Making Hay
Week of August 25th, 2002 | The weather was nice. School started this week.

I'm spreading eggshells on a harvested barley field

I'm spreading eggshells on a harvested barley field

Hello everyone! School started this week, so Dad finds himself having to work many hours on his own. Well, not quite alone - he has Sammy to work with, too!

Sunday, Mom used our pickup truck to help Jess move to her apartment in Storm Lake. She attends Buena Vista University, with 4 years completed, but will be student teaching this fall at the public high school. She will graduate in December. Mom stayed overnight and came home on Monday.

We have been receiving free eggshells from an industry in New Hampton. This industry processes eggs. They break the eggs and separate the yokes from the shells. The eggshells are ground up into small, fine pieces and loaded onto a dump truck to be hauled away. We take some of the eggshells and spread it on our compost pile or on our ground. It is organically approved and it gives more nutrients to the soil. We can't use it in feed, though. We thought it would be better to use the eggshells than letting the industry dump them on a pile in the landfill. We basically are recycling the eggshells for nutrient use to our land. Using a rented manure spreader, we spread the eggshells on harvested barley fields for soil nutrients. The equipment we rented is a spreader designed to distribute material from the side instead of the back. They are called slinger spreaders. The John Deere 4020 tractor can barely pull it when the spreader is only half full! This is a big spreader. The ground looks like it has been snowed on after the eggshells were spread on it! The slinger spreader beats the eggshells up so much that the shells become a lot finer than before. We put over 100 ton of shells on about 40 acres. This gives our soil a source of calcium and a little nitrogen.

Wednesday, Dad and I repaired a feed building. This building is like a small granary. We had to cut a large hole in the backside so we can move pallets of feed in with the loader. The hole needed a door. So, we framed up the hole and started to build the door. We made a double swinging door. I painted the two doors red to match the feed building. We finished the doors on Saturday by building a lock to hold it shut.

Thursday was the first day of school for the year. I am now attending the New Hampton Community High School. I am in 9th grade. The high school is a lot different than the parochial grade school I had attended. I actually like it a lot better because I go to more classrooms and walk around more. I have different teachers throughout the day. It's a lot bigger school, but I didn't get lost. I think it is pretty easy to get around in it. I have mandatory classes that I have to take, but am taking some fun classes, too. I usually see all my friends everyday, too! I like high school a lot so far.

Friday, Mom and Dad helped move Jolene to her college dorm room. Jolene is closer to home than Jess is. She is attending University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. This is only an hour drive; Jess's school is about 3 1/2 hours away from home. Her classes start on Monday. With Jolene gone, the house is much quieter.

Farm Fact: Eggshells contain a high quantity of pure calcium. This dissolves slowly into the soil and it is available for crops. Our soils usually have ground limestone added as a calcium source but these byproducts make this liming expense unnecessary.

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