. Even the children caught the refrain.
Side by side in the field.

Being dry didn't keep them from forming big buds and blooming! It was so exciting to see the first blooms!

Our Cows

Happy heifers.

Coming when called. David loves doing the chores. And the girls know him well now.

"Hey girl!"

David likes to talk to them as they come in for feed. And of course, the children do too.

A nice looking beef steer.

Healthy calves, and mama cows.

Moving heifers to a greener pasture. It's nice when they're tame enough that we can just 'kind of rig up a fence' to move them, and it works just fine.

Some of us prefer to stay on top of the truck, where it's safer, just to be on the safe side.

Making Hay - Square Bales

After a long and busy summer, I will make an attempt to catch up a bit on blogging!

We made about a hundred square bales around the first of September. The whole family went along to get them loaded. David was the primary hoister/loader.
Melvin helped stack on the trailer. Josiah and I drove and supervised.

Benji and Katri managed to roll a few bales over to the trailer too!
It was fun riding up high on the stack while I drove (slowly) to the barn!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Growing Fast - One Month

Sunflowers, now more than knee-high.

An assassin bug, who is thankful for organic farmers!

The sunflower buds are just starting to show!

Dewy soybean leaves.

Blossoms! Hooray!

The beans are just starting to 'canopy'. That means that the leaves are meeting across the rows, and shading out the weeds. They also conserve moisture better at this stage.

It's hard to beat an early morning walk together while the children are still snoozing!

Growing - Three Weeks

Those soybeans really bush out fast!

The experimental plot of popcorn is looking nice! I think it may be enough to
last us through the winter.
And hopefully next year, we'll be able to plant enough for you too!

Hmm, the amaranth is looking rather bug-eaten. We'll need to do some research on that before we plant several acres of it next year.

The sunflowers are really popping up nicely!


Prevention is the best cure. And weeds grow fast!

Growing Fast - One Week