Making Hay
Week of June 30th, 2002 | The weather was warm .

Our growing garden.

Our growing garden.

Hello everyone! It has been a busy week with cultivating the corn and beans. We also had a lot of warm weather and you'll read more about that in my farm fact.

Monday, Dad cultivated corn while I was working on my 4-H projects for the fair that is coming up soon. I wrote my reports on the computer. Tuesday, Dad and I chopped weeds. I chopped the weeds around our farm pond and other trees while Dad chopped what was left after the cows grazed our pastures. We like to have our pastures cut off so the grass re-grows and makes good feed for the cows. We also try to cut off any thistles in our pastureland.

Wednesday, Dad and I shelled corn. It was a hot job! The cobs were used for hog bedding. The hogs really like it. We use the cornhusks as well. The guy that comes to shell corn had a different sheller than his old one. Wow! That made the job go a lot faster!

Thursday, we shipped the corn that was shelled to London, Minnesota. A semi-truck and grain trailer transported the organic corn. Also on Thursday, Dad had a pork pool meeting. This meeting was for the Organic Valley's pork farmers. While Dad was gone, I drove our John Deere 7405 tractor down to New Hampton to the John Deere implement store. I helped an employee fix a broken key in the ignition. Then we took both of the back tires off (what a difference with them off!!) and placed weights on both sides of the tires. The new weights will be very helpful when carrying heavy loads on the loader. This way, the rear end won't be so light that it feels like the tractor will rollover!

Friday, Dad and I went to New Hampton. I had my trombone lesson first thing in the morning. After that we went to the Chickasaw County Court House. I went so I could take my test to get my driver?s permit. I didn't pass the test, but there's always another time. I got 9 wrong. To pass, you can't have more than 7 wrong. After Dad and I got back home, we went to the local lumberyard in Alta Vista. We picked up some wood to build a garden trellis for Mom. After that, I rotary hoed the beans that Dad and I had to replant due to a problem with insects. These beans are emerging from the ground pretty well. We had one inch of rain on Wednesday and that really helped those beans emerge. After that, Dad cultivated our beans. After the cultivator goes through the field between the rows, the weeds are gone!

Dad and I went back down to the courthouse Saturday morning so I could retry for my permit. This time, I passed! It is nice to get that over with! I only got one wrong, too! I am very proud of myself for doing much better! Dad cultivated more beans after we got back home.

Our field crops are growing just as fast as our garden. We have already enjoyed eating radishes, asparagus, and lettuce. We will soon be picking peas, yellow and green beans. Our potatoes are filled with blossoms. Mom is going to plant potted marigolds between the vegetables for insect control. She also uses flour from our kitchen to dust the vegetable leaves. We have also used diatomaceous earth to control insect problems in our organic garden. Those are just a few ways of controlling insect problems. There are many other suggestions in mom's garden books. The garden changes a lot during the growing season because mom will plant other crops for late fall harvest. My favorite vegetables in the garden are carrots. I also love sweet corn! That's planted in the field.

Farm Fact: Of course, here in Iowa, the summer can be very warm with high humidity, just as we had this past week. It is probably not as warm as in other places like in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, etc. It's nice to have warm weather and be outdoors, but a lot of sun can be bad for you and your health. A person can overheat or get badly sunburned with too much sun. This is why we take precaution when in the sun and also drink plenty of liquids, etc. Well, with livestock, it's kind of the same thing. The heat really isn't good on livestock, or farm animals. On Friday, I had to pour water on an overheated sow in one of our pastures. I carefully poured it on her belly, back, and slowly on her mouth so she could drink some water. When we sell hogs during the summer, the truck can be delayed and the heat sets in the hogs. This is why we have a water hydrant by the hoop buildings. We can use a hose to transport the water over to the hogs and water them. It is fun seeing them shake the water off like an elephant or a dog! They shake their big ears back and forth and can get you wet, too!

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