Farm Picture Friday #54 – Small Packages

Farm Picture Friday #54 - Small Packages  COUNTRY LINKed

Last Saturday ended up being a pretty good day here on the farm.  At first I was not for sure how it was going to go.  You see the wind was blowing like crazy, it was cold and we had cattle to work.   Mama cows and baby calves all had to be brought in off the corn stalks they were enjoying eating so that they could be checked, vaccinated and poured.  I was not worried about the cattle at all.  We know to take our time and be careful with the ladies and they in turn are calm and easy to handle.  I was more worried about having three small helpers.  Three small helpers who were going to want to help, but because we still had (and have) corn to harvest, we were needing for things to go smooth which in turn makes things go quick.  In the end it was all because of three small helpers that we had such a good day.

The plan was to work the cows in the morning and then after lunch work the baby calves.  We had everyone moved through the chute and back together by 12:30!! (Just the right time to enjoy the chili that had been cooking in the crock-pot all morning.)  After working the cows, which our oldest, Wyatt, helped with, I gathered up the girls and told them it was their turn to help. Let me tell you, help they did!  I had a very proud farm mama moment when the girls got right in there and helped with the calves.  They were just the right size that the baby calves actually moved better for them then me and Gpa.  The kids walked behind the calves and gave a little push every now and then.  I wish I had a picture of all three of the kids helping, but I was lucky to get this shot of just Wyatt for today’s Farm Picture Friday.  Photography is not allowed when there are jobs that need done.  (Which means don’t have a camera in your hand when you are supposed to be working.)

Just goes to show you that sometimes the best help can come in small packages.

Blessings to you and all small packages,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #51 – Inspection

Farm Picture Friday #51 from Country Linked - www.countrylinked.wordpress.com

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted.  – Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, KJ

Blessings to you and to those who are harvesting,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #50 – Change

Farm Picture Friday #50 by Country Linked

CHANGE

I love this picture of the Country Link Kids. They have grown, changed and developed so much in the two years of this blog.  When COUNTRY LINKED was started, two of them were in school full time and the littlest one was only 3 years old.  Now they are all in school and this farm mama is home, by herself most of the day.

With all of the change going on right now, from the changing of the seasons to the change in routine, now seemed like a good time to reflect on my blogging journey and the look of the blog.  We all evolve and change so why not a blog?  Welcome to the changed COUNTRY LINKED!

*I hope you notice the new blog header.  It was designed by the lovely Erin Enhel.  She does fantastic work if you need design work done or photos taken.  Thanks Erin!

Blessings to you,

Laurie – Country Link

 

 

Farm Picture Friday #47 – LIVE. WORK. PLAY.

FPF#47

Where do you live?  Do you live in a city or a small town?  Do you live down a gravel road or near a major interstate?  Do you live close to where you work or far away ?

Today’s Farm Picture Friday might tell you more about where we live.  (I know, not my usual FPF, but I promise you I am going somewhere with this, trust me.)  We live where we work and where we play.  Huh?  Yes, we as family farmers Live, Work, Play all at the same place.

Take the above collage of pictures.  These pictures were actually taken all on the same day in June on our farm in north central Missouri.  It was a typical Saturday morning.  We had things to get done and family was visiting.  When cousins come to the farm they know that they are going to help with something.  On this day we had gravel that needing spreading and the bean platform (combine header) needed worked on so it would be ready for wheat harvest.  The garden needed checked and weeded and the little pedal tractor and wagon of course had to be played with.  Gpa needed lots of good helpers to help him with his chores and Seth needed little ones to tease.  Live. Work. Play. 

Live. We built our home five years ago on part of my family’s farm.  The cattle walk by multiple times a day for water and here soon we will be seeing new baby calves by their sides.  We live close enough to my parents that we can be there in a flash if we are needed or something is forgotten at one place or another.  There are pastures on three sides and across the gravel road that runs in front of the house there is a bean field.  Closest neighbor is a mile and the mailman is most consistent and sometimes the only daily traffic on our road.  We have fresh air to breath and the beauty of God’s creation to look at every day.

Work.  When you care for the land and animals you need to be available for whatever may come up.  Be it working in the garden so that fresh vegetables and fruit can be on the table, assisting the cow that is having trouble giving birth, or making that late day delivery of seed, we are ready for work at a moments notice.  Seth’s job as a Sale Manager for Burrus Hybrids allows him to work on/from the farm.  His main office is here out of the house.  It offers him flexibility and access to those who he serves.  Being a Sales Manger for a seed company is not a nine to five kind of job.  Days can be long, so being able to have an office in the home is necessary and a true blessing when you are the seed guy.

Play.  We do take time to play, but when we do it is usually here on the farm with family or friends.  Be it building a fire in the fire pit to roast hot dogs and marshmallows, or lighting fire works on the 4th, it all takes place right here on the farm.  The kids enjoy being outside and love to have friends (and cousins) come for a visit. Their friends love coming to the farm.  Where else do you get to climb on hay bales, pick sweet corn or take muddy adventures? Not anywhere else I know of then the family farm.  Now we do take vacations, but like they say, “There is no place like home” and “Home is where the heart is”.

This week’s Farm Picture Friday is just the start of more blog posts regarding Live. Work. Play.  Until then, tell us about where you live, work or play.

Blessings to you and all who live, work and play on family farms,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #45

FPF#45

Being a farm mom I relish the times that my children are with me.  Depending on what I am doing or where I am at, they are not always with me on or off the farm. Take Wednesday for instance.  That morning three of us left the house to go to swimming lessons.  Kendall, the middle child, had already left to go to a 4-H Clover Kid camp and we would be picking her up later.

Two with me, one not.

