Friday, July 9, 2010

The post in which I pretend I know what I am talking about

10 years ago, I didn't realize what all happened on a farm at different times of the year.

10 years later, I still don't.

But I like to pretend that I do.

Summer in the midwest usually means it is time to harvest wheat. Sounds simple enough, but apparently it's a very complicated process, necessitating nearly every piece of equipment on the farm.

It starts out with this beautiful, golden wheat. You know those "amber waves of grain" we sing about?

This is it.

Shortly after it looks like this, it's time for the combine to harvest the top part, the actual wheat.

Once harvested, you are left with this

and this.

The straw then needs to be mowed

and raked.

Once the straw has been raked, it will be left in tidy little rows, perfect for baling.

Then the fun really begins. It's time to bale.

You definitely need a Dodge pickup.

Well, I guess you need 2 Dodge pickups.

Or, um, well, 3 Dodge pickups?

Okay, 4. You need 4 Dodge pickups.

And you'll definitely need a few of these.

The straw can either be baled into big round bales with this guy

or square bales with this. And to be honest, I don't understand why they are called square bales, when they are actually rectangular. But that's just my inner dork coming out.

The "square" baler stacks the bales into a neat little pile and dumps the entire pile into the field.

Then a skid loader comes along to pick up the pile (one layer at a time) stacking it on the wagons.

Once the wagons are full, a gaggle of sweaty guys start loading them into the barn.

And just when you think the job is done, when the last bale is out of the field, out comes the tractor and seed drill to double crop beans in the same field.

Which is about the time I head back into the air conditioning for a cold drink. Taking pictures of all this work is exhausting.

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Anonymous said...

I have to agree...taking pictures IS hard work!!! Enjoy that AC and a cold drink.

Unknown said...

Hey this city girl really appreciates your post, I had no idea!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

To be honest, I'm impressed people actually work that hard!

I meant you taking pictures ;)

Awesome pics btw

Kristin said...

I am a city girl and i saw one of those raking trucks on a drive last month. I couldn't figure out what is was. Thanks for solving that for me. I am a dork. LOL

Anonymous said...

Whew! Put your feet up after working so hard!
Margaritas go great with A/C!

Unknown said...

Gosh I miss living in the midwest. There's always such a sense of... I don't know... pride?? Happiness? I don't know what the word is, but when I see a farmer in the field, all is right with the world.

Jennifer said...

Just wanted to let you know that if you had a Chevy you wouldn't need four Dodges! ;0)
Just had to put my two cents in!

Stephanie said...

Great post! I love reading about what goes on at American farms/ranches.

Unknown said...

Looks VERY Familiar-except for the hay part. The only hay made here is in the bedroom :)

Michelle said...

Does your husband do all that himself??? WOW.

Fearless_Fabulous_Gayle said...

I loved this post.
My ex-husband is a farmer. We had 400 acres, and he leased 10+ other farms that he worked off of. He stayed busy all the time with his crops (tobacco.hay.corn.etc.) and livestock. The only bad thing was, we never got to go anywhere (unless it was a weekend trip. we did that 3 times I think) because a cow would get out or something would fall apart. Being a "city girl" I had no idea what farming was all about....but I learned to drive a tractor and I learned the in and outs of it, LOL. I agree it is HARD work!
Sad though, I really miss that whole "farming scene!" Maybe one day I can have one of my own.

Prairie Rose said...

Hello From a Idaho Farm Wife!
Bumped across your blog today and have enjoyed reading it:)
Our wheat is just starting to turn out here.
Loved the dodge pics,It certainly does seem like they solve every problem,and where one is,more will soon follow!
Only been married for 2 1/2 years and I am still trying to figure out this whole farming thing.

vanilla said...

Right rectangular parallelepiped.

Excellent pictorial account of the wheat harvest. Nicely done!

Just say Julie said...

Baling hay is how I learned to drive :) I remember driving down the rows while the adults would throw the bales in the back of the truck... while I crept along at about 7 mph :)

Rhea said...

I love the photos and the explanation!! I yearn for farm life, even though I know it's a lot of hard work.

Martha@A Sense of Humor is Essential said...

Wow, that is one HUGE job! Thanks for showing us the low down on Getting It Done!!

Susan said...

Great pictures! It really captures what goes on during the harvesting process. I too would be inside with a cold drink. And you totally sounded like you know what you are talking about!!!

Merrie said...

Wow, my life is so boring compared to this. My 2nd husband should be a farmer!! lol

Carolyn White said...

Girl, I hear ya! I used to try and do all the farm work with John, but then I decided I wanted to be the farm wife that brought out the Gatorade and took pics so I could brag about all his hard work on my blog! HAHA We just do corn, beans and hay here - and we round bale not "square". You have no idea how much I want to wake John up right now and ask him why they call them square!

Thanks for the prize I won last month BTW - the girls and I fight over the beach towel!

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Mrs4444 said...

That was really interesting! Thanks! (and I can't believe you didn't bake a bunch of apple pies for those hard workers!haha)