Buck Up Buttercup!

It’s been a while (May–Yikes, why didn’t someone call the authorities for a courtesy check?!?! Seriously.) since I last posted anything to prove that I haven’t been abducted by aliens or attacked by rabid raccoons. I do, however, have an excuse—and I think it’s a valid one:  SCHOOL.

I’ve been busy writing final exams, hauling students to weekend contests, getting my hair done for prom, grading term papers, and trying to survive all of the end-of-the-school-year activities without going insane.

I survived—Praise the Lord!  And aside from having to go in for eight half-days to teach an enrichment video production “summer school” course, I’M ON SUMMER BREAK!

(insert Hallelujah Chorus here) 

I’m excited, of course, but I have a feeling that what I’ve known as “Summer Break” from previous years—laying poolside working on my tan, sleeping until whenever, watching Real Housewives marathons, reading all of the non-young adult books I want to read—might be a new experience since I’m now the wife of a farmer.  I’ve already begun to realize that while “Summer Break” for the vast majority of people in the United States means taking a break and relaxing, “Summer Break” on the farm is far from that.  In fact, summer on the farm is one of the busiest times of the year for us.

Now why didn’t anyone tell me that before?? Oh wait, they did—Dang.

Adam has been patient with me as I begin to “decompress” from the school year.  I’ve stayed up late to watch those late night shows I can’t watch during the school year, I’ve spent some quality time on the recliner getting caught up on some episodes of The Closer, I’ve even been able to wander aimlessly through the aisles at Wal-Mart because I’m not on a time crunch.  But I’ve got a feeling those days are quickly coming to an end.

(insert JAWS theme song here)

I think I realized this imminent change today (Memorial Day)  while we were passing people hauling their boats out to the lake for a nice holiday break.  Our day won’t be spent on the lake because our soybeans are not 100% planted—and there is a chance of rain tonight.  A chance of rain tonight with not all the soybeans planted means: “Turn on the (imaginary) turbo-boosters and get the beans planted STAT!”

Inoculating the seeds before they leave our shop to the field. The beans are getting sprayed with inoculant (Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria = Happy Soybeans) and then are being moved using the auger (the yellow pipe looking thing) into the gravity wagon (the red thing in the background).
Taking the lids off the hoppers...It's go time! Dwight (my father-in-law) is getting ready to drive the gravity wagon over to the planter to start filling it with seed. (Notice my husband's hat--You can't tell by this picture but we were working in an environment that included wind gusts up to 45 mph. It was narsty out!)
Filling the hoppers full of soybeans. The gravity wagon has an auger attached to it (the red thingy) that helps move the seeds.
Filling the hopper full of seed--gansta style.
Adding talc to the seeds to allow them to flow better through the planter.

It’s a pace consistent with what I would envision one to experience after drinking a half-dozen Monster energy drinks while on crack.


Ok, so maybe that’s a little too extreme—and kids, don’t do drugs.

The point is, even though I’m still technically working on my tan—SPF 50 has been applied—I’m working on my tan surrounded by soybean seeds, blowing dirt, and a husband who has a sense of urgency to plant as many acres as possible before the rain comes and delays him.

And he's off! Good bye, honey! I'll see you at Thanksgiving!

Did I mention that we have not had a significant rain since last fall?  The wheat and corn and alfalfa have been thirsty.  Thank goodness we had rain last week.  I had to videotape it because it was so awesome to see and hear.

The wheat especially needed that moisture.  I was getting concerned that we wouldn’t have a wheat crop at all because it was so dry (I even started clipping coupons–but that’s another blog).  When we’d scout fields you could see that moisture was needed badly.

What do you think, Buddy, is the wheat ready? You are such a bad dog.
I'm not an expert, but I have a feeling the one on the left is not good AND some moisture could have prevented it.
The wheat is still green and it can't be harvested until it's golden.

Wheat harvest will follow the soybean planting.  We have just a few weeks left until the wheat is completely ripe—you can tell when it turns a golden color (amber waves of grain).

It may not be golden, put it sure is pretty blowing in the wind.

Once the wheat is ready, Baldwin Farms will be running two combines hard to get it all harvested before  the summer storms of rain, and (please, Lord, not) hail blow in.

Put away the Bon-Bons and pull up your boot straps, Kim, it’s “Summer  Break” on the farm!

SIDENOTE:  As part of my summer break I have made a verbal (and now typed) commitment that I will post at least once a week.  Things get crazy, busy around here and I think it would be helpful to show my friends and family what is actually going on at Baldwin Farms and why I can’t sneak away for days at a time.

Besides, if I need to get a pedicure I can use my required blog writing time as an excuse to sneak away from the farm for a few hours.  I’ll call it “Multi-tasking”. 🙂

6 Thoughts

  1. Fantastic point, and as a former-farmer-girlfriend, I empathize completely. I would work in an office during the day and spend my evenings helping out at the farm, during the summers. There’s no such thing as a break when your life and your schedule and your productivity relies on the weather!

    Now that I’m NOT a farmer’s girlfriend, I find myself confused and lost. What do I do with my summers NOW?! 😉

    1. Girl–Travel the globe, sleep late, hang out by the pool, get your nails done, go on vacation during (*gasp*) harvest time. Enjoy!! And if you are still going through withdrawls, pack your boots–we’ll put you to work out here 🙂

  2. I enjoyed your post. We were both on AgChat. Keep writing your blog. Your environment and what you do is important and totally different than mine. And that’s what’s interesting. I’m a South Louisiana Cajun that endured Katrina and my town is surrounded by beautiful Sugar Cane Fields. Peace, Love, and Gumbo! Marvin LeBlanc

    1. Thanks for checking out the blog! Life on the farm is a whole other world than what I knew before marrying my farmer husband, but I love it! I hope to continue to share “my world” with others–whether they’re like me, or not. 🙂

  3. My family and city wife will be your neighbors in about two years! I know she will enjoy your blog posts as I do.

    Mark Howell

    1. Hey Mark–thanks for checking out the blog! When you guys move out here in a few years I’ll give your city wife my number–that way she can have me on speed dial 🙂 Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood–we’ll be harvesting wheat in a few weeks!!

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