Harvest Time!

Harvest is here and it is a very busy time on the farm. Everything's on hold until the crops are in. My main job during harvest time is making an endless supply of bag lunches. Don't laugh, it's an important role! For more than a week, the guys are out on the fields, chopping and trucking 16+ hours a day.  Thanks to Tropical Storm Irene, harvest is a lot more complicated this year. More on that later.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a short video of the corn chopper. We grow 400 acres of cow corn, which is chopped into small pieces. The entire plant -- stalk, leaves, husks, and ear -- is cut up and stored in a bunker, where it goes through a fermentation process, before becoming part of the cows' diet. The end product is called  corn silage.

In this video, I am riding alongside RM in a tractor, which is pulling a wagon. You can see the chopper next to us cutting the corn, then shooting it into the wagon behind us.

The chopper reminds me of one of the bad guys in the Transformer cartoons I watched as kid. Needless to say, harvest time is a real thrill for our nephews, who are totally ga-ga about tractors, especially tricked-out machinery like the chopper. They watch from afar, or if they are lucky, sometimes they get to ride alongside the adult drivers.

If you thought farm life is always quaint, charming, and serene, think again. This is a working farm, not a hobby farm!


Cows on the loose!

On a recent Sunday afternoon, we got a call while shopping for groceries -- "the cows are out!" We rushed home to find 13 heifers on the loose in the pasture. They'd broken through a gate.

So, I spent several hours I should have been preparing to host Sunday dinner chasing 13 crazy cows around a meadow.

I can't say I didn't enjoy myself! The sun was shining and the fields were flush with purple asters and the hundreds of Monarch butterflies who were feasting on their nectar. The cows weren't easy to herd -- heifers are teenaged cows, and demonstrate all the rambunctious characteristics you'd expect at that life stage. What a workout it was chasing those girls! But it was a great chance to break in my new muck boots and spend some quality time with my farmer fiancee. When it comes to bonding, nothing says lovin' like herding animals together.

Here's a quick video of the culprits, back in the pen after their meadow romp.

With less than an hour before guests arrived for dinner, I was able to shower, straighten up, throw together a cake from scratch, and bake a pot pie. My guests were none the wiser.

I'm getting a hang of this farm girl life, wouldn't you say?