Making Hay
Week of November 24th, 2002 | The weather was becoming colder.

Working eggshells into the soil.

Working eggshells into the soil.

How's it going? We had a very busy week and the weather is becoming colder. We are preparing the barns for winter farrowing.

While Dad and I were replacing a door on our house on Sunday, Sammy, our English Collie dog, guarded Noel's life! We let Noel sit outside since the weather was sunny. We kept an