Today’s post and farm update comes from Ben.
It’s hardly fair that down here in our valley, it’s colder in the winter AND hotter in the summer. It’s not even noon on Thursday and it’s 89°. Plus, we don’t always get the breeze. What a cruel, cruel world.
I just took the back off the chicken coop and turned on their fan. Supposed to get baby chicks next week. They won’t hardly need a heat lamp.
The corn is growing, soybeans are just coming out, and the oats is looking a little rough in a few spots, but it’s coming along. We think the cold and rain right after planting affected the oats. Oats doesn’t like wet ground, plus there may have been enough rain to wash out some nutrients. We’ll have to see how it does. The co-op is getting ready to spray for weeds in the corn, and to spray the oats with fungicides and to prevent broadleaf weeds.
I’m officially done working at the college for the summer, but considering I wasn’t there last week when I was supposed to be, I have to go back and at least haul out garbage and put some things away and sit in the dark theater for a few minutes and have my talk with the room and just feel the energy. Yeah. I do that. All the people and activities that have come through the theater in the last 12 months, it’s good to take time and reflect on them.
Our neighbors who rent our pasture have brought cattle out.
The cows were really interested in my cutting grass right next to them the other night. I just didn’t have a camera on me.
The next show I’m lighting, ‘Raisin in the Sun’, has gotten through the first few tech rehearsals and it should be getting easier now. My friend Paul has been working night and day on the set. Three doors, a window, full vintage kitchen with working sink. And what a lot of props in this show! (It was funny to watch the cast try to figure out the record player).
The directors are from the Twin Cities.
You probably all know the plot or have seen the movies and know it’s about a black family. Finding actors of color in Rochester is difficult; in the community theaters, there may be a few. At the college, we might have two or three. So to find eight for this show, plus understudies, took a lot of community engagement before-hand. And there’s a lot of new people! I know one actor, who was at the college 13 years ago. It’s a good group of actors, and they’re doing great, and it should be a good production.
I keep saying my life is slowing down. Next week. I’ve rescheduled a massage for the third time. I’ve rescheduled a fire alarm inspection twice, and the dentist once.
I had to stop at the Farm Service Agency on Thursday and do my crop certification. I tell them what I planted where and when and how many acres. That information is used to determine cropping history and eligibility for payments in the event of natural disasters or other government payments.
Their map acres don’t match my map acres and they map out all the waterways and I end up with 55 fields on their maps. I only have about 19 fields on my maps. The staff there is always great and I hand them my maps with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is, and they figure it out. I come back later and sign it.
I started cleaning up machinery. Swept out the cab of the tractor and power washed the outside.
Started to wash the next tractor and the power washer made some terrible grinding sounds, and then it didn’t make any sounds anymore. Hmm.
I spent a few hours one day riding around in a big truck guiding the driver as he applied calcium chloride for dust control on the township gravel roads. It’s a fun way to spend a few hours.
Spotted 5 sandhill cranes a few different days. And we’re still hearing them call.
I got most of the soybean fields dragged to smooth them out. I’ve stopped now because the beans are too close to sprouting. It sure is dusty and dry, (see header photo) and every spring I’m reminded how much I rely on the ‘texture’ to find my path. It’s harder when it’s this dry and the ground didn’t work up well.
I also use a boating app that maps my route. That way I can at least tell if I skipped a spot somewhere. I use a free version, so I don’t get a map, I just get the path.
It is useful especially at night and trying to find where I left off in a field. I saw a drivers ed car: ‘St. Joseph Driving School’ with a Renaissance style image spread across the whole drivers side of St. Joseph. Considering ‘Catholic.org’ says Joseph is the patron saint of dying, maybe that’s not who I want for a driving instructor. But it seems like a great name, and it was a great image for the business!
Hauling my fertilizer wagon and some other small things to the auction in Plainview.
Next week, NEXT WEEK, I’ll start working on the shop!
DID YOU HAVE DRIVERS ED?
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR SPIRITUAL ENERGY?