Saturday, April 30, 2011

Six weeks

The grapes have been in the ground six weeks. The trellis system is complete and all the vines are now protected by milk cartons.

Six weeks ago


Our cartons runneth over.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I almost feel like a farmer

Can I say that yet?

It occurred to me as we were raking the chili's. Some of the seeds are deeper than we anticipated. If we didn't want to lose part of the crop, we needed to rake off the extra dirt.

So we raked. And raked. And raked.

When we spied baby chili's breaking through the top soil we cheered and took pictures.

When we spied ladybugs, we cheered and blessed them to multiply.

And we've kept raking. We walk the chili rows each day, pulling weeds, raking when necessary, mowing the too-tall wheat, monitoring the soil moisture, killing snakes (egads!), praying over our little field and joining the throng of farmers around the world praying for rain.

I almost don't recognize myself in all my farmer's tan glory.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Near miss

We are smack dab in the middle of our learning curve with these irrigation pivots. How much water to put down in what frequency. How long said frequency will take. We're talking hours, days, and sometimes weeks, to put down the necessary water, with each pivot holding different variables.

We recently attempted a quicker watering of the chili's. We knew it wouldn't take long--our best guess was 2.5 hours. We started the pivot and headed to town for dinner.

You know how sometimes you just know you need to hurry? We all started feeling antsy so we gulped down our food and sped back to the farm.

We're so very glad we did.

As we reached the pivot in question we saw this.

Two pivots headed on a collision course. Nathan jumped out of the truck and manually shifted the pivot to reverse to stave off destruction.

We installed the auto-reverse stops the next day. It was all just a little too much drama for us.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


So after discing the new field comes rough leveling.

This is the implement.

Here's what it looks like in action.

It's a whole lot more efficient than going out there with a shovel and doing this by hand.

I asked Nathan how he knew the best ways to level sand. (It's not as easy as you'd think.) He thought for a moment and then with all sincerity replied: Playing in the sand box as a child.

So there you go, moms. It is actually very important that your little boys and girls play in the sand box so they will grow up to know how to level a field before planting. True story.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bird in the barn

Over the weekend I gave my husband the day off. Generous, isn't it?

The man has been pulling double duty with me still in the sickly way. Working all hours of the night and day repairing things, babysitting pivots, the usual stuff. He needed a break. So I drove out to the farm twice to do the necessary checks.

What I discovered on checking the barn was a bird inside. Another first.

* The picture is for illustration purposes only. I didn't get a picture of the bird . . . nor does the barn look this clean anymore.

I opened both oversized garage doors in my attempt to woo him back outside. But instead of helping, it just made him flutter more furiously toward the skylight windows. He wanted nothing to do with freedom unless it was through those windows.

It made me wonder how often I do the same thing: seeing only one way to achieve my objective rather than being open to other possibilities. I think magic is at its most playful in those other possibilities.