Making Hay
Week of June 23rd, 2002 | The weather was rainy.

Mom's new birdhouse!

Mom's new birdhouse!

Hello everyone! My 14th birthday was on Sunday! I received many cards and presents. It rained a lot Wednesday and Friday. You'll hear more about that in the journal. And there was a fire in our neighborhood that destroyed a historic barn.

Since Sunday was Father's Day and my birthday, we had relatives come over and celebrate with us. Grandpa and Dad received nice Father's Day presents and I received John Deere caps and socks, work clothing, a tool set, money, and many cards. I really appreciated them!

While Dad was attending a meeting in La Crosse, Wisconsin on Monday, my friend and I raked about 35 acres of hay. We had our custom hire hay baler bale hay that afternoon. When Dad came home that evening, we picked up about 50 bales of hay. Tuesday morning, Dad and I went right back at it because of chances of rain. At 5:30 AM, Dad and I were in the hay field loading hay on hayracks with the loader. We had placed 300 bales of hay in our hay storage by 10:00 Tuesday morning! That is a lot of hay for first crop, or the first time of cutting and baling hay for the year. Second crop will be after the hay grows back.

While loading hay on Tuesday morning, it started to rain a little. After the rain stopped, Dad and I observed a VERY pretty rainbow in the sky. It included the colors of red, green, blue, yellow, and a little purple. The rainbow was very easy to find since it was so sharp that I could see it from one end and all the way around the arch to the other! It made the morning beautiful!

After I drove the John Deere 3020 tractor back from the repair shop, Dad cultivated corn while I picked rock in the same field. Picking rock means to drive in a field with a tractor and trailer and throw rock into the trailer from the field. This field rock can do damage to equipment and very much damage to the harvester-like a combine or ear corn picker. Picking rock is an annual job and no fun.

Wednesday, Dad and I sorted 5 hogs in the rain. It rained 1.5 inches. While it was raining during most of the day, I built Mom a birdhouse for her garden. I started the project by building the main birdhouse, which was tall. Next, I would build a short birdhouse to one side of the main house and another medium size house on the other side. This is like a three-dimensional birdhouse. Of course, I didn't finish this in one day! I worked on it on Thursday and finished it on Friday. Dad helped out with finding the wood for me, but I practically built it all by myself. We plan on placing the birdhouse on an old post that used to hold up our old porch.

Thursday evening, Dad and I worked up about 7 acres of beans and had to re-plant them due to an insect that kills newly growing soybeans. This is some of the nasty things a farmer has to put up with in field crops. Hopefully, these replanted beans will grow.

On Thursday night, a historical neighborhood barn was destroyed by fire due to a bolt of lightning. The barn was built in 1883. It was a very nice barn. Years ago, the original owner would have barn dances for the neighborhood. Inside the barn it had an all-wooden 4x4 hay track. It also had the original cupola still on the top of the roof. They had just put up a bunch of fresh-baled hay the day before. Right now, the hay is still smoldering. It's really too bad that the barn is a loss. I guess we can't do anything about Mother Nature.

Friday, we had an inch of rain in about 20 minutes! Our neighbor, who lives right North of us, received 3 inches of rain! That made the creek water rise so much that we could hardly cross it with the John Deere 7405 tractor with out getting the engine wet! I had to take straw down to a sow pasture that was near the flooding because the sow huts were all muddy and wet. The baby pigs cannot survive in this cold mud. So, I bedded each hut up. The water flowed right through our re-planted beans! Well, at least part of it. The water brought in a lot of sand and mud bars, so Dad said that after it will dry off, we might have to replant the beans again!

Dad and I trimmed trees, cleaned brush, and cleaned up metal around the yard on Saturday. There were many trees that needed to get trimmed. We piled the brush on a pile that will rot and be used for habitat, or shelter for wide life animals like rabbits, squirrels, etc. Then, we picked up junk metal and put it on a wagon to be taken up to Le Roy, Minnesota and the metal will be recycled.

Farm Fact: As you have read, I had to bed up little pigs and sows during the flooding Friday night. This is just one way of proper care given to an animal that lives on the farm. We care about our land and the living creatures. We try to provide acceptable living conditions for our farm animals and respect the land that God has given us to care for. We work everyday to try to be good stewards and caregivers. I question whether other farmers ask themselves how well they care for the land they are farming and if they, too, are doing the best job they can with caring for their animals.

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