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October 27, 2010

One Happy Farmer

He got to get out his moldboard plow!

We haven't had it out in a couple of years - last fall harvest went into December then there was just no time to do much fall plowing and this year the ground is so dry and hard, we have been doing some chisel plowing and turbo tilling.  But we did have farm with some older waterways on it that really needed them redone - so he pulled out his moldboard plow to fill in and level them out, then he ran the disk over them to level them out and drilled some new grass seed over them so next spring they will be ready!

Moldboard plowing is an art (according to Chris), when it is done correctly it is good for the soil and the farmer.  Almost anyone can run a chisel plow but moldboard plowing takes skill that comes with time and practice.  Chris taught me how to moldboard plow about 10 years ago when we really did quite a bit, there is nothing like seeing 2 and 3 tractors and moldboard plows running in a field, seeing those shares slice into the soil and completly turn it over wrapping the crop residue into the black soil to decompose and nourish the dark topsoil that was turned up.  Like I said it is an art and I was allowed to plow between the lands but never did I learn the technique of laying off a straight land or filling in a dead furrow, which is one reason moldboard plowing is not done a whole lot anymore, it takes a lot of time.

And so while he didn't get to lay off his famous perfectly (without GPS) straight lands, work for hours bringing them together and then meticuloussly and flawlessly fill in his dead furrow so that no one can see where it is - he did get to spend a few hours lowering his moldboard plow into the ground and turning under this years crop residue into the beautiful black topsoil that a farmer loves so much!  That makes my Plowboy smile which always makes me smile!

October 24, 2010

Shuffling Into Middle Age!

Well I did it - I always swore I wouldn't and I thought I meant it - I wasn't going to take the road my parents took - quite frankly it just seemed silly - sitting around playing Euchre till midnight on a Saturday night!  But I caved - yes, I played 16 rounds of Euchre Saturday night - AND I HAD FUN!

I can remember when my parents started playing in a card club - I thought to myself at the time (I was in high school) "You have got to be kidding that is what you want to do for fun once a month!" - I am a Hoosier I have always known how to play the game but to take it that seriously just wasn't my style . . . . until now!

We have a great group of friends we have gotten to know real well thru showing cattle at the county fair - it is always a tradition on Thursday night during the fair to meet at The Willard - all the work and shows for the week are behind us, the kids are having a ball just hanging in the cattle barn not having to wash and groom - just being kids and we are just having a good time, well without the kids, just us adults!  Well someone suggested this year that it would be fun to do this a little more often than just the week of the fair - and in true Hoosier fashion the choice of fun was Euchre and a card club was born!

Therefore I feel I have "shuffled" my way into middle age!!!!!

October 20, 2010

Now THAT Is What I Am Talkin' About!

For all intensive purposes it is Friday night at this house!  Kids are officially on fall break!  It is a crisp cool fall evening I have a pot of chili simmering on the stove and I am sitting out on the patio with 3 of my favorite things:  a fire, a glass of Mom's Happy Lemonade and my knitting!

I love a fire on my patio or camping there is something so calming about it that just makes me smile!  As does my cup (from the fair concessions) full of Mom's Happy Lemonade!  And I bought some yarn at Wal-Mart the other day and started knitting a scarf that will hopefully be fininshed in time to wear at The Hoosier Beef Congress the first weekend in December!


October 19, 2010


Yeah Me!  Thanks Big D, I think your blog is awesome too!

These are the rules attached to The Versatile Blogger:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass it along to 15 blogs you've recently discovered.

4. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.

OK here goes - 7 things about me that you are now going to know and probably didn't want to:
1.  I know how to check a sow for heat and ariticfically inseminate her - and so do my kids!
2.  I have sock issues - any socks that have touched the floor (even for a second) have to be changed before I will put on shoes!
3.  I have to shave my legs everyday - I absolutly can't stand the feeling of not shaving them!
4.  The only wine I will drink is Boones Farm - and I LOVE IT!
5.  It's immature but bodily functions still make me giggle - and I can belch like a trucker!
6.  I am an excellent cook (if it's true - it's true - and it is my blog) BUT we eat instant mashed potato's because Chris loves them!!!!
7. I may have a slight addiction to Bejeweled Blitz on FaceBook!
So now I am suppossed to give this award to 15 other blogs BUT I am going to cheat a bit and just list the other blogs that I look forward to reading!
  Who Is The Grown Up?   Right Back At Ya!!!!
  Going Jane

  Blue Jeans and Cotton Tees
  Butterflies Gourds And More
  A'latte With Ott A
  Walking The Off-Beaten Path
  On The Banks Of Squaw Creek
  Lifes A Highway and Mine is Surrounded By Corn
  Beyer Beware
  Hoosier Farm Babe Tell Tails
  Gal In The Middle
  3 Kids and Lots Of Pigs
  Goodeness Gracious
  Frugalista Farm Life

And a whole lot more that you can see off to the side!!!!

