July on the Farm

As I write this, the oats is looking good, quickly turning color, and I’m getting my hauler, Craig, (a neighbor with a semi) and Parm, the neighbor with the combine, lined up. We’re thinking it will be ready in 10 days or so. There are some pretty severe thunderstorms predicted this week, with high winds and heavy rain. And another round in the evening is possible with more high winds, large hail, tornadoes, and heavy rain again.

Sigh. I really don’t want the winds… or hail. Fingers crossed we just get some rain out of this.

I have crop insurance on the corn and soybeans, including hail coverage, but crop insurance isn’t available on oats.

Beans are setting flowers which equals pods. They’re only knee high, but they’re filling in and getting bushy, just not too tall yet.

The neighbor’s field of peas was harvested. Kelly collected a shirt full of left-over peas during her evening walk. And the next day, neighbor was planting soybeans in that field. He’s pushing it planting a crop this late. I talked to him about it and he said, “I’ll tell you this fall whether this was a good idea or not.”

July 1 is usually about the latest you should plant beans and expect a reduced crop. To plant on July 13… well, it just depends how the fall weather goes. An early frost and they won’t get anything. A normal year will give them a reduced yield. Planting this late automatically means a reduced yield, but if they get enough to cover their input costs then they win.

The coop comes out a few times during the year to scout crops. They have more knowledge and a better eye than me. Usually it’s the interns. I can’t imagine how far they walk in a day, just on my farm, the first time they’re here they start on one end and, not knowing the field roads or shortcuts, they may end up on the other end of the farm and the truck is a few miles over that way. Kelly gave one a ride back to the truck one day. Since then they’ve driven to this end of the farm.

Kelly is on jury duty for two weeks. She hasn’t had to report in yet.

Daughter started day camp. Her first group activity since March of 2020. She was nervous of course, but she knew some of the staff and some of the other clients and she gets to go swimming every day, which she loves. We’ve had to try and shift her schedule a bit to make this work. She knows everything so that hasn’t worked the way we’d like. Have I mentioned she’s a teenager? Stays up too late, sleeps too late, knows everything, thinks mom and dad are ruining her life. We hear about it every day when she goes to her room and talks out loud. Kelly and I challenge each other to see who gets talked about more. She did tell Kelly she’s enjoying camp and she’s glad she’s there. I’ve noticed I have to do more household chores myself since she’s at camp.

Last week I woke up to 3 dead chickens. Bailey had one at the front door, found another in the garage, and another outside. I’m not sure what happened. I don’t think Bailey killed them; she does get excited sometimes and will run through a group of chickens. And one day she kinda harassed one hen, but I’m not convinced she killed them.

Yet, if it was a coyote, and we’ve been hearing a lot of them lately, they wouldn’t just kill it; they’d grab it and run. And racoons kill it and eat the head off. So, it’s not that either. The chickens go into a building at night and I don’t always lock them up. It’s an unfortunate mystery. My chickens are all free range. But that comes with risks. I keep a puddle down by the barn so they always have water (besides the fresh water in buckets) The puddle gets kinda gross in the hot summer months so I make a fountain with the hose. The ducks swim in there too.

I fixed not one, but TWO lawnmowers! I finally figured out where the transmission oil was coming from on the big mower. Had to pull off the seating platform, and gas tank, and there was a seal leaking under the drive pulley. As long as I was in that far, I changed the drive belt too.

And then the lawnmower that came from Kelly’s farm, and has been sitting in the shop for 4 years because it quit moving, well, I discovered I had done something kinda stupid (that I’m not going to even tell you about) and it was an easy fix. I put the mower back on that and it runs too now. Whew!

It did require another trip to Plainview for parts. Kelly (and the dogs) and I had a parts date complete with Dairy Queen again.

The storms predicted didn’t amount to anything serious for us. There sure was a dark red cell that went over, and there was a little wind that blew a large cardboard box away from the shed and a tree broke off, but no oats down. Got .82” which is real nice.

I’m spending a few days mowing weeds along the edge of fields, waterways, and pastures. In the oat fields, it’s nice to have the waterways mowed because that makes it easier to cut the oats, and also I don’t have a pile of grass or weeds when baling the straw. ‘Waterways’ are a path through the field where water is intended to run. The low spots, or valleys in a field. Since we have hilly, rolling ground, I may have 4 waterways in one field. They’re kind of a pain; I feel like I spend more time lifting and lowering implements than I do actually in the ground. And 95% of the time they don’t seem to be doing anything. Then we get a hard, ‘gully washing’ kind of rain and without the waterway, the dirt runs. And that’s why they’re there.

