Into the Count Down — Thursday, November 11, 2021

Terry has been checking the corn…we are getting close now

15%.  Maybe next week we can start.

The Elevator only takes it at 14% or below.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

The Adventures of TLC Cai-Cai on Friday—-Farm Life Series 10, Corn, Friday, October 1, 2021

“Let’s Go Outside, TLC Cai-Cai.  I’m sure you can find lots to do.” Mom picked me up and took me outside with her.  Then while Mom worked on the flower bed beside the red rocks, I hung out with her.

Tell me more about the farm, Mom.  I’m still learning. I purred, wrapping myself around her legs, getting between her and the weeds, purring and purring.

“Okay, you sweet loving kitty. Let’s go have a sit and I will give you a wee farm lesson.  Gosh, today you are 10 months old. (We really don’t know your day of birth, but the vet thinks you were born very close to the 1 Day of January, so we are going with that.)”

“Happy Ten Months, Dear Kitty!”

“Now, let’s see,” Mom put me on her lap and started petting me, “the farm.  We talked about the hay, the big loud things that do stuff, and the fact we raise. Corn.  I’ll tell you about corn.

Corn is our very most important crop.  It’s the crop that takes us from paycheck to paycheck.  For a Corn paycheck,  that means a paycheck in December (usually—one year it didn’t mean that, but that is another story for another time.)

That paycheck in December takes the farm and everything on the farm clear through the whole year until the next paycheck in the next year’s December.

The corn crop Starts in January.  Yes, it does.  That is when Dad sits down, figures out how many acres he wants to grow the corn on, then he figures out how many seeds he needs to purchase from the seed supplier.  The seeds make up all the bushels/tons of corn he will sell.

Then he starts watching the corn market.  By the end of February, he knows (has a general idea, anyway) the amount of corn he wants to plants, will the crop will bring when he harvests the corn in late fall…that can be late October, or in November, or December.

By March the cows have left the cow hotel, so it’s time for Dad to work the ground.  First, he disks the cow manure and all the left-over stalks of everything up — chopping everything into tiny little bits.

After that, he hooks up the plow and turns all the chopped-up bits over into big slabs of dirt to mellow out and feed the earth.

After all the soil dries, he goes back in and rolls the ground flat.  This is so he can get a good clean place to work with.

Now it’s time to level the fields so he can get ready to start the water.  Leveling makes sure there are no humps and bumps in the field so when the water starts it will run right through the furrows from the beginning to end, not washing out the seeds or pooling up somewhere along the way.”

I rather stopped listening, I even stopped purring, but I didn’t go to sleep.  If I went to sleep Mom would sit me aside and go back to work.

I reached up and patted Mom.

Mom chuckled.

“Okay, after the leveling, it’s time to mark up the furrows and Start the Water.

  Then we wait for that to dry a wee bit, after which Dad plants the seeds.  Lots of work in the spring.

When the little seeds get to growing and have four leaves…

Dad will go out and cultivate the rows…which means get rid of the weeds.  Then he marks it out again and we start the water again.

We irrigate all the time, moving the water across the fields, onto other fields, then back again.  All summer long.

The corn grows and grows and grows…. finally getting to a spot in the fall where Dad takes the water away because the plant is so big and so mature it can no longer take in any more water into itself.

Then we wait.  It’s a little bit of downtime…time to get caught up on other things (of course the other crops have needs too, but we are just talking about corn right now)

Then in late October, or sometime in November, possibly December we harvest the corn.

We talked about that earlier when I was explaining how you need to stay away from the big machines on the farm.

So, there you have it, My Darling Sparkling little kitty. Corn. The big crop on the farm.

Mom gave me a kiss on the nose and put me down on the red rocks, now it’s time for you and me to get something done around here.

So, Mom and I got busy!

 

TLC Cai-Cai

 

Crops and Where We Are Now — Thursday, September 16, 2021

The corn is drying now…past all its growing time getting ready for harvest

Each field (we have three) shows the maturity of the corn –the shucks drying down,

The tops turning gold, then gradually turning brown.