October 14, 2010

I Got A Guy

And I couldn't be more excited!  My sister got a guy about a year ago and kept telling me I really needed to get one because it was great!  So I begged and begged and after living in our remodeled, added on to home for 6 years I finally got one!

Backing up just a bit - I come from (and so does Chris) a very do-it yourself kind of family - "If we can do it why pay someone else!" - which is great in theory but by the time the farm and livestock work gets done who wants to come in the house and do finish projects.  About six years ago when we added on we saved a ton of money by doing the majority of work ourselves:
I was our general contractor - I priced and bought all the framing lumber, windows, appliances, fixtures, light fixtures, flooring.  I found all the contractors that we needed to hire and made sure all the permits and inspections were done.
Chris did all the demolition, foundation, plumbing, insulation, hard wood flooring and a million other little things.  He was also helped me (a little) with the contractors and shopping all while he also farmed full time and took care of the hogs.
The Father-In-Law was our electrician (he is an excellant electrician and loves dimmer switches and multiple light swithes for the same light - one light in our kitchen can be turned on and off at 5 different locations!).  He helped from beginning to end and we couldn't of done it without him!  He was also my HEAVY - being sure everything was done perfect!

Did I mention that we did this whole project during harvest, had to move out, and had 3 little kids (1st grade, 3 and a half, and a newborn!  Oh and then there was the whole "Hey Jent we are tearing off the kitchen in one hour you need to get it cleaned out!" - that was all the warning I got!

So there are several projects around here that didn't get finished because real life and work got in the way - so in comes my guy!

*both porch's now have ceiling detail work done!
*my kitchen backsplash is being tiled as I type!
*the last little bit of trim in the bedroom will go up!
*piece of siding on the house that blew off during storm is fixed!
*I will have a closet door!
and quite a few other things!

I really think I like having a guy - I think every girl needs one!

October 11, 2010

Awwww We Were Hearted!

This morning when Chris opened up the paper this is what we saw:

Our local paper runs "Hearts and Darts"!  It is a neat little editorial section that you can write thank yous (Hearts) and not so nice things (Darts) to people in the community, they are always fun to read and really one of my favorite things in the paper!  And always nice to see a "HEART" with your name!

A couple weeks ago I was taking My Cowgirl to soils practice one evening when she noticed some smoke one road south of our house!  We immediately went over to it and it was a fire!  It started in the ditch and was moving fast, the wind was really blowing that day and I have honestly never felt more helpless than standing there watching this fire spread so fast!
We of course called 911 immediately but it truly seemed time stood still while the fire spread.  I knew Chris was dumping a truck at our grain bins and as soon as I hung up with 911 I called him to get a tractor and disc over there - then I remembered we had taken our "fire department" - our disc and water tank - to the other side of town that morning where we were cutting beans!  But in true farmer fashion he ran down to the hog barns hooked up the chisel plow and came barrelling across the field - to me he truly was a shining knight on a white horse - he arrived just as two volunteer fire departments were arriving!  My Cowgirl and I jumped in the cab with him and we put the plow in the ground and drove.  This was the first time I had help put out a field fire (well really any fire), I won't lie there was an adrenaline rush but more so it was scary, hot and very smoky.  To properly put out a field fire you need to drive the tractor over the fire so that you plow the fire under to put it out and this also turns the field trash under so that the fire can't spread.  By the time this fire was put out it had burned approximately 70 acres spread into a woods (luckily minimal damage) took 3 volunteer fire departments, one City of Franklin fire station, 3 tractors\plows and 2.5 hours.

I was raised not to expect a pat on the back for something that you should do - but boy sometimes a pat on the back feels good!

October 9, 2010

The Hession Fly!!!!

Once Chris informed me that it was not "Haitian" it completely made sense that when I Googled "The Haitian Fly and winter wheat" I basically got nothing useful!!!!

