Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Food Preservation

If you ask any farmer, I think they will all agree that when it comes to harvest time, there just aren't enough hours in the day. Even though many farmers work well into the darkness, we still wish for more time each day to check a few more tasks off our to-do list.  

Our list is a bit longer this year, as we've had a change in our work force. You see, Grandpa Roy took a tumble this Summer and broke his leg and also had some heart trouble. Now, I am the first to admit he deserves a vacation from farm chores, but I am confident this is not the vacation he planned! He is getting stronger everyday, but he will be supervising harvest from his recliner this Fall.

While daughter Sara milked cows, and Grandma Karen fed calves; son Michael, Farmer John, and I recently completed chopping corn silage. I like to call it "food preservation."

As Farmer John drove the forage chopper, which chops the entire corn plant into little pieces, and then blows it into a wagon pulled behind the chopper...

...son Michael brought the wagons in from the field.

And now it was my turn. My job was to unload the silage from the wagon into the bags that store the silage. The wagon is lined up to a "shoot" that leads from the wagon to a machine that pushes the silage into the world's largest plastic bag.

The silage left the wagon via an auger system.

It then traveled up the "shoot" and into the packing machine. My job was to slowly drive the tractor forward a few inches at a time because as the bag filled, the bagger moved ahead.

And wah-lah! a lunch bag (8 feet tall and 200 feet long) filled with nutritious corn silage. 

 I admit that I have never been a part of the "silage adventure" but I was willing to learn.  Perhaps I was in charge of this part of the procedure because I have done a lot of food preservation over the years, but this surely was not your typical canning or freezing I was used to!
Silage complete! Check it off our to-do list! 

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