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Sunday, May 4, 2014

My week in review with various photos of things other than corn

It has been pointed out to me that I should not let work get in the way of posting to the Lazy Farmer blog, after all, it is in fact called, "The Lazy Farmer."
I do feel bad about letting down my 37.5 loyal and faithful readers and so here is what has been happening in my life.
This is the view out my back window sometime midweek.
Our swamp of a farm is slowly drying out and I am planting it five acres at a time. This view represents quite a step for us. We have moved from 12ft equipment way up to 16 feet. The neighbor farmer passed away and I made what I thought was quite a low offer on a harrow, cultipacker, and double corrugated roller. My offer was accepted and I said thank you very much!
I've wanted a double corrugated roller for several years. Ever since the babbit bearings wore out on the McCormick Deering model we were using before.
The double corrugated roller features two rollers mounted in tandem. The rear roller is smaller than the front roller and is off set so the point of the rear roller breaks up the ridge of the front roller. It leaves a corrugated finish on the field. Those grooves left in the soil then help preserve moisture. It works really well on our river bottom soils for reasons that I am sure Ed Winkle could tell you in detail.
I should have been planting but I got caught up to my little helper who wasn't coming in till 9 a.m.
I've been no-tilling flax. I'm a little hesitant to continue with straight no-till after May 1st. We tend to go from wet to dry fairly fast. Bare ground with high clay content tends to crack badly dry out so when you no-till with no ground cover you can loose your soil moisture very quickly.
So we worked the bare ground lightly before using the no-till drill.
This is an example of what I've been no-tilling into. You can see the line where it was too wet to plant.
One of the seed companies heard that we have been experimenting with flax. He needed someone to grow Golden Flax for birdseed and possibly for human consumption. He is not getting a lot of interest from real farmers. He was so happy we agreed to plant flax for him that he gave us hats, pens, and two $50 gift certificates to Olive Garden. We shall see how this all turns out.
Flax is a nice rotation for us as it allows for weed control Proso Millet, Rat tail Fescue, annual blue grass and other weeds that plague our corn and annual ryegrass rotations on really wet ground. It makes me a little nervous to plant after May 1st but it is hard to know what to plant this late in the year.

I found it interesting to see that the flax is not a product of the USA. I am sort of hoping the Agri-Tec seed salesman looks like this but I doubt it...
Later I planted oats and fescue. Two rows oats and one row fescue. This is not always a good idea. The fescue is seed crop for next year. The oats may steal all the moisture and the fescue may fail. Usually, you spring plant the fescue alone and expect a crop the next year. With the higher rent we are now forced to pay it is hard to lose a year of production and so we planted the oats.
After planting the oats I moved several miles down the road to plant more oats for my neighbor. He had made one pass with a disk and so I needed to beat the scheduled downpours at the end of the week. The Great Plains no-till drill does do a pretty nice job as a secondary tillage tool but it does slow you down a bit. I got there at 5 p.m. and finished the 35 acres by 10 p.m.

Saturday I planted another 30 acres of triticale. It drizzled on and off for most of the day but the dirt was still crumbling behind the drill so I kept going.
Today my daughter and I attended our former church. Dad is at the Valley View retirement center where we used to help with church services. It was a good service. The pastor had a good sermon about "hope," and there was an interesting discussion about wisdom and world views in Sunday School class. I really like the old folks that attend the chapel and the service is usually pretty simple but I find it enjoyable.
Dad was not at Church. We went up to see him and he said he missed the bus. He was eating his lunch and I felt really awkward standing around. I was going to eat with him but he is not going to the dining room and I didn't know how the whole dinner thing works. I have never been very good about having a conversation with my father. I was going to go back later but I started helping my wife with the kitchen and didn't.
Valley View retirement center is a pretty good place. The staff really seem to care about the residents and the residents are generally happy. He seems to be really well cared for. I think it would be a good place for him to stay. I just need to figure out what to say and do when I go visit him.


  1. I wish I had some words of wisdom on the whole retirement home thing. I had a really hard time going to visit my maternal grandmother when she went to live in a memory care facility. I think not as much that I was uncomfortable being around her, but because I was uncomfortable being around the other residents. I really should have forced myself through it, I've been living with that guilt for four years now.

    1. Orin, it is kind of the other residents. I really don't need to carry on a conversation past telling him what we are doing on the farm. I could just set there with him and read a book and he would be fine with that. The point is to be in the same room with him but everyone expects you to talk. I just don't have a lot to say to people I don't really know. If you can get a conversation going, then I can go for hours...

  2. I feel bad about the situation you'rein with your dad. I lost my father way too early, at 59, but I figured that he was blessed in some ways. I grew up seeing all four of my grandparents reach the invalid state. I sometimes ask the Lord to let me live until I die, instead of spending years half alive, either mentally or physically. As for conversation, it can be tough. Sometimes they'll take the lead. If not, sometimes you can steer them toward "the old days," and they'll remember enough to tell you some good stories.

    1. Dad told me once that his goal was to work as hard as he could until he just fell over dead. He didn't really have a back up plan. Then, they repaired his heart, and now he is just going to slowly fade away. Not his plan at all...

  3. Forgot to comment on your new tillage acquisitions: harrows and rollers are usually cheap in the spring and high in the fall. Or at least that's the way it is here. Now you need a bigger tractor to pull that string........

    1. And then i will need bigger equipment and then I will need a bigger tractor and then more land and the next thing you know I'll be down next to you offering 350 bucks for annual ryegrass land.

    2. Looks like you have this all planned out!

  4. Little helper said the rebuilt engine has loads of power. He would like to get the air fixed so he doesn't lose too much weight. :-)

  5. both of my parents lived until they died - somewhat suddenly and they were not entirely old. it was a shock for everyone. i understand not knowing what to say. i'm better at speaking to a crowd then to just a few people.
    -OFG, one of your loyal 37.5 readers
    ps i'm really interested to see how it goes at the Olive Garden. will the Blue Goat people notice your betrayal?

    that reminds me of a scandal brewing in town. we finally got some hipsters who opened one of the gluten-free, vegan only food coffee places. and this weekend i saw the Head Hipster at the philly cheesesteak place. he sits on a throne of lies. i'm thinking about outting him. "vegan" my left foot.....

    1. I believe it is your duty to do an entire post exposing the lies of the vegan coffee people. This is a betrayal of the people. How can you brew gluten free coffee after gorging on chillyfries and GMO laden corn-fed dead cow? It is murder I say!

    2. thats what i'm sayin.. i'm on the job.

  6. Music!! Take him some music from his era, and watch the memories come out.

    1. I'll second that! My Dad supported himself in med school playing in a band. I would bring 30's-40's trad jazz when he reached his 90's & he loved it.


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