So now that I know it is a German fly and not one from Haiti I Googled again!  There is a Hession Fly Free Date for planting your winter wheat - it is different in all regions and apparently there was some discussion amoung our neighbors as to the actual date - Chris thought it was Oct. 3, some thought it was Oct. 7 - lucky for us we planted yesterday took care of the Hession Fly either way!

What is a Hession Fly was my question quickly followed by how (why) did a german fly get to Indiana?

Hessian fly
A Hession Fly (Female if you were wondering)

I found this information at  http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=9896&pf=1&cg_id=0:

The Hessian fly was introduced into North America from Europe in the 1700s. In the United States, it can be found from Nebraska to the Atlantic, from Maine into the Piedmont areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and in isolated areas west of the Rockies. In the past 20 years severe losses have been reported in Washington, Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Indiana.

Wheat is the principle host plant of the Hessian fly. It may also be found on rye, barley and other wheat related species.

In the midwest, Hessian flies are one of the most destructive pests of wheat. The maggots parasite between the leaf sheath and the stem and extract juices from the plant. Fall-infested wheat usually dies during the winter. Spring-infested wheat produces grain but usually lodges before harvest. Economic infestations are uncommon in North Carolina largely due to proper planting date selection.

Probably a little more than anyone wanted to know about this particular fly but interesting none the less!

This year we planted  40 acres of wheat!  We plant wheat so that once we harvest in late June early July we have a place to haul hog manure from the pits in our confinement barns.  This way we are utilizing the land in several ways:
1)  If we were to plant corn or soybeans we would not be able to empty our manure pits at a good time of the year to plow the manure in.
2)  We are gaining a crop off of the acres not just leaving them idle for a year since we do need someplace to haul the manure.
3)  The manure is factored into our fertilization plan for the ground and we move our acres of wheat every year to different fields.

This year because the ground is so dry we started with running the turbo-till over the ground, then the disc and then had the culti-packer in front of the drill - a lot of trips over the ground but it really made for a nice level seed bed.

Chris planting wheat with his favorite tractor!

The picture I took as I fell off the 4-wheeler while standing on it taking pictures of wheat planting!

Chris and his Dad discussing the seed bed.

The culti-packer and drill - it is so dry right now!

Of course Hession Fly free or not without any moisture - ain't gonna be no wheat!!!!!

I love this picture - 3 generations setting the drill!


Chris checking the seed on the last round at sunset!

October 7, 2010

Dirt Is The Stuff Underneath Your Fingernails!

*My Cowgirl is "guest" posting!

Me "outstanding" in my soils field!

Whats on the ground is called soil.  It’s a layer on the Earth’s crust that provides a combination of resources. Soil is actually one of the most important things on the Earth for 3 reasons. 1) Plants grow in soil. 2) Plants support animal life. 3) We eat plants and animals. So without it we would DIE.

Soil is 45% mineral matter, which is decomposed rock, silt and clay. 5% organic matter which is decomposed plant and animals (lovely right?), 25% Air, and 25% water. The more water, the less air.

If you gave me a hole in the ground I could tell you the parent material (what the soil is made up of) the slope of the area around it (how steep it is), the landform, the surface color, the erosion, the texture of the surface soil and the subsoil, the soil drainage, and the limiting layer.

If you ever need to know any of this about your soil, come to me, because I am a state champion… as a junior… and I’m pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. ;)

YES! You did read that right. State champion soil judger people! My first year too! Franklin is pretty BA at this stuff. Last year my junior team, which consisted of Chase, Makayla, and me got 2nd in state as juniors in our first year of soil judging.

Franklin State Soils Teams at 2009 Contest

This year our whole Franklin team is huge. One masters team, 1 senior team, and 3 junior teams. Yesterday we had our area soils contest and we all did fantastic job. All of us but one junior team are going to state which is going to be October 29-31.

I love soils. Its challenging, interesting, and we have soo much fun. Makayla is now one of my best friends because of soils. I love all the people on the team. I really can’t wait for state. We are going to have so much fun. (: If we get in the top 6 teams we get to national soils, which is in Oklahoma. And that will be a trip to remember, just like every soils trip is! (:

So remember, call me to judge your soil. Respect the land and the soil. Cause without it, we would DIE!! And lastly, it’s SOIL not DIRT!!

P.S. You can’t drain a floodplain. That’s just common sense. :P

October 2, 2010

My Cowgirl

Homecoming 2010 - Freshman Year

She is so beautiful!