The kernels are dented

and hard enough you can’t poke a hole in them.

The last set of water has been accomplished and then turned off of all the cornfields.

Although, we are still irrigating the three alfalfa fields.

But, for the corn, the growing season has finished.  Now we wait for it to dry down to the correct dryness, at which time we start corn harvest.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

 

 

Happy Fourth of July Everyone —- Sunday, July 4, 2021

We made it—

In spite of that relentless gallbladder dis-ease

And the many, many trips to the hospital

Getting rid of the gallbladder and having help from some pretty great neighbors

Our corn is knee-high by the Fourth of July!

May this Day be one of celebration for health, for happiness, and for this United States of American within which we live.

From my world to your heart,

Linda

The Hushed Voice of the Farm, Monday, October 5, 2020

(I hate this new way of writing on WordPress!)

Please excuse the mistakes, but this is taking some getting used to!!

It’s very crisp coolness here, of a morning. Not enough to see your breath, but getting close.

By afternoon, late afternoon, around 5 p.m. it is warm. Nicely so.

We are busy, as always, although, the irrigations are now done.

We are waiting for the corn to dry down before we harvest. It takes time.

Days of warmth, rustling of wind through the stalks, nights of cool to cold.

Many such days…each day passing, each day similar to the day before.

Still, change is taking place, in the air, on the cooling earth, in the glowing light of the sky

Silently changing, silently moving forward.

Always

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

The Last of Summer Goes—-Sunday, September 27, 2020

In the cooler part of the late Summer/early Autumn day, the last load of hay went up to the North Fork to help feed 2,000 sheep.

 

Now we only have the corn to harvest.

But that will be on a true autumn day.  Late October, or November. Or even on a winter day in December.  Only time will tell.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

Update—Sunday, September 13, 2020

The rains have left giving us lovely late Summer days

The corn is drying down

Ever so nicely in the peaceful warmth of September sunshine

But the thing that is more than delightful

Boomer actually asked to go with me on the four-wheeler, something he hasn’t done in two or more weeks.

The earth is full of Late Summer/Early Autumn flowers

And my little Boomer has a smile on his face again

Giving me great joy!

Thank you ever so much for caring about my little beagle.

You are all true friends,

From my heart to your world,

Linda

 

The Smell of Ripe Corn is in the Air — Thursday, August 27, 2020

The time of growth is coming to an end

You can see all the brown leaves starting to show in the fields now, the tassles are going from white to yellow, to gold

Soon, very soon, maybe right after this irrigation

On both of the cornfields,  we will be entering the waiting stage.

See all the golden dry leaves

The husks losing the green (they go from green to reddish-purple) then to gold

After which they fall over, the stem too dry to hold up the cob anymore

The kernels are almost all dented. (we want them to ALL be dented)

If not this irrigation, then the next.

Winding down now

The corn growing season is coming to an end.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm

Linda

 

The Pattern —- Thursday, August 13. 2020

Shhhhh

In the silence

When the morning shadows are long, and the plants still in dew

While Terry and I and change and re-set the irrigation water

The early morning light

highlights the return of the deer

And so does the corn.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

Gathering Momentum —- Wednesday, August 5, 2020

The crops are gathering momentum,

The corn is full, fat, and soft.

If you were to touch one of the kernels you could feel what we call ‘the dough’ a soft, fluffy feel to the kernel.

This is NOT the time to starve the corn from water…water is what makes the kernel grow and fill-up nicely.

So every day, three times a day the water is changed; moving through one field and onto another field

The first field of alfalfa is getting ready to be harvested for the third (and possibly the last) time.   Maybe next week or the following week…it all depends on the bloom.

Even though,  just to look at the farm, it doesn’t seem there is anything happening right now…

There is…growth and growing and preparing for the time to harvest moving forward…always moving forward.

Unseen activity but extremely busy anyway.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda