Happy summer to all! It was a great week with normal temperatures. We also had a very busy week with the 4-H fair. I won some cool ribbons and Noel went to the fair, too!
Mom and I were in Nashua, a town in our county, for the 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) Fair on Monday. Now that I have my drivers permit, Mom left me drive to Nashua and back home. I had my crops judged first in the morning. I brought two varieties of organic barley and two varieties of organic corn. I was the only one with organic crops. This was the second half of judging for crops. Last week the judge was at our place looking at them in the fields. For my first year of this project area, I received two blue ribbons (a pretty good rating). After eating some lunch, I than continued with having my other projects judged. I had my booklet about learning how to use my digital camera judged. I didn't expect a really good ribbon or didn't think my project was all that great, but the judge was so impressed that I received a State Fair Consideration! It was something totally different in the Photography area, and she thought it was very educational. It didn't go to state, but I was happy anyways! I had my conservation project judged next. My booklet explained about the many trees I helped plant on the farm and I had photos included. I only thought that I would receive a blue ribbon, but I got the highest award and this project goes to the State Fair!! I was shocked! Finally, I had my birdhouse, garden bench, and garden trellis that I built judged. I thought I would have received a higher ribbon, but all three got a blue. I was hoping I would have received at least an Honorable Mention on one of them. I put a lot of hours into the woodworking projects. Oh well. I had a big day on Monday! All of the projects were placed in my club's fair booth for showing to the public attending over the next two days.
Tuesday was probably the biggest day of the fair! Mom and Dad helped me bathe and comb Noel up so he would look his best for the fair. The Pet Show was on Tuesday. The judge enjoyed reading the booklet I put together on Noel. She enjoyed reading the stories I shared about Noel and really liked the photos I included in the booklet. The booklet received a blue ribbon. This, too, was displayed in the fair booth. After all of the pets were judged, we all waited for the results as to who would win the Champion ribbon and trophy. I wasn't sure what Noel would receive, although looking at all of the other pets; I knew he would receive a high ribbon. And then, I heard the judge say that Noel was the Grand Champion and Best of Show! That means that Noel received a purple ribbon for the grand champion and the big TROPHY for best of show!! Noel and I were so happy! We had our picture taken for the paper, too! Now, I need to build Noel a trophy case! Wednesday night was family night. A lot of people come for the barbecue supper and of course Carnival Night. Each club is responsible for doing some kind of game. The games are always fun. The games are set up outside and it was a nice night out. I was on the game booth committee and we used my game that I built a few years ago. It is a lot of fun! We collected 260 tickets! We usually don't receive that many tickets! We had a lot of kids playing our game. It's a pegboard with round plastic balls that you let drop down between the pegs from the top. Where the ball lands, is what you receive for a prize. We gave out candy and pop. After the games were done, they had a short program at the grandstand including the announcement of the County Fair Queen. Jolene was queen a couple years ago. Then they had a tug of war contest. Last years winners were from our local club. The same group won again this year. It was fun watching. They also had a pie-eating contest. My sister, Jolene, was a part of this. Actually, she set it up as a joke to throw pies in somebody's face and on the top of his head. They've worked together for the last few years at fair. They've always joked around together and gave each other a hard time. While she did this, the joke backfired, and she ended up getting a pail of water dumped on her by another county council member that she knows. She also got pies dumped on top of her head, too. Everybody laughed so hard. It was really funny!!! They all had a good time. It was finally time to go home. First, all the clubs took down their fair booths. Mom helped a lot with putting it up and taking it down. Dad and I hauled my large woodworking projects and my corn crops with the livestock trailer home. Mom followed with the rest of my projects. I came home and looked at all of my winning ribbons. I did well for the year; 8 blue ribbons, 1 State Fair Consideration, 1 State Fair, Grand Champion ribbon, and Best of Show trophy. WOW!!!
Back to the farm...throughout the whole week, Dad and I were fixing the windrower that we purchased. We had to rebuild the drive system (luckily, we have an older windrower that's almost identical to this one), clean out the toolboxes and engine, repair a cylinder that raises and lowers the cutter head, and more smaller things that needed to be done. Hopefully, we will be out in the field harvesting barley by next week. That's our main goal.
Friday, I cut about 12 acres of hay. I was just about done when the hay bine's tire fell off! After walking home to find Dad, we found out that the bearing (the piece that lets the tire roll around) was broken. That was the cause. Now, we need to get that fixed and get the hay crop in. Dad continued cultivating soybeans when he had time during the week.
On Friday and Saturday, Dad weaned and moved about 135 pigs that are about 40 pounds in weight. All of these pigs were vaccinated and taken care of so they won't get any diseases and health related problems. Then, they were all moved into a recently cleaned and bedded hoop building. I hope these pigs will have a lot of fun. They have a real nice nest with the fresh corncobs and straw for bedding.
Jess came home over the weekend! She also brought her friend along that she is living with this summer while working in Minnesota. Jess, her friend, and I went out Saturday afternoon with more of her friends to a nearby park. We went swimming in the river that's at the park. I had a lot of fun!
Farm Fact: This week, Dad and I sold 1500 bushels of corn. About a third of this corn was used to make a large batch of organic parakeet food! When we ship organic grains out, we use special seals to keep the hoppers (a door on the bottom of the trailer to pour the grain out) and the top tarp (the top door used to fill the trailer) shut. This way, no one can break these seals and ruin the organic grains by adding something in it or removing any grain. And if someone did, we'll find out that the straps were broke before the grain got to its designated place. This helps to assure the buyer that the grain is not tampered with during the trucking operation.