Gettin it done

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The soybeans are all finished!! Yayy!! We are finally getting things marked off of our to do list.  It feels really good now we just have to wait on some rain.  Sadly crops are looking terrible right now, because we have went so long without any to little rain.  The only good thing that we have is that our crops are spread out so far that some of our fields have gotten more rain than others.  These last couple of months have been hard to sit and watch the fields.  I think it might be because I am a little more attached this year.  I actually am the one who planted the majority of our soybeans.  It wasn’t my first time driving a tractor, but if was the first time I had to spend so much time driving one.  It definitely was harder than I thought it would be and it was exhausting riding in the tractor for hours.  But it was something that had to get done and I was glad to do it.  It felt good to accomplish something on such a grand scale.  I also saw some wildlife and got a break from my kids, so I really can’t complain.  I have to do something to keep myself busy over the summer.  We actually are currently on vacation!  Awesome I know, farmers of get vacations.  It just takes some different preparations.  We had to get something’s taken care of first and we are only going for a couple of days.  I will gladly take it though!

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Sweet potatoes again…..

I’m sure you guys are tired of hearing about sweet potatoes.  That’s pretty much all I have to talk about right now at this point in time.  We are finished with our second round of planting.  This time we used plants that we had bought from some farmers out East of us.  We are trying some new varieties, that I am really excited about.  We are doing some real red potatoes with orange flesh and some purple and white potatoes.  My plan is to make a colorful variety box to sell around Christmastime.  I think sweet potatoes would make a great Christmas gift, don’t you!  Well fruit baskets are a thing so surely a potato basket isn’t too crazy.  We are about a whole week ahead of schedule with potatoes this year.  Now the next move is to watch them and “cultivate” when the weeds start growing.  Of course, potatoes are not the only farming thing that my husband has been up to.  He has been very busy this week and I bet next week will be just as busy.  I love and hate this time of year.  I love all the excitement of planting and preparing for spring harvest, but I hate that we are so busy.  We stay so busy we rarely have time to do anything as a family that doesn’t involve farming.  This past week we have been getting the combine ready, spraying, and planting corn.  That is just a little of what has been going on.  We feel very behind, because usually all the corn is already planted and most of the soybeans.  The weather played a big part in putting us behind, you just can’t plant seeds into completely dry ground.  Thankfully now we have been getting lots of rain to help us out.  Well because we are so behind my husband had to ask for my help driving the tractor.  Asking for my help is not ideal, because I really don’t know what I am doing.  I mean I know the basics, but I do not know how to troubleshoot.  I just don’t feel very comfortable doing something so important.  I was terrified that I would do something wrong, but in the end it all worked out.

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Take 2-Sweet Potatoes

All I can say after this past weekend of planting is wow!  The difference between last year and this year was huge.  I don’t know if you read my blog last year and really got the picture, but we had no clue.  My hubby and I both were excited to start a new adventure, but we made big mistakes that ended up costing us money in the long run.  Last year my whole world shut completely down and afterwards it took me weeks to recover.  This year was so much smoother and I can’t even explain how much better I feel.  This year we knew we already had one big cost saver and that was the fact we had planted our own slips.  We did that back in about late March and we did all the work ourselves, so hey they were pretty much free!  So the week before our plant day, my hubby, me, and this young guy we have hired got out cut as many slips as we could.  We ended up with about 40 boxes or I was figuring 30,000 slips.  We knew on the first day last year we had planted about 15 boxes, so we figured that was a good number to start with.  The plan was to plant all those slips and maybe come back with the helpers and cut some more slips on day 1.  We weren’t really sure if that would happen that fast, but we knew it was a good shot.  The night before my hubby made some final adjustments to his machine and it was working much better than last year.  The plant depth was perfect and we practiced running faster than last year.  Then on the day of our first plant day, I woke up and didn’t have a babysitter.  Last year I had to do a lot of the work so I was worried about not having someone to watch the boys.  It was all good though we loaded up plenty of toys and headed to the field.  It ended up working out perfect, because then all I had to do was be a runner.  I was able to take plants across the field and pick up used boxes quickly.  I could run go get plants out of the cooler and by mid morning all the stress was gone.  My boys and I actually really enjoyed riding around in the field and staying cool in the shade at times.  They played in the dirt and I stayed busy keeping things running smoothly.  Plus I didn’t feel guilty when I slipped away to take the boys to their T-ball celebration picnic on Saturday. (Which I really didn’t want them to miss)  They finished up the first 40 boxes by about 12:30 and then took a lunch break and started working on cutting slips.  Amazingly with 8 people they got 45 boxes cut in about 4 hours and we were finished by 5 that day.  I had to run boxes back and forth to put a cooler that we borrowed for the day. Yayyy no plants in my living room this year.  My hubby was planning on that 45 boxes to finish up the field, but of course it didn’t.  On day 2, they planted all 45 boxes by about 1:00 and had to come back and cut 10 more boxes so that they could finish.  Everything was done and cleaned up by 4!  We celebrated by hosing the kids down with the extra water that we had brought to the field and kicking back to watch the potatoes grow!  After everything was finished I sat down and done the math.  We actually planted the same about of plants on the 3 acres, that we planted all together last year.  So if all goes well that one field will yield just as many potatoes as we did last year!  That makes me excited and nervous at the same time, because we have to find places to store all those potatoes……