Or at least the work part of it sure is! My hubby has been steady at everything the last couple of weeks and for some reason that is when I want to blog more than ever. Maybe I feel like I have so much to tell. I am sad that I haven’t really been able to help too much, because of working full time. I know it really is for the best, because what we do wouldn’t pay the bills year round. Plus I really do love my job.
Watching Daddy dump potatoes on the trailer
A better view of the trailer with the potatoes
I am ready to give an update on sweet potatoes! After a good bit of work and lots of help, we finally got all of them dug up. It took us awhile longer than originally planned for many different reasons. It took awhile to get the plow working perfect and then Jody’s tractor broke down(which happens a lot). Then we had some wet weather that pushed everything back a few days. We had to work around when we could get the help to pick up the potatoes. We filled up one trailer and had to go find a second trailer. The last variety needed a few more growing days to reach the desired size that we wanted, but finally we have got them up. Hallelujah! It has felt like at times this ordeal would never end. We honestly have no idea how many potatoes we actually dug. We have actually been selling them as we have been going along. We had to move some potatoes just so that we could make room for more as we dug them up. My hubby had bought twenty 40 bushel bins to hold the potatoes and they work great. Only we could have used about 100 bins, so we have had to be creative. The awesome news has been they are selling pretty well. When you make or grow a product you have to hold your breath until its’ sold. Thankfully the selling part has been going pretty well. We have three different stores that are carrying our potatoes and will be able to supply them for awhile. We have also been working with another buyer who sells local produce to local restaurants. So you may be eating one of our potatoes and not even know it.
Up close and personal with my youngest
This has just been a big learning process for us. It was not an easy task at all, but good news is we will do it all again next year. We have just invested so much time and effort that we have to. Looking back on this year, it has been an amazing harvest for my family. We have had to rely on each other for many different things and working by my husband’s side has been a great feeling. I think we both feel like we accomplished a lot. There were times when we both got frustrated with each other, but I think it helped our relationship grow. My favorite thing has been watching my little boys enjoy “farming.” They run around and play in the fields, only to come home and farm with their tractors in my living room. Oh and just because the sweet potatoes are up doesn’t mean that harvest time is over for us. My hubby just gets to move on to the next crop, which is soybeans.
The Black family has been really busy. It all began about a month ago when I went back to work. The beginning of the year for a teacher has to be the most exhausting time. I still don’t feel like I have gotten caught up at work. Of course on top of that we have started soccer. I am officially a soccer mom! It isn’t too bad we have one practice a week and then a game on Saturdays. Between teaching and taking care of little people I am busy enough. On top of my daily activities, there are tons of things to do with farming this fall. Many times I have been afraid my hubby has decided to do too much. He has had a hard time getting everything started and keeping it going.
About two weeks ago, we went over to the sweet potato field and found out that they were a great size. I wish all he would have had to do was just go out and dig them up, but it is a little more complicated than that. First sweet potatoes have to be cured if you plan on keeping them for any amount of time. The ones that you buy in the grocery store have been cured and can actually stay good for up to 8 months if they are in a cool dry environment. In order to cure the potatoes, they have to kept at 95 degrees with 90% humidity. Now when my hubby first hatched this plan, he decided to get a refrigerated trailer to put them in. He asked around and the sweet potato guys told us that it would work. My husband being the kind of last minute guy that he is, bought the trailer the day before he wanted to start digging. I was very worried that we would have no where to put all these thousands of potatoes. So the day before he had his first picking, we both went over to try out the plow.
This was the first try and the plow wasn’t working just right, because you should be seeing tons of potatoes just on top of the ground. It took a few tries but I think my hubby finally has got the plow working right. The only problem is now our tractor is broke down again! We have had the most trouble out of this tractor. We will be trading this tractor in very soon if I have my way.
So we got about 1/6 of the potatoes dug up and curing. We sold a few right away, here they are in the local store that is selling some of our stuff. We are praying that the tractor is fixed this week and we get the rest dug up.
I absolutely love the changing of the seasons. I happen to find each season wonderful in its own way, but there is something extra special about fall. There are some great holidays, my family has birthdays, fairs, and of course harvest. Harvest time for a farmer is kind of like the playoffs for a football player. They’ve been working towards this all year long. All their blood, sweat, and tears have finally paid off. My little family is ready for harvest time.
This fall we have our usual two crops, corn and soybeans. The corn always comes in first and my hubby sells some of it for deer corn. We started doing deer corn the year that Cooper was born and have really enjoyed it. We have spent many nights up late shucking corn and bagging it. Some years we take corn to sell at market and sometimes we sell some to my dad. We started out with a corn picker that didn’t take the shucks of, but last year we upgraded to one that does. That saved us tons of time and the cost of labor. September and October are so incredibly busy because I will usually come straight home and start helping with something. There are many nights that we work till 9 or 10 and only grab a quick sandwich before we head to bed.
This year we have added another crop that will have to be harvested. Our sweet potatoes that we planted back in June are almost ready! I am very nervous about how this will go. We still have so much to do before we are ready to dig them up and we still aren’t sure how some things are going to go. I can’t wait to take pictures and blog about how we do each step.
Harvest time is just such a wonderful time and it reminds me how proud I am of my hubby. He works very hard to try to provide a good life for us. At times things are hard. He doesn’t have a steady flow of income coming in, but we are working towards a larger goal. We have three boys that are going to grow up knowing what it is to work hard. They are going to know what its like to work together as a family. They won’t be a afraid of getting a little dirty to get the job done. I just happen to think those are pretty important lessons. This time next week, we will both be putting in lots of overtime and I won’t have time to be blogging.