What’s your favorite DQ or ice cream treat?

Ever dipped a toe in an Ocean?

104 thoughts on “July on the Farm”

  1. The Dilly bar.
    Mostly Atlantic in North Carolina and Florida. It’s not an ocean but the Mediterranean at Valencia, Spain was polluted with medical waste. Hard to even look at much less touch.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. We dipped our toes in the Pacific off the coast of Washington just last week. It was cold. We stocked up on Mexican Popsicles yesterday, as it is to be really hot all this coming week. I always liked DQ twist cones.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. “DQ” means Dairy Queen, a national chain of ice cream stores. Some branches offer burgers and hot dogs as well. And I guess technically, it’s not ice cream when it’s soft served like that. Often there no seating, just walk up windows.
        Here in MInnesota, some of them close for the winter months, which surprises people from warmer climates and can be used as a dig on them too. “I suppose your DQ is open all year round!”

        Liked by 5 people

      1. They are very flavorful, and some have a tint bit of chli powder. There are also creamy ones flavored with fruits or nuts or coffee. My favorites are the mini ones that are either mango, pineapple or lime.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I like just a plain ol’ soft serve ice cream, preferably vanilla.

    I have not only dipped a toe in an ocean, I have immersed my whole body in both the Atlantic and the Pacific.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Snorkeling is fun, but it also heightens your awareness of all the critters that live in the water. I found this a bit unnerving, not while I was snorkeling, but later on when I just wanted to enjoy a leisurely swim. While snorkeling in the Mediterranean Sea off Mallorca, I saw such exotic creatures as seahorses and small squid in addition to lots of colorful fish.

      Swimming in the Sea of Cortez I accidentally stepped on a stingray once, and ended up going to the local Red Cross emergency room to have the stinger removed. My Spanish is virtually nonexistent, but the young female doctor (actually, now that I think about it, I don’t know if she was a doctor, she seemed to be very young) knew immediately when she saw my foot what had happened, and in no time had the stinger out. As I was leaving I asked what I owed, as there didn’t seem to be a billing office or any paperwork to take care of. She told me nothing and pointed to a donation box hanging on the wall in the waiting room. I could leave whatever I could afford or thought her service was worth.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. That donation thing does suggest she wasn’t qualified, but I believe it can work well, and cuts out time and bureaucracy.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It was a small building owned and operated by Red Cross, not a hospital or a clinic. As far as I know it was the only medical facility in the village, but she may not have been a doctor, however, she had obviously dealt with a sting from a stingray before.

          Liked by 4 people

  4. After our garden peas are done, probably by August 15, we will plant spinach, the Gigante d’inverno variety, where the peas were planted. That spinach variety loves cold weather.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just harvested our first ripe Early Girl tomato, and at this morning’s farmer’s market I bought a small basket of locally grown tomatoes, plus some crispy slicing cucumbers. It’s happening fast now. Husband is headed to Ely tomorrow for a couple of weeks, I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with what all is ripening. What a problem to have.

      Liked by 5 people

  5. I’ve kept chickens at various times, sometimes in a run, sometimes free range. When I kept them free range, in the field where my caravan was, I’d tell people, it’s dogs, not foxes, that do the damage. I’ve heard stories about foxes killing everything in the house, but have only come across that behaviour from dogs. A fox wil take what it needs, and maybe one for luck.
    I was driving up the road on my tractor, a mile from home. I looked over the hedge and saw a fox in the dividing hedge between two fields jumping and dancing around on the spot. I realised Alan had put a wire out. I stopped and went over, to let him go. He was mad about something, and he seemed to think it was my fault. Which explains a lot. He seemed interested in biting off my hand, I was a bit ginger about the whole thing, but I couldn’t leave him like that. I had a lunge or two, then got hold of his neck and got the wire off, and he didn’t hang around. He was gone, man.
    I got home hours later, after dark, the first thing on my mind being, as always, shut the chickens in. On the way over there, I found two scattered sets of feathers, where our guy had killed birds and taken them. I had to laugh, he put one over on me. I realised exactly which direction he’d taken off in when I let him go. He knew who I was, and he knew that I wasn’t home.
    Alan’s sister Marilyn was a legendary local beauty. I was over helping them with bales another day. I’d just stand and drool, and occasionally pick up a bale, to look like I was doing something. I told Marilyn about the fox and she wasn’t amused. Why did you let it go? Why didn’t you come and get someone with a gun? Er….. well….. because it was funny……

