Harvest 2016

We have officially pulled the pin on harvest 2016. I would like to say it was a good year but I can’t. We had rain delays starting in seeding that put the crops behind schedule. We had a massive hailstorm that wiped out a large percentage of our crops. We lost crops to running and standing water from storms. We kept getting rain that shut us down during harvest and downgraded our crops quality and then it SNOWED. October 4th and we had our first snow storm that brought everything to a grinding halt. We still have 100 acres of barley that needs to be combined and 130 acres of hailed out crops that need to be swathed and baled. In fact we still have 2 combines sitting in the field waiting to be brought home when the field freezes hard enough or dries up enough to get them out. But none of that matters because Mother Nature decided that we were done. Sending about an inch of rain followed by multiple snowstorms that levelled any standing crop and put so much moisture into the ground we still cant get around our fields.

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The first snowstorm dumped so much snow that I actually pulled my snowmobile out of the shop and sledded over to the farm to do morning chores. It even got cold enough at night to freeze all of the outside hydrants so that I was forced to bucket water from the farm house across the farm to the pigs and chickens. A couple days later I was harvesting garden produce for Thanksgiving dinner and it took a whole 15 minutes searching through the snow and wild dill to find the remaining 5 feet of carrots in their row!

We are working out scenarios for what crops we want to grow next year. We know that we cannot grow durum wheat for many years to come because of the levels of disease that are now in our soil from this year. We are attempting to market this years durum as well and it is so full of disease we are having trouble. The disease came from having over 20 inches of rain fall during the growing season. This year we got delt one bad card after another when it came to weather and we will feel the effects for years to come.

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Since our harvest was ended early we have moved onto all the other tasks on the endless list of farm jobs. This morning we sorted calves and ivermect’d the cows. Ivemectin is a type of medication used to protect cattle and other animals from parasites like worms and lice. Our corrals need a lot of work as well and we need to figure out where all our critters are going to winter so that they all have access to shelter. I think we are in for a wild winter! We still need to get all of our bales out of the field and if we go in when its frozen the twines will break as they are frozen to the ground and when it warms up its to muddy to be in the field 😫 Tomorrow we are supposed to be roofing one of our quanset’s so wish us luck that weather cooperates with us for once and no one gets blown away 😉

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I want to wish everyone else still working on #harvest16 a safe, productive and fruitful harvest ❤️

 

Motherhood

Were you beginning to think I had disappeared?! The harvest crazies got to me for a little while but I am back! I have my parents here helping with the girls and farming right now and it is such a blessing. The girls love them so much, in fact my toddler prefers ‘her Yaya’ to me hehe!

Yesterday I put myself in a vulnerable place by sharing a photo of myself nursing my 9 month old while combining. I have already had someone accuse me of being a horrible mother and tag child services in a tweet about me bringing my girls along while farming. I was worried that people might have a similar issue with me having my little one not only in the combine but in my arms. I also worried about the reaction I would get because it was a breastfeeding photo. I have nursed both my girls and to me breastfeeding is beautiful, natural and so convenient. I am well aware that the opinion of the general public is not always as accepting of the breast when it is put out there in a non sexual way.

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I am blown away by the response I received to my photo! It has been so heartwarming to read the positive comments coming in from both men and women. I shared the photo on Twitter, Instagram and on multiple agricultural pages on Facebook and there was not a single negative comment, not one! I am so happy I put that photo out into the interworld. Not only because we still need to work on normalizing breastfeeding but because for me it is a raw, magical moment that expresses my journey through motherhood and farming.

As one gentleman so aptly commented. “Feeding the world, while feeding one”

Instead of attacking, shake the hand that feeds you!

imageI got into an argument tonight on social media. Well it wasn’t so much of an argument as it was a conversation in which I tried to stick up for the Dairy Industry that was being slammed in one of those horrific videos made by animal right activists. (You know the type, they consist of a couple over edited clips taken from 1000’s of hours of footage in order to horrify the general public into believing the worst about farmers.) I was also trying to set straight the lies told by the poster about the handling of sick cattle including down cows. I was polite, friendly and truthful which of course means in return I was attacked and then blocked by the poster because heaven forbid I should actually educate any of her followers. I still feel sick to my stomach about it because I am not the kind of person that seeks out confrontation but sometimes I can’t just sit by and say nothing.

Most farms in North America are family run operations, some are being managed by 4th and 5th generation farmers. These are kind, honest, hardworking individuals that are passionate about their crops, animals and their lives. Because farming is a way of life, not a job. It is all consuming, requires family sacrifice, sometimes it’s heartbreaking and it’s not for the faint of heart. We are not heartless creatures out to deceive you or abuse our animals and we are doing the best we can with the tools available to us. Many of us work off farm jobs because we do not bring in enough money farming to fully support our families. We are not in agriculture for the profits, to us it is a labor of love and I can guarantee we love and respect our soil and our animals more then you do.

I have an idea, instead of attacking the hand that quite literally feeds you how about you shake it and start up a conversation! I think it is safe to say at least 99% of people depend on agriculture and farmers at least a couple times a day, myself included. I would love to be self-sustaining but I don’t think I will ever get to the point where I can raise, grow, produce and make everything that I need in my life. If we all depend on Ag why are we so quick condemn, judge and share misleading information about agricultural?

Next time you see a video or a meme about the agricultural industry why don’t you reach out to a farmer with your questions? Don’t just believe everything you see, share and more on. How about we also try to have a little more humanity, compassion, respect and understanding when dealing with each other. I absolutely love that we have the freedom to choose what we eat and where we buy our food. I do not begrudge your lifestyle choices and I kindly ask you not to condemn or attack mine. Want to be a vegetarian? Thats great. Want to only buy organic food? Good for you. Want to be a vegan? More power to you. Those are your choices and you control them, personally I love me some meat! And that is not something that you have the right to attempt to change, control or dictate.

Much love

Want to learn more about farming?!  Watch the documentary licences to farm. Link below.

http://licensetofarm.com