After arriving home with all three kids, a babysitter came to watch them so that I could go to the hay field to help.

None with me.

After getting the hay done, I went to the house and got Wyatt, the oldest, so that he could help plant beans.  I went to the field too with the extra beans in case they were needed.

One with me, two not.

After the beans were planted it was back to the hay field to pick up small square bales of alfalfa.  Wyatt was needed to help drive so that I could help pick up bales.

One with me, two not.

After all the work was done, it was time to head back home and fix supper.

Three with me. 

I relish the time together with my children.  The learning and growing that they do.  The sense of accomplishment that I see on their faces.  The love for each other and the land that we are raising them on.  Yes, I even love the dirty knees and the ripped out jeans.

Blessings to you and any child who has ripped the knees of their jeans,

Laurie – Country Link

Farm Picture Friday #43

FPF #43

Yesterday we finished planting for 2014!  The seed is in the ground, so all we need now is rain and sunshine so those little seeds can grow.

On the day this Farm Picture Friday was taken, we had just arrived to the field with a cold, glass of ice tea and a snack for Gpa so that he could take a break from planting.  The kids met him in the field, and immediately began looking for seeds to check the depth and placement of the soybeans he had just planted.  Seed depth is very important.  Too deep and the seed may have a hard time making it to the surface.  If planted too shallow, the seed may not establish a good root system, which could lead to an uneven stand and lower yields.  The kids have become accustomed to seeing Gpa and their Dad stopping to check the depth of seed, because as a Burrus Seed Dealer, Seth is always out in the fields checking on the seed placement and the growth of the plant through the growing season.

After checking the seed, they all came back to the truck to have a drink and to help Gpa eat his snack.  (The kids are good at helping Gpa do a lot of things, especially eating.)  After a few minutes, we noticed the temperature was dropping and a wind coming across the field, for it was stirring up the dirt.  Right behind that wind was rain.  RAIN!  A pop-up shower occurred with BIG rain drops.  We scrambled to the trucks to get windows rolled up and the tarp on the grain truck where the seeds are stored.  We did not get “soaked”, but we sure were damp.  The rain lasted long enough that Gpa had to quit planting for that day.  So instead of getting done on Wednesday, we finished planting yesterday, Thursday, May 29th. Two whole weeks before we began planting last year.

Just like the weather on this day, farming can be unpredictable and things tend to just “pop” up.

Blessings to you and those still in the fields,

Laurie – Country Link

Sweet Corn that is sooooo Sweet!

Sitting on the tailgate

A few days ago we went to the field to help with the sweet corn planting.  We plant a sweet corn that is sooooo sweet, we have to work hard at keeping the wild animals out of it.

Sweet Corn 2014

We are not commercial growers of sweet corn.  We raise as much as we can because we love to have sweet corn all year-long, not just a few days during the summer.  You may be asking, “Isn’t the garden the best place to plant your sweet corn?”.  That is a very valid question.  My garden has three rows of sweet corn planted in it and it has just come up through the ground.  I will plant at least three more rows later this week in hopes that we have a few weeks of eating corn on the cob and not just a few days.  The “Big Patch” that we planted in the field, is what we not only eat on, but also spend a few days during the summer freezing.  Have you ever worked up and froze corn?  It is a JOB!  Such a big job, that in this family, if you don’t come and help at least for a bit, you probably are not going to get to see any in your freezer.  Hopefully when you come for a visit, it is served during a meal.

Sweet Corn PlantingAs you can see the planter makes fast work of getting an acre of sweet corn planted.

Coon's Choice III

Checking the seed depthThis year there was a “supervisor” of the sweet corn planting.  She took her responsibilities very seriously.

Coon's Choice III

What kind of sweet corn do we plant?  Burrus’s very own COON’S CHOICE III!

Do the raccoon’s really like it?  Why yes, they do.  We move the sweet corn patch every year in hopes that the raccoon’s have a harder time finding it.  An electric fence is also put up around the outside to keep the raccoon’s and deer away.  Some years it works, but every once in a while the raccoon’s do get in and wipe it out.  This is also the reason why we try to freeze some every year.

Now that the “Big Patch” is planted, we will check on its progress and make sure that the electric fence is put up before it tassels.

Three Sweet Corn KidsThese three sweet corn kids can’t wait unit the corn is ready!  (The “supervisor” has a few more teeth that need to grow in before she can enjoy corn on the cob.)

Blessings to you,

Laurie – County Link

*This post was linked to the Country Fair Blog Party

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Farm Picture Friday #39 – Helping Hands

FPF #39

I decided to title this Farm Picture Friday, “Helping Hands”.  Tessa and her Gpa are doing work on the fence that separates the cows from the calves at weaning time.  It needs to be and will be replaced, but time was running short and the best solution was to make repairs, add a few posts and check for holes.  Tessa is holding down the bottom wire of the fence so that Gpa can add another clip to keep the fencing in place.  She is offering her “Helping Hands”.

When times get busy, hectic, or rushed, we tend to forget that a helping hand may be needed. Mom’s can be especially bad about not asking or seeking a helping hand, (trust me I know).  We want to do it all or give the appearance that we can do it all.  What this mom needs to remember is that asking for a helping hand does not show weakness or lack of ability, it shows a need.

Tessa even at the young age of four, is giving of herself with just the use of her hands.  Can we all do that?  Can we extend a hand to others in a time of need?  Can we be the “anchor” that holds someone so that they can achieve their goals?  Can we seek out a hand when times are tough and help is needed?

Many Blessings to all of you.  May you be a “Helping Hand” to others and may you seek a “Helping Hand” when the time comes.

Happy Easter,

Laurie – Country Link

This post was Linked Up with the Country Fair Blog Party

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