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Daughter dipped her whole self in a Pacific tide pool last week. She was not amused.. Her broken wrist is doing well in her lovely cast. She swears she will never go tide pooling again.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Our son’s West Highland Terrier managed to sneak up on a squirrel yesterday and dispatch it. He was upset he wasn’t allowed to play with the corpse. He would probably try to do the same thing with chickens. He is always leashed on walks and not encouraged to be a hunter, but yesterday was a great day for Westies.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I went it the Atlantic a lot as a kid. It wasn’t far away. But I never learned to swim, and it lost its appeal.
    But possibly because of my contradictory nature, when I first met Jane, we’d take my collie, Red, to the beach in the off season, and I’d find I’d get drawn into throwing sticks into the sea for him. After he died, my new dog, Connie, was crazy for it, and one night in particular, I was out on the rocks in the dark, throwing sticks out as far as I could, with waves crashing onto me thigh deep, still in my jeans. Despite my professed fear of water. Luckily it was Jane’s car we were riding in, I didn’t have one.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I haven’t had a buster bar in a long long time!
      Reese’s blizzards are my usual go to. Sometimes a dilly bar.
      When I was younger, I’d get Peanut Buster Parfaits sometimes, but they’re too big and too many calories now.
      I was thinking of chocolate dip cones and I may do one of them next time I’m there.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I generally do not really like Dairy Queen ice cream, but if I must, it is a Buster Bar. If I want a GOOD malt (chocolate) I go to Tommy’s Malt Shop in Chaska for the real thing out of real ice cream.

    Oceans—The entire Jacque has been in the Atlantic and the toe has been in the Pacific. I also had a tide pool incident in which I fell hard on my back end at the tide pools in LaJolla. It took me by surprise that a tide pool is slippery.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Pacific, north and south. Atlantic, north and south. Indian. Mediterranean. Caribbean. North Sea (cold). Baltic Sea (quite cold). As you can tell I can’t resist dipping a toe (or more) in.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I can attest to the fact that both the North Sea and the Baltic are a bit on the nippy side, but heck, my crazy coworkers at the hotel in Greenland and I used to go swimming in the fjord on days when the air temperature soared to 70º F.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My grandmother’s uncle bought a resort on the North Sea near Hamburg in the late 1890’s, and his first summer was one of the coldest in memory and he went bankrupt.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I have never actually been to a Dairy Queen until I moved to Northfield. In St. Louis, when we went for ice cream, we went to Ted Drewe’s. Frozen custard and the home of the Concrete, which far pre-dates the Blizzard. I did learn to love DQ however in Northfield although when I was living there they were one of the franchises that closed during the winter months.

    I probably have the Dilly Bar most often but that’s because I’m in the car after going through the drive-through and it’s easier. And I do like the occasional baby size Blizzard. But given time and space my favorite is the Misty Float. Cherry of course.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Husband grew up in Wisconsin, the Dairy State, (a bit of a preface to Stewart) and his father worked for a dairy cooperative, so he insists reminding us that soft serve ice cream or frozen custard isn’t really ice cream, nor is Velveeta really cheese.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The Dairy State? I’d remind y’all that not so long ago, there were more sheep per acre in North Devon and West Somerset than anywhere else in the world. And we weren’t far behind with cows, either.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Speaking only for North Devon, I can tell you that everything there is not only more, but bigger. Every thing is really big.

          Liked by 2 people

  13. Before my father turned his gas station restaurant into a pub, he sold soft serve ice cream, and I got to eat as may cones as I wished. There was more money in beer.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. I am really enjoying reading about toe dipping, snorkeling, or swimming in various oceans and seas. What fun it is to read! Thanks for sharing. I’ve put a toe in both the Atlantic and Pacific.

    In mowing news, there are two big spinning things under the mower… one of them fell off. Major repairs. Crud.

    It was big news when ‘Cold Stone Creamery’ opened in town a few years ago. I have only been there once. Now we have two ‘Flapdoodles’ stores. They have real ice cream in a variety of flavors, and it’s open all year round! And it’s really good.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I must be missing something. I tend to think of success in terms of number of bales pitched, rather than toes dipped.
      I do like ice cream though, specially Tesco’s own brand chocolate, though as you see, never had a DQ.

      Liked by 3 people

  15. North and south Atlantic, north and South Pacific, Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea, South China Sea, Coral Sea, Adriatic Sea, and this December will (hopefully) dip my toes in the Southern Ocean (Antarctica).

    As to DQ – I’m just a plain vanilla girl but also like the chocolate chip cookie dough and Reese’s peanut butter cup blizzards.

