Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Spring Planting (and panting) Has Begun!

Here's the first step in filling our pantry, our cows pantry, that is! 
(Planting day April 16, 2016)
Since we grow all the food that is fed to our animals, Spring planting is a busy time. In our nearly 33 years of marriage I have never helped with planting. It has always been a task my father-in-law, Grandpa Roy, eagerly accepted. Since he was "forced" due to health reasons, to retire from his planting duties, it is now my turn.

There are a few things that need to be done before I head to the field to plant oats. Farmer John helps out by washing the windows on my tractor. Here's proof that men do windows...as long as the windows are on farm equipment!

The next task is to fill the grain drill (planter) with seed. John takes care of this. I know...he spoils me!
Alfalfa seed is also planted along with the oats. Since alfalfa (hay) seeds are so tiny and fragile, the oats are planted as a "cover crop". Cover crops protect the soil and may be used to reduce soil erosion, suppress weeds, and increase soil organic matter. 
 Then it's off to the field. 

I think fieldwork is really fun. Weird, huh?  I like that I can be outdoors, surrounded by beautiful scenery. I like that I'm helping to start a new crop that will eventually be fed to our cows, which will produce milk, that goes to your grocery aisles, and then appears on your dinner table! And just think, I helped get the whole process started by planting these little seeds!

After a quick morning of planting, it was time to refill the grain drill with seeds, and have lunch. While Farmer John refilled the seeds, I changed clothes in the clothes washer and made a gourmet lunch. Multitasking...

 Okay. Maybe it wasn't gourmet but all the food groups were represented, including milk, of course! Then it was back to planting. Twenty-eight acres were soon complete, and then I moved on to planting a peas and barley mix. 
While John added the peas and barley seeds, I ran to the house and did a bit more laundry. A woman's work is never done (tee-hee). Twelve acres of peas and barley are safely planted in the ground, and now it is time for Michael to take over.

Michael used a drag pulled behind his tractor to go over the fields that I just planted. This is done to smooth the fields. And now we wait. They will be popping their heads through the soil before we know it. We have been having several rainy days since planting, so it won't take long. When early July hits, we will reap the benefits of our planting. You can learn about that process in Pass the Peas, Please.
Today was a really productive day...oats planted, peas and barley planted, laundry done, and family fed. Whew! Now do you know why it's planting and panting? Life is good!
Next project- planting corn. Stay tuned!


  1. What a wonderful, entertaining, and clearly visible dialogue about your new job. We both chuckled throughout the story!

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad I could enlighten you on the joys of Spring Planting. Life is good!

  2. and i had to chuckle a little (good-naturedly, of course - i'm not a troll) at the typo in your header today, because it HAS been more like 'spring panting' where i live as it happens. we've had so much on-and-off rain (luckily no snow for a while), that it's been hard for farmers to get into fields - and stay in them for very long - to get anything planted. other parts of our state are farther along. very enjoyable reading about your new jobs - and now you'll have a new pride of authorship/ownership watching your crops as they progress. --suz in northeast ohio

    1. Thanks Suz in northeast Ohio! You may notice I changed the title a bit. You're right, it was a typo, but I rather liked it, so I tweaked it! Believe me, after a day of multitasking, I was panting. Thanks for reading. I hope you visit often, because there's always something happening at My Barnyard View!

  3. Time counter until spring will define how many days , hours, minutes, seconds are left until next spring.

  4. It seems like you've had a really great day, am I right? The farm looks absolutely amazing, and I bet it looks even better once the crops begin to grow. I've never really had a green thumb, so I'm mesmerized by people who devote their time in farming. All the best in your future crops!

    1. Abigail- Just thought I'd give you an update...the crops are growing like crazy! We have had rain at just the right times, so the corn is shooting taller every day. Thanks for reading my blog posts. Please let me know if there are any topics you would like me to write about.