Crop Report—-Tuesday, July 25, 2017

This year’s pinto bean field..almost weeded!  Almost!

I don’t have much time left…the feelers are starting to grow shut!

That’s okay…I’m tired of weeding that huge field.

The ears are starting to form now…within each one is a tiny kernel of corn!

 

Summer…MY TIME!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm

Linda

The Jewels of Summer—Sunday, July 23, 2017

The corn is starting to tassel out…

And baby ears of corn starting to form

The pinto beans are shooting feelers (last year’s photo–I lost this years somehow—I’ve been weeding the 16 acres early morning and late evening.  Once the rows grow shut anything nasty growing out there—corn, cockleburs, ragweed, Pigweed, yellow sticker weed, scotch thistle….gets to grow.  Not a good thing, but how it is.

My yard is doing

Great!  The new railroad ties beds are softening up and looking ever so much better

The air smells lush and rich– full of sweetness

Summer — I can’t ask for anything more!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

High Summer—-Sunday, July 16, 2017

It is high summer the sky is a clear blue, the heat is elevated, afternoon thunder storms roll in cooling us down;  the humidity causing us pant in desperation

Yet the summer has been good…all the hay is sold; first and second cuttings.

Blade helped…nice for him and for us!

The corn is starting to tassel out!

The pinto beans are growing right along…

The last cultivation of all crops is over for the rest of the year! 🙂

High Summer…the best part of the year.

Come winter I will be assailed by memories

Of these innocent heat filled days.

Come winter…

….I won’t think of that bleak time ahead. Instead I will enjoy this spot in time.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

 

The Feeling of a Mountain—Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Today I am counting my blessings:

The first cutting of hay has been cut, dried, baled and stacked.

(And at the time of this writing, several loads of have been sold–loaded up and gone to new homes)

The biggest blessing is the fact Terry had to have an emergency appendix operation Sunday morning—shortly before noon, but is doing much better today.

Thankfully Saturday night we had turned the water back into the canal so I haven’t had to worry with changing and setting of the water.

Our children, near and far, came to see their Dad and to help us while Terry was in the hospital— it made the loading of the sold hay go ever so much easier, than if I had to do it by myself.

They have all gone home now, but the several days Terry was in the hospital I was there with him.  That left the kids to pick up our slack plus do their own work also.

What a huge relief!

In the midst of all this, I found another small heart!

It might be a mountain right now, but I know —————   somehow we will get the cultivation of the corn done and we will get the pinto beans planted.

I can do the irrigation…that isn’t even an concern.

The others things will sort themselves out as we proceed forward.

 

It will just take us (Terry and I) to take it one step at a time…that is really the only way to walk up, across and down and mountain.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

Step Three/Pinto Bean Harvest—September 12, 2016

pinto-bean-head-for-the-com

The pinto beans are harvested with a pinto bean combine and pinto bean header.
picking-up-the-beansThis is how it works, gently lifting up the rows and moving them through the combine, where it breaks out the pinto beans and put them in the hopper

bean-strawThe trash—everything that is NOT a pinto bean is thrashed and left behind.  Now if you have cockaburs, sunflower seeds, or Canada Thistle seeds they will also be combined and flung into the hopper with the pinto beans.

pintos-in-the-truck

Once there they all go into the truck and hauled to the Beanery, where we are docked for trash in the beans.  Therefore, now you know why we always hand weed our fields–the cleaner the beans the more money we bring home.  (You can see some of the ‘trash’ [in the back of our truck] which wasn’t cleaned out in with the pinto beans…this is also trash, which will dock us.)

The other problem, with those seeds, is when the pinto beans go over the shaker at the Beanery, they are the same size as a pinto bean and shake right with the beans.  If you have too many and have to have the pinto beans triple cleaned….well you get the picture.

storm-coming-in-2A storm is coming in…I hope it stays far way.  If it rains we will have a mess with the pinto bean harvest in the field that is pulled.  😦

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

Pinto Bean Harvest— Step One—-Thursday, September 8, 2016

time-to-pull-beans

The pinto beans are ready for harvest.  The leaves have dried and fallen off leaving only the pods.

the-730Early, early Terry headed out to put the bean puller on the tractor and get into the field.

bean-pullerIt was cool enough he had to put on a jacket.  It’s important to go early…long before the sun heats up the earth like an old-fashioned flatiron.

The pinto bean plants need to be cold,so when the tractor goes through the pods stay on the vines, and the pinto beans stay in the shell.

front-and-backThe process is in steps–first the pinto beans are pulled

pulling-beans-1Laying the beans in neat rows to dry.

pulled-beansThen the bright morning warmed up, gilding everything.  It was time to stop.

One field down, one more to go.

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

The Last of Summer’s Hay—-Thursday, September 1 , 2016

Turning-the-haySunday we ‘did’ hay.

Because we had lots of rain and hail before we could get the hay up; Terry had to ‘turn’ the hay.  Sunday Morning he raked the hay turning it over so the top will be the bottom, and the bottom will be the top and the top will dry.

Baling-with-a-swallowThen about 1:00 in the afternoon the alfalfa had turned to hay. Off Terry went to bale.

Rolling-Bales-2

And Boomer and went out to roll bales and pick up broken bales (there were only two) and pick up all the loose hay on the corners

Rolling-Bales-1

Then we started hauling in the bales.