    Liked by 7 people

  16. Pacific in N. California when I lived near Half Moon Bay, where I got to use a body suit so went all the way in.
    Pacific snorkeling in Hawaii.
    Atlantic toe dipping, on our one St. Thomas vacation.
    I don’t recall toe-dipping in France.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Rather a thing of mine to stick my foot in, not any more of me since I do not swim. Water therapy in a warm water pool is intimidating enough. Not that interesting except the last one: Atlantic in Savannah, GA; Virginia Beach; Portland, Maine.
    Pacific in San diego and Half Moon Bay.
    Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana
    Pudget Sound.
    Artic Sea/Beaufort Sea Barrow Alaska

    Liked by 5 people

      1. In 2011. Our delightful goatherd up north told us about a goat farm there that served a special meal once a month. Right after that I drove out west as a retirement gift to myself and to visit don in San Jose. I asked him to drive us to see the goat farm, which proved to be delightful. We drove into the town to eat and look around and then up the coast and across to Stanford.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Oh, I did a blog on the for her (name has escaped me) but cannot find it.
          Also, for a few years I had been searching for my U of Chi casual girlfriend with whom I was a close friend. She was brilliant and delightful. She had a very unusual name which would have made her easy to find in this large nation. I thought maybe she had moved back to Germany where her name would be more common. She had escaped with her family in a tunnel under The Wall. She completed 2 majors in 8 quarter at Chicago and was accepted at Stanford medical school. Then 3 years ago she showed up in a search as an ob/gyn in Half Moon Bay, goggle maps showed me her office and the front door with her name in big letters on the glass. I had walked right by it in 2011.

          Liked by 6 people

  18. I waded into the Pacific a little in San Francisco once. There doesn’t seem to be much opportunity there, but a little bit south of Fisherman’s Wharf you can actually stand on a tiny bit of sand beach.

    I’ve never been to any other ocean. Closest I’ve come to the Atlantic was Washington DC. I’m not well traveled, and have much more experience with lakes and rivers in the Midwest.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Minnesota is blessed with an abundance of various forms of water. To my mind, Lake Superior is a great inland ocean, and many, many lakes in northern Minnesota are such pristine sanctuaries, that I don’t feel deprived of water living here. To this day, I get a great thrill out of living such a short distance from the Mississippi River. And yes, I have even submerged my whole body in it as well.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. The Mississippi holds a great fascination for me, as the second greatest river, next to the River Taw in North Devon. At least I can say I’ve been on riverboats on the Mississippi, out of Memphis and Nawlins.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. You may be wondering about the Taw. I can’t say exactly how big it is, but it’s big. Really, really big. It’s the biggest river in North Devon, and you don’t get bigger than that. Ask Steve, he’s been there.

          Liked by 3 people

  19. Garden report-picked enough raspberries for a raspberry cream pie. We have watered them lots, and now with the heat wave they are producing like crazy.

    Liked by 6 people

  20. Farm report! My farming enterprise this year is about a dozen tomato plants. I belatedly decided to put them on on the ground that’s for sale. On the grounds that it’s not sold yet. There’s a tiny enclosure I made against the rabbits and wild boar. No point planting unfenced, unattended ground. I should have bought plants, that late. But I like to grow from seed. So they are still only a foot high, and I have to water them every single day. Luckily I usually find another reason to spend diesel and wear and tear getting down there. But if I do get a crop, it won’t be worth it in cash value. And if I don’t….. Sergio, opposite the school, is picking tomatoes right now. I’m thinking I’ll be lucky if I get a dozen, after all this effort. One per plant.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. I love the Farmer’s porch been I hope you continue making them a monthly or semi regular post in the future when I was a kid 1314 years old my buddies worked in the gas station next-door to Dairy Queen and we used to go in and order up a big tray of french fries slather in ketchup and a wild mountain blackberry malt 345 times a week somewhere along the line my lactose intolerance hHas become a thing and today my favorite item at Dairy Queen is an order of onion rings they do really good onion rings

    I have put it all in the ocean East Coast West Coast China Thailand Indonesia the Mediterranean turkey

    Been away all weekend I look forward to reading your responses I just decided to plug in my answer before the day was completely over

    Liked by 3 people

      1. tim often uses voice recognition rather than typing for input, Fenton. Either way, it’s sometimes a bit of a challenge to decipher as tim eschews both punctuation and capital letters. He was obviously also never 1314 years old, but he’s well past 13 or 14. Hope that helps, or perhaps you were just kidding?

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I was PJ, actually I knew about the voice recognition AND the other things. I’d intended to calculate how much of that stuff that 1314 year old would eat in a year, and ask if it was wild mountains or wild strawberries. But figured people might be starting to yawn by now. Ha ha Fenton, very funny. Jane doesn’t bother to answer at all these days.

          Liked by 3 people

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