Farming isn’t for the faint of heart. Harvest of 2018 will be one that is talked about for years to come. It was one of the hardest years I can remember for farmers. If you sit around farmers long enough you know that weather is their most talked about topic. This year was a year of extreme weather.
Spring came in Hot
Spring is probably my second favourite season next to Fall. I love it because it is warm enough to put away the winter coats. T-shirts and hoodies make their way into our regular wardrobe and coats are sometimes forgotten at home.
Smells of freshly tilled gardens and fresh cut grass fill the air. There is a feeling of anticipation as everyone wants to get their hands and feet in the field or garden. I get the itch to plant anything and everything.
Summer faded into Fall
After a hot and rapid Spring we had another hot season of Summer. With little to no rain, it was the hardest year ever for me garden wise. Most of my seeds were old and I planted them into to hot dry soil and it never really rained. I tried to reseed a few things but my germination was very sporadic.
I had to tell myself there is always next year and that this winter I would need to rely on the grocery store more than I did last year. Fall started to look promising as what did grow in the garden started to come into the house. My potatoes did great this year and so did my carrots.
Snow in Summer
As Summer started to fade I began my fall yard prep. It was all looking good for finishing harvest on time. Farmers all around were busy prepping equipment and waiting on go. Come September 14, it snowed and temperatures fell. The following week we got over a foot more snow. It was heartbreaking.
My parents who are still full time grain farmers hadn’t started harvest yet. Crops were still in the field waiting. All they could do was hope and pray that harvest would come. Being a farmer is hard.
Over the last few years as Arlen and I have talked and prayed about moving back to the farm. We have discussed the stresses and the worries that come from full time farming. It was hard to sit back and know that we had no control over the weather and could do nothing to help my parents.
By God’s grace the snow began to melt and the wind picked up enough to start melting the snow and dry the grain. Crops were laid down more than they should be, but not a flat as they could be. Arlen was able to take part of a week off from work to head to my parents and help start getting the crop off.
Wednesday October 17, a little over a month after the snow started we were able to get rolling in the fields. There was a collective sigh of relief that came as every day passed and more crop was put into the bins.
At this point there wasn’t much I can do to help as we live just under 2 hours away from the farm. The kids were in school and I drive bus. Over the Spring/Summer we had listed our house for sale and one of the things weighing heavy on my mind was all my perennials in my yard and field (I had done field cut flowers as a business for the past 3 years). What happens if the house sells in the middle of winter? What am I going to do with my plants?
When we got word that harvest had started I went into overdrive and starting digging all my perennials. There are 100’s of them. I dug, sorted and labelled all my plants and stacked them into the back of our truck. Knowing that once I got to the farm the field would be harvested. I could go out there, till and plant all my plants on the site of our future home.
As soon as school was out Friday and I was home from my bus route, the kids and I got in the truck and headed to the farm. It was so good to be heading there. All 3 kids and I could hardly wait.
Farming is in your bones. I look at our oldest son and since he was 4, he has been a mini farmer. I would take the kids down to Mom and Dads every harvest. Jordan (our oldest) would get his lunch packed and he’d head out and ride in the grain truck with my Dad all day. The other 2 kids would go out for a load or 2 but they’d get bored and come back to the house.
Not Jordan. It’s in his bones. This year was extra special as he got to learn to drive the combine. Out there in that field was 3 generations of farmers. My Dad, my husband and my son.
While they were busy harvesting, my Mom and I got all my plants in the ground at the new site. It’s going to be great in spring seeing them all come up there.
Just so you know, they (mom and dad) did get all their crop off in record time. All thanks be to God for keeping the weather beautiful, equipment from breaking and my parents healthy till the end.
Living on faith
I’m sitting here today finishing up this post about harvest and it’s hard to believe we’ve been done for a month already. There is snow on the ground and we’re still living in our home. It hasn’t sold yet and we’re living on faith. We believe that we’re going to be moving to the farm in the next year and we’ve done all that we can do on our end to be ready. So till it actually sells we’ll be living on faith.
It’s probably good practice for when we start actually farming. Being a farmer is the ultimate test of faith!