September 2012

What’s been up in September?

Well, frankly, a lot.

Silage, silage, and more silage.

Over 10 days of chopping corn silage, and a 4 am wake-up today to finish the last of the 4th crop haylage (hay silage).

The empty fields are making it look a lot like fall.

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New people.

Since I last blogged I’ve started a new full-time and a new part-time calf employee. Training is hard, but I’m particularly pleased with my new full-time guy.

If any of you are managers, you may know it’s not easy. Or maybe I just over think it and over-stress. But at least we’ve settled into a little bit of new normalcy on the calf front.

The “I have West Nile” scare.

Not really, but I felt wretched last week. I had the burning throat, stinging eyes, never-ending runny nose, and everything hurts syndrome.

With all the news about West Nile I was half tempted to get to the clinic, but… I didn’t. Between working long hours and taking every spare minute to rest and nap, I just tried to keep going.

I think dust, allergies, corn pollen, and the common cold all morphed into a nasty combo, but I’m finally feeling alive again. Horray!

Vegetables. A lot of them.

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Every few days during silage chopping I would try to either sneak home mid-day to pick vegetables or be forced to comb through the tangled plants after dark.

We are still blessed with tons of tomatoes and peppers, but it’s gotten overwhelming when we’re hardly home to pick them!

We froze some, ate some, gave some away, and froze some more. My mother-in-law even dried several pans of tomatoes for me in her oven, so I’ll see if the “sun” dried tomatoes remind me of summer when the winter gets long.

And wonderful visitors

On a day when I was at my worst, when I really thought I was past the breaking point, we had some unexpected visitors.

JR’s cousin Josh, whom we seldom see because he does humanitarian work in Bangladesh, was home in Minnesota visiting family. It was wonderful he made the 3-hour trek from his parent’s to the farm, and he also brought his lovely fiancee Helena to meet us.

They are a fabulous pair, and it perked me up so much to meet her and hear about her home and family in Spain. (they’re a well-traveled couple. πŸ™‚

They got the full farm tour, and she made friends with all the babies as she softly cooed “Hola” to them and enthusiastically told her favorite baby becerras “Que Bonita!”

Of course she also spoke beautiful English, and even with my sore, froggy throat we talked on and on.

They even climbed up to the top of our then mid-process silage pile, and I was able to capture the moment.

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I just couldn’t let September slip by any further before I posted something for you guys. I know I skimped on the running updates, but that will be coming soon. I may need some advice on a race I’m supposed to run in about 3 weeks….

About Lisa

Hi, I'm Lisa. Dairy farmer's wife and Minnesotan to the core, I write about rural farm life, running down country roads, and the food, faith, and family that bind everything together. Follow along on my journey.
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4 Responses to September 2012

  1. Kathy says:

    Thanks for the update! Will things slow down (a bit) on the farm now that hay silage is done? Also, I’d love to hear any update on the house you guys bought!

    • Lisa says:

      Just after I posted I realized I never even gave a house update. That is some of our biggest news after all. πŸ™‚

      Here goes…

      I honestly haven’t started thinking about packing, but I still have a bit of time because they’re finishing title work & underwriting. I think by early Oct we will start moving, but it may be a slow process.

      And yes — I do hope things at the farm will start slowing soon.

  2. Terzah says:

    Could you also define silage for the city people in your audience? :^)

    It sounds like so much work. I bet you sleep great when you can grab it. Those tomatoes look so good. I’m in the midst of a huge tomato crave–I can’t wait until tomorrow when the farmers’ market is open and I can grab some heirlooms…..

    • Lisa says:

      Sure; sorry for the lingo! Silage is basically just when you harvest a crop by chopping up the whole plant (corn, alfalfa, even oats or barley) and then store it in a silo or tightly packed and covered pile to let it ferment. It makes good feed and doesn’t spoil this way. For more on silage you can see one of my very first posts… https://cowspotsandtales.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/late-night-but-were-done/

      And yes – those tomatoes are huge! I was very pleased, but I can’t even remember what variety they are just now. We had fun picking out lots of heirloom types though. If I find the tag I’ll let you know. πŸ™‚

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