Making Hay
Week of March 24th, 2002 | The weather was cold. Temperatures are below normal.

My play:

My play: "Paintin' the Fence." I'm on the left.

Hello everyone! I hope you will have a happy and enjoyable Easter vacation. The temperatures are below normal. It has been freezing at night, but during the day, the sun comes out and it warms up.

Dad, Sammy, and I sorted hogs that were ready to go to the market on Saturday, March 16. We put the sorted hogs in a separate pen. Loading is a simple operation, so Dad and Sammy took care of the job without me Sunday morning.

After loading the hogs on Sunday morning, Dad went to a media training session. This program was for selected Organic Valley farmers and management staff. Two professional trainers were hosts. This meeting was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was mainly about practicing and doing interviews. This training lasted until Monday afternoon. Dad said it was a great event and he learned a lot. Dad and I have practiced doing interviews using the new techniques that he learned at this session.

Sunday afternoon, Mom, Jolene, and I worked at our community church Saint Patrick's Supper. This is an annual Iowa Pork Chop Supper that's held in Alta Vista. Jolene and I waited tables from 2:30-5:00 PM. Mom was in charge of carryouts. She worked all afternoon and night. It was a really good supper and over 1200 people were served.

Monday evening, my class and I had our public musical performance. I was a lead role in "Paintin' the Fence" (a shorter version of Tom Sawyer). I was Huckleberry Finn. My friend had the lead role, Tom Sawyer. The audience really liked the performance. I had fun doing my part. After the performance, Mom and Dad were so impressed, that they treated me to pizza at the Pizza Hut. We shared a meat lover's pizza and talked about the performance.

Tuesday, Dad repaired a wagon hitch. This hitch was hard to use, so Dad put a different one on to make it easier.

Also on Tuesday, Dad loaded a hayrack with surplus fencing supplies, an old drag, and a rotary hoe that we do not use anymore. Dad hauled this load on Wednesday to a local sale yard to be sold. He came home with a 7 ton bulk bin. This is a large bulk bin. We will put this up for extra feed storage. We now own 7 bulk bins and 3 grain bins.Thursday, Dad fixed a water fountain on the hog floors. Dad went to Alta Vista to pick up water supplies he needed. Alta Vista hardware and lumber stores did not have the parts Dad needed. These are common parts, too. Also, Alta Vista does not have a convenience store for fuel anymore due to the recent closing, so Dad had to run down to New Hampton to pick up the parts and fuel. Dad couldn't believe it! Our small town is becoming even smaller! Dad and I got it fixed before we went to do chores. The fountain electrical problem consumed Dad's whole afternoon.

Friday, I didn't have school. The public and high schools did. This is because of a snow make up day my school scheduled, but we didn't have ANY snow days this winter! Last year, we had 7 snow days! Dad and I loaded a wagon full of metal. This metal from our junk pile has no more use on our farm. It will be salvaged in Le Roy, Minnesota (just on the state border). The metal will be hauled to factories and made into tractors, or other equipment. We hauled this on Saturday. Dad and I sold 2 tons of feed and 200 bushels of wheat. One of our good grain wagons can hold 275 bushels and that's FULL!

That evening, Dad and I went to the junior high musical, Kokonut Kapers at the public school. This is the other school in New Hampton. The performance was well done and very funny! My friends were in the lead roles. Dad and I enjoyed it very much!

After hauling the metal to Le Roy, Minnesota Saturday morning, we spent the afternoon in Cresco, Iowa, listening to 4 State Solo Ensemble pieces that were performed by Jolene. This is a large contest with many schools involved. Her two vocal pieces and her trombone solo received 1 ratings and she received a two rating on her baritone piece.That evening, Dad and I vaccinated 103 hogs. These hogs weigh about 100 pounds. The vaccinations are state required and organically approved. This operation took about 1 1/2 hours.

Farm Fact: Saturday, we celebrated someone's birthday! The John Deere 7405 Tractor and John Deere 740 Loader became 1 year old! Dad and I sang "Happy Birthday" to the tractor and loader. After using the tractor for 813 hours in one year, we think we spent our money wisely. The John Deere 4020 tractor we sold only ran about 300 hours a year! This shows that our new tractor is in use more than any other tractor we have owned and has saved us money.

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