It's 5am here at the farm, time to shock my system awake with a donut and Mountain Dew. Maple Bacon should do the trick. Kinda like the AED of breakfasts. I have never liked coffee; Mountain Dew is my preferred choice for caffeine. Farmer Bob has been keeping me supplied in donuts the past few days, good thing there is not more than on 'Jim' on the farm as I certainly would not be known as Skinny Jim!
The weather has been perfect for planting, warm, no rain, sun (through the smoke) and wind to dry the wet spots up. Day by day we kept plugging away 14-17 hours a day. We saw 80 degrees again this week. One day while I was loading a truck with fertilizer, I finished, jumped into the cab through the open door to find this......
Nova had jumped up there when I was not looking to enjoy some of the AC that was blasting in the running truck. I took her for a little ride, she seemed cool and content when we were done.
I did manage to get in the seeder and ride with Chris for a few minutes. Looking at all those displays, you would need a master's degree to run this thing. My, how things have changed over the years. It was just over a hundred years ago they were still using horses and oxen!
The Canadian smoke is still lingering making for eerie sunrise and sunsets. The good news is that it does not allow the sun to come through and dry up the soil. The bad news is that it does not allow the sun to come through and dry up the soil. See? That is what it like being a farmer, you are never happy with the weather!
|Getting ready to load Canola seed
Then the day we have been waiting for finally came. The last field! Chris parked the seeder in the yard at 1:30am on Wednesday morning and we were done! I spent several hours the next day greasing up the seeder for next spring. That night, Farmer Bob took Dylan and I out to supper in Ryder. Chris opted to stay home and spend time with his kids, who he only had glimpses of over the past month.
As many of you know, small town America is shrinking, as are the number of American farmers, so it is really hard to find help. Many farmers do all the work by themselves, or with their spouse or another family member. We had 5 people working their butts off and were still busy every minute of the day. I could not imagine being an operation of one trying to do all that!
Many of the local farm businesses such as seed dealers, fertilizer plants and even some of the larger farm import their help. I don't mean like from South Dakota, I am talking South Africa. South Africans come to this area by the hundreds to work for a couple of months before heading back home. Other than talking a little funny, you would not even know they were not from around here. I asked one guy who manages them, what they think of it here. He said they are amazed that no one in America really wants to work. People in South Africa are desperate to find work as there are no jobs. Here in America, there are thousands of jobs, but no one wants to work. A sad, sad, state of affairs.
I went and flew my drone a little bit getting this shot of the farm with its new treating building and bins (far right). It got me thinking about all the changes the farm has seen over the years. It's been a few years since I posted the blog post titled The Farm and gave a rundown of its history starting in 1916. For those of you interested about it, you can read it here.
But I thought I would include a few pictures starting with this year and going backwards in time to show how things have changed.
Thursday was a big day as it was Barbie's arrival day! You would think that I was excited and could not wait for her arrival and I was but it was also a day of frantic cleaning. You ever wondered what a camper looks like after a dude has been staying in it for almost a month? Well, it not only looks like it, it also smells like it!
A couple hours later, floors, dishes, new sheets, bed made, floors scrubbed, I was ready for her arrival. Knowing her, she will spend a couple hours cleaning it to her standards anyways.