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Behind My Picket Fence.....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mud Pies and why I hate them….

I’ve been debating if I should write about harvest because why would anyone be interested?  But like I’ve said before, it’s my blog and if it makes me feel better, why not? 

Farming is so different from other occupations.  We don’t “do” farming like someone might “do” mechanical work.  We “live” farming.  It’s always here staring us in the face.  You can do all the things right with the seed choices, the fertilizers and chemicals needed, the cultivation and a hundred other things and in the end we still are at the mercy of Mother Nature.  Harvest is the time that a year’s worth of work is realized.  Payday if you will.

Here in the Valley, we grow a very large  percentage of the beet sugar grown in the U.S.  It’s a very big deal in terms of our area economy as well as for individuals.  If you ever buy Crystal Sugar, it might have come from our farm.

Once beet harvest starts in October it continues 24 hours a day until done.  EXCEPT, when we get temps below freezing or when the ground temp is above 50-some degrees.  Then we have to wait until those conditions change.  OR, when we’ve had too much rain for the equipment to move.  In the past week, we’ve had over 3” of rain. 

We are working today – I helped move equipment to a field that “might” have less mud.  But let me show a few pics taken before the last 1” of rain….


Approach to the field:  DSC00678

Water stands in various parts of the fields:



On the left is the tractor that lifts the beets from the ground putting them into the truck which is pulled by a large 4-wheel drive tractor.  The truck would be stuck in minutes without the tractor towing:



Being pulled out of the field……


Onto the road……..


We’re on the road and being un-hooked from the tractor.


The county does it’s best to clean the roads for everyone’s safety:


And our almost- perfect Baxter.  You cannot imagine how he struggles with harvest.  He very badly wants to be with Mr.... Farmer.  But look at all that mud.  Do you think Mrs.... Picket Fence will be upset if I run thru all that?????????  (yes, I WAS!!)  Maybe he’ll be perfect tomorrow.


I am so over all that farming in the  mud story, aren’t you?  I have a couple things I’m working on but I can only show you one today.  I was out in my woodshop and look what I found:


It’s a primitive candle box that I made as a surface on which to mount this punch needle embroidery project. 

What I will show you in a day or 2 is the Wool Garden sample that I made for Mrs.... Farmhouse over at Farmhouse Woolens.  I’ll post the finished picture plus a tutorial on how to finish it.

I’d best go check on the farm progress.  It’s been quiet so that should mean it’s moving along. 


Carrie ~ Cricketwood Prims said...

Mud Pie, perfect title for your post!! I hope Mother Nature gives you a little break on the weather.
Now Baxter, boys and dogs just have to be boy dogs!!! How did he like his bath?
Cute candle box and punch needle, you woolies are just so talented! I will definitely enjoy your tutorial, I love my Wool Garden!!
Best wishes on your Farmin!

Stina said...

A lot of mud.. but being a farmers girl... I know about mud!! :o)
Oh.. I just love the candle box and the punch needle...
and you said you made that one.. geeze.. its wonderful.. wish I could make things like that... !!!
Perfect!!! :o)

katie said...

When I buy sugar from the store I will have a new appreciation of how it got there. Thank you for the pictures.
I also love your punch needle I have yet to try it, but do have the supplies. You have inspired me, maybe I will work on one at retreat in November.

Susannah said...

Wow! You guys have a huge operation going on there. Mud? I'm a farmer's daughter....this time of year and in the spring..farms do have lots of mud. Thank you for explaining all of that. Here in our area, we do not have any beets for crops. Your post was very interesting to me.

The candle box with the needlepunch is perfect. I love it. You did a great job. Is there no end to your talents?


Jan said...

That's fascinating!!! Such a different life than we have down here in SFL. Wishing you a great harvest and I adore the candle box!

Pat said...

Faye, your post about "farming" is very enlightening. I am married to a man that was raised on a farm in Kansas.

Have you seen the new book Farmers Wife Sampler Quilt? It is filled with letters of 1920 era farm wives.

Sherrill said...

Hopefully, the rain will stop (for a little while) long enough for you guys to finish up and be done.

I LOVE that wood project with the beautiful punchneedle. SO PRETTY!

Amy said...

The rain has finally stopped down in Southern MN - now we will just have SNOW to content with come tomorrow :-( We just started harvesting corn yesterday - very, very late for us! I think this will be a loooonnnngggg harvest - sending positive thoughts your way - from one farm wife to another!

Kristi said...

Sorry Mom, but we had rain and snow all day yesterday, and more snow coming tomorrow. As usual, it will probably be coming your way.

Shawn said...

Hi Faye,
I stopped by after reading Karen's note that I received in our last BOM package today. I'll be back to see the finished wool garden. I love stitching this BOM. Be careful with all that mud around. We live in a farming community too ~ near Lancaster Co. PA.

Grammy Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

I am glad you posted about mud pies. Too many of us suburban raised kids don't truly understand what farming really is about. Too many think is is just cows and pigs making their cute sounds. Because of our extremely wet and gray summer in central MA, many farmers are hurting from rotted crops and crops that just didn't grow for lack of sun. It affects us all in the end, doesn't it? I hope it dries out for you!!

PS love the candle box!!