What a Ride

As crazy and as busy as 2016 was, 2017 will be even more.  This year will be a year of change for us and it is a change that I am very happy about.   I just can´t tell you guys about everything all at once.  Let me tell you about what has been happening the beginning of this year, on Circle C Farms.  Cooper has been playing basketball and is loving every minute of it.  The other two boys wish that they were doing basketball.  I have been working non stop and working on organizing paper work.  There has also been a lot of spraying going on.  We have to get put out herbicide and fertilizer on all our spring crops. Probably the biggest thing was that, Jody went to the Sweet Potato conference and met the governor, Roy Cooper.  I find it really awesome that Roy Cooper came out to the national sweet potato conference to talk with NC farmers.  Even better that my husband bumped in to him and shook his hand.  They even got to talk for a few minutes.  But that isn’t even the biggest news that we have for the month.  Our big news is……. Jody went back to full time work.  Yeah it isn’t very exciting, but for us this is a huge deal.  It just felt like this was the right time to make some transitions.  We just both felt like God was opening this door up for us for a reason.  When Jody originally quit full time work, we needed someone to watch our kids.  We had three little ones at home and we couldn’t afford day care.  It just fit.  We couldn’t live on his salary alone, but we could live on mine with some farm income.  So it has worked and it has worked well.  Jody has been able to watch our boys, take them to doctor visits, ride them on tractors, and be at the school any time they needed him.  Only now with two of them in school, he has been freed up some to be able to go back to work.  If all things work out our youngest will be in school this fall and there won’t be any little ones at home anymore.  This just opens up a lot of possibilities.  Now for the future of Circle C Farms, well it is definitely going to go on.  Honestly I don´t think much is going to change with our farm.  We have decided to only grow 5 acres of sweet potatoes.  We know that we can plant 5 acres in 2 days and hopefully will be able to harvest in just a few days.  We plan on row cropping about the same amount as last year.  So really the biggest difference is now my husband gets an earlier start every day and is starting to get in the bed earlier.  I am already looking ahead to March and how busy it will be.  It still amazes me that some people think farmers can take time off.  Somehow we stay incredibly busy no matter what time of the year it is.

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Winter on a Farm

One of my new resolutions is to blog more often.  I really enjoy writing and I don’t get very many chances to indulge my habit.  I stay very busy as you guys can probably imagine.  I often think to myself that I really have two full time jobs and one part time.  Teaching and being a mom of course are my full time jobs and then farming I consider part time, although at times it takes over.  One of the problems with blogging more, means I have to come up with more topics to write about.  I can’t just keep updating, because eventually that keeps getting monotonous.  One idea I had, is to talk about what each month means for our farm.  Most outsiders who don’t know much about farming probably think that wintertime is a slow time or a vacation time for farmers.  I can definitely compare that to teaching, most outsiders think summer break is a vacation.  But just like a teacher preparing for a new year’s class, farmers are preparing for a new year’s worth of growing.  I can also add that if you are a farmer who has livestock, there really never is a break.  The animals still have to be cared for, fed, and checked on daily.  We basically consider ourselves grain farmers even though we have pigs and chickens.  Although the sweet potatoes are a fun piece of our operation, it is still in the beginning stages, so we are still calling ourselves grain farmers.  I can’t speak for other farmers(our operation is small) but the winter time tends to be less stressful for us.  We aren’t rushing to meet the next deadline or stressing over getting this planted/harvested.  The things that my husband does during January are usually things that I don’t have to be a part of.(silent yayy from me)  He usually works on equipment and helps other farmers in the area work on their equipment.

Conferences/Conventions are another big part of what we do in January.  This past week actually my husband has been in Savannah, GA for the fruit and vegetable conference.  He was pretty excited, because he spent a whole day learning about sweet potatoes.  Louisiana State was there and they gave him lots of information and contacts for sweet potatoes.  Louisiana has done a lot of research on potatoes.  He is also going to the National Sweet Potato Convention in a couple of weeks and this one is a big one.  It will have people from all over the world to talk about just sweet potatoes.  I’m sure everyone at home is reading this and saying geez that sounds boring.  Believe me I know it does, but when you want to do something you have to do all the research that you can about it.  These conferences are also great times to make contacts for selling our product.  The husband also has to go to our grant orientation this month.  So he is going to be staying busy learning!

One more thing that we are doing is cleaning out our sweet potato trailers and selling the last of the potatoes.  I am happy to say we have almost sold out.  Over the next few weeks, we will be boxing up the last few and throwing away what we can.  The goal is to be down to just the potatoes we are saving for seed by February 1st.

We will be watching our fields and caring for those crops as needed.  As of right now they don’t need anything, but with crops you have to check on them ever so often.  Well just typing this list made me tired, so you can imagine how it makes us feel.  Plus as I already said, January is one of our slower months.  Oh yeah one more thing we squeeze in watching NFL playoffs too!