Stacking-Hay

(See the twisted bales?)

I did have a sort of a fright…not bad, but I was very much startled.  A huge bull snake was resting under one of the bales, when I moved the bale he jumped up and slithered off and I jumped up and out of his path!  🙂 🙂

We got half the field up and then finished on Monday; after we finished we worked some more on the firewood.

We are still irrigating, the alfalfa field will be the last field we set water on then we will be done for the year.  BUT FIRST…the field has to be marked out so the water can get down the rows.  Seems like there is always something.

Now-It's-Fall

It’s cold enough we must wear jackets in the early morning and late evening when we set water.  Sure seems early for jackets, but it is what it is.

Next will be pinto bean harvest—soon…very soon.

(Terry and I are getting a tad tired right now.)

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

Crop Report—-Tuesday, August 9, 2016

We had rain and thunder storms off and on yesterday, but today (so far) it feel all warm and sunny.

Today I must go out and weed!  All this lovely wet weather has brought on bloom’s, weeds and the feeling of Fall.

Starting-to-ripen

The pinto beans are starting to get ripe.  The yellow leaves are an indication.  We will still keep watering them, as the beans in the pods need to fill out and swell the pods.  Harvest looks like sometimes in September.  But only time will tell.

Ripeing-cornThe corn is starting fill out also—kernels are in the milk.   Then they will be in the dough, after, which,  it will be time to take the water off and let the corn dry down.

This is NOT sweet corn, but the corn you have for corn meal, cereal, and animal food.

On-the-ditch-bankAlthough, we are just starting the month of August the days feels more like September here. We are seeing weeds maturing like they usually do in September, and other weeds, which only start to grow the last part of August in full maturity.

Storm-on-Grand-Mesa

(Storm over Grand Mesa)

It makes Terry and I wonder if we are going to have a early fall.  Although, we could have a early freeze and then a long warmish fall, before winter actually sets in.

In-the-corn-field

I guess only time will tell.  Until then I’m going to enjoy every bit of summer we have left!

Your friend on a western Colorado farm,

Linda

 

 

 

 

Spring Work is Winding Down—Thursday, June 23, 2016

The header is the photo of the flat lands, our cows LOVED being up there and just hanging out. We like to go to the Rocky Point and ‘take a break’, there is something really restful about this part of the farm.

We call spring work—everything that must be done until the tractor can’t get in there anymore.  After that we just irrigate, until harvest time.

Summer work is irrigation

Fall is harvest, although, the corn harvest the last couple have years has been way into winter.  Still we consider it fall, until the corn is in.

Last-Cultivation-this-fieldThis is the last cultivation of this field—I call it the Middle Field, Terry calls it by it’s acres.

Cultivation has to stop when the corn is as tall as the bottom of the tractor’s little wheels, to try to run the tractor down after that will result in killing the growing corn.

No more tractor work on this field.  The next time something big is on this field will be the combine at harvest time.

Cultivating-Corn

This field has a little more growing to go, then it will be done.

BeansThe pinto beans are looking GOOD!  There is still tractor work–cultivation–on these little guys, but it will stop once the plants are bushy.  With this heat it won’t that long.

Work-1

Our alfalfa hay is getting up to eight leaves.  (I forgot to take a photo of it)

StuckThen, of course, there are always those things that tend to slow ya down… (The tractor making the ditch slipped off and got stuck.

OUTIt didn’t take long to get him out.  Just a little slow down.

UnstuckThen back to the house I go!

Your friend on a farm in western Colorado 🙂

Linda

The Last of the Pinto Beans—Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pate-of-beansI cooked the last of our pinto beans last night. The aroma of the beans earthy sweetness suffused the kitchen, welcoming us with a comforting embrace.   (Eating beans and corn together supplies all the amino acids necessary for our bodies add in some ham; cook together until the beans are done. Serve with a hot chili pepper —- yum.)

Over supper Terry and I talked about farming this coming year.  The big question: ‘Are you going to farm?’  Flashing loud and constant, like a neon sign.  The second week of March is when the ground will need to be worked, the ditches made, the canal put in order, the seeds bought.

Disking-2010-008

“I don’t know”, Terry shook his head.  ” I really don’t know. But I need to be deciding I have to purchase the seeds (including the pinto beans—he plants Bill Zee pinto beans), the alfalfa field needs plowed up and moved….there are things I want to do to improve the place, a renter just can’t, nor should do.”Plowing-2011“I just don’t know.”  He shook his head again.

Leveling

“Besides I don’t want to be like our friend…he sold the farm, moved to town, grew so depressed because he didn’t have the farm anymore he rushed his move of the rainbow bridge one night.”

“That was terribly sad, for him and his family.  But we are NOT going to sell the farm.”  I pointed out.

Marking-Out“No, but Bob, rented his out and said it was the worst thing he ever did.  No one could farm the place properly.”

irrigation-begins-picasa.jpgI just smiled.

Planting-CornThen all the old farmers who are my age, keep asking me what I plan on doing if I don’t farm….die?!

Opening-the-corn-Ground

“I just don’t know.”  He said as he pushed himself away from the table.  “I just don’t know.”

CornerSo here it is the million dollar question….with the clock ticking.

Your friend on a Western Colorado Farm,

Linda