I’ve been an Insight columnist for Kansas Farm Bureau since February 2019. These columns can be found in Kansas newspapers monthly and primarily focus on lessons that I am constantly learning while living in rural Kansas.
I received an Agriculture Relations Council Golden ARC Award in July 2020 for my column A World of Octobers.
A Farmer’s Pet
Every so often I have the opportunity to visit a classroom full of elementary students and read a book to them. More often than not, I’ve accomplished my guest reading visits using virtual platforms that so many are now accustomed to using. Thanks to technology, and a decent internet connection, I’ve been able to read to classrooms hours away from our farm.
Kids on the Bus
After a few months of all that summer on the farm entails, the kids have returned to school. From helping with wheat harvest, hauling meals and equipment out to fields, taking naps in the car while helping me complete parts runs, sweeping shop floors, assisting with irrigation duties and making popcorn deliveries, it’s safe to say my kids experienced a healthy dose of farm-kid living during their summer break.
A friend of mine recently asked when my family truly begins to enjoy summer. She asked this well-meaning question to help her figure out when we get to enjoy some rest and relaxation during the summer months. She has observed my family for many years and has recognized that while many others enjoy vacations during this time of the year, it seems as if my family does not get the “traditional” summer experience so many others do.
Helpers Big and Small
There’s definitely been a lot of those unexpected extras this year leading up to summer harvest. Thankfully, we have wonderful helpers who have been able to assist with the needed annual tasks that must be done prior to and during harvest.
Summer is here! The kids completed their last day of school and have officially reported for summer duty as farm kids. During a recent breakfast conversation, my family sat down to identify some goals for this summer. The kids want to bake cupcakes, ride their bikes, go fishing and visit some museums. My husband wants to harvest wheat and manage irrigation. I want to maintain a clean house. I know some goals are loftier than others.
A World of Octobers
The temperatures have dropped, and it’s truly beginning to feel like fall on the farm. The air feels crisper, the sky seems brighter and everything seems a bit fresher now that the summer heat has left. It’s as if the plants, animals and people have all perked up after they’ve had to conserve their energy, seek shade and retreat from August and September.
But it’s now October, where the true magic happens.
Opening Our Doors
During certain parts of the year I secretly cringe when someone walks into my house. It’s not that I don’t like visitors; it’s more about what my houseguests might see when they enter our home. In the winter and spring, odds are my floors will have some mud deposits that someone tracked in. In the summer and fall, dirt clods and seeds sprinkled around my house are a given.