Planting Setup

Brad changed from an 8 row planter to a 12 row planter this year. He wanted to change how his new planter was set up for fertilizing, and so he just did. How he knows all this stuff is beyond me. Here’s a look at his planting fertilizer setup.

The fertilizer is in the white tanks on the side of the tractor.It goes through these cylinders connected to the planter.
Then it goes out through all these red hoses. Look at all that tidy tubing!In the end, somehow fertilizer comes out at each row in supposedly the same rate.
This pump Brad added, which somehow works to make the fertilizer part of that happen for the entire planter, not just one row.So while the seed is going into the ground, it is getting fertilized at the same time. Then it soon starts to grow! Please take time to be impressed!

Brad knows how the tractor and planter work and often if something breaks he figures out what the problem is and can fix it. Would you have a clue how to even start figuring out the problem? I wouldn’t even want to attempt to take off a tire if I had a flat on my car! Farmers do so much more than just drive a tractor and get dirty. As you see from this, they are also mechanics and engineers, (My explanations of things show you I am not!) but they are also so much more!

Planting 2017

We are in the midst of planting season. At the end of last week, we were about thirty percent done.
As of yesterday, just over half of Brad’s corn is planted. That means we have less than half to go. 

It feels like its been “one of those years.”  For instance, I took this nice photo when Brad passed me on my walk as he drove out to the field for the first time this season. Before I was even done with my walk he passed me on his way back to the shop. A hydraulic line had blown and sprayed oil all over the tractor as he was lowering the planter. He hadn’t even tried to plant anything yet. Another day, I thought I’d be nice and ride with Brad a round. It was William’s first tractor ride. As you can see Brad had been really bored and was missing us a lot. (That was sarcasm there.) We got booted after an abrupt stop because something wasn’t working right had Liza’s head hitting the windshield. We didn’t even make it half way through the field.

A flat tire here, a wheel falling off there, questionable seed depth……cornstalks keep plugging the planter, a sensor isn’t working… BUT fields are still getting planted.Some even have corn sprouting already.

Seed Bales

We are on the cusp of planting season, which means Brad has pallets of seed corn waiting to be planted in his building. This week the big kids discovered that this makes for a lot of fun. Brad must have suggested it since he remembers playing on piles of seed corn when he was a kid. I guess since we don’t have hay bales to jump on, we’ll jump on “seed bales.”

Brad took these pictures on the day the fun was discovered. After supper, they pleaded to go jump some more. Apparently seed bales makes for some fun posing too.

Road Work

Small Town Nebraska:
I don’t know about your Nebraska county; but in our county, the county road maintenance (or lack thereof) is a hot topic. They decided to rebuild one of the roads that is next to the pivot Brad farms by bringing dirt from the ditch onto the road. So this is basically what the ditch was before they did their work.
ditch before road work This is the ditch now.
ditchditch after road work They did at least leave him one driveway into the field (see the left side of the following picture), although he rather preferred having many options.
field driveway The ditches are an okay thing to have, but the condition of the road is another story. Four inches of rain on a new dirt road meant the county road equipment even got stuck trying to fix it, and our friends (the only people who live on the road) had to use a tractor to get anywhere and their vehicle windows were too dirty to get a picture.

Farm Education:
Today marks the first day of the 2016 planting season for Brad. He’s mainly just making sure that everything is working correctly and will probably not plant much until after the predicted coming cold snap is over.

1st day of corn planting 2016I learned a great conversation tip for when talking with farmers by listening in on some farmer talk at the local gas station/restaurant/tire shop/coffee and donut shop. In the spring, a meaningful question to ask a farmer about their operation is,

“Are you doing anything different this year?” 

Or in the fall, after you get done asking how their harvest is going and then don’t know what else to ask, you could say,

“Did you do anything different this year?”

They may answer with something that you don’t understand, but that will just give you more questions to ask them. I’ll keep my ear out for more good farmer conversation tips for you.

You’re welcome.

Books:
Jesus- experiencing His touch
I’ve enjoyed doing several Precept studies in the past, so when I saw that Blogging for Books had Jesus: Experiencing His Touch by Kay Arthur and David Arthur has a review options I was happy to request it. The difference between this study and the ones I have done before, is that this is a “no-homework Bible study” designed to take 40 minutes. It says it is a small group study “for people are interested in learning for themselves more about what the Bible says on various subjects, but who have limited time to meet together.”

Jesus: Experiencing His Touch takes you through Mark 1-6. You study approximately a chapter each week, and the book gives clear directions of how to study the passage together as a group. You observe what’s written in a few verses and then discuss and then repeat through the rest of the selection for the week. The Arthurs also provide some helpful insights along the way. I’m excited to try this with my Bible study during the busy months of summer. I can tell it’s not as in depth as a study with more homework, but it is still studying the Bible! If you try it and like it, they have 40 Minute Bible studies for the rest of the book of Mark too.

Lamentations 3:21-23
This I recall to my mind,

Therefore I have hope.
 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

 

Cookies!

Farming:
Brad can finally check planting off his spring list of jobs, just 30 days later than he wanted!  Less than thirty minutes after he texted me that, it started raining…again. Now he just hopes he can get in a 16 hour day of spraying.

My Family:
Summer life is in full swing. About half of our June evenings will be enjoyed watching some adorable T-ball players. They have big plans to “hit it out of the park” this year.

They also decided to start selling stamps, and I don’t even have to give them real or pretend money when I buy them. They add up how much I owe them, I tell them how much money I’m giving them, and they tell me what I get for change. A summer math review, and it was all their idea! Here’s to hoping they have good ideas and read their “haet” out all summer.

IMG_9106

Recommendations:

cookie loveI received a free copy of Cookie Love by Mindy Segal thanks to Blogging for Books. Cookie Love does have a recipe for Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies, but it’s not your typical cookie cookbook. This would be the cookbook for you if you want to venture out into baking cookies beyond your typical drop cookies and brownies. It has chapters on Shortbreads, Egg White Cookies, and Rugelach + Kolachkes, plus chapters on things you would expect in a cookie cookbook. You get artistic pictures of most of the recipes, and they all look delicious. A few recipes have ingredients that I would have to do some major hunting to find out here in western Nebraska, but you can guess which ones by the name of the cookie usually (e.g., Goat Butter Shortbread, Folgers Crystals with Sour Cream Gianduja). Most of the recipes have ingredients you probably have in your kitchen as long as you’re okay with substituting the salt you have in your kitchen for sea salt flakes. The directions for how to make the treats are very thorough and descriptive. I actually see myself making some of these sweet treats, hopefully the Chocolate Toffee Biscotti before the weekend is over.

Speaking of cookies, take a look at this food art. I will never be able to make food look so good; but I like seeing how other people do it, especially if they’re in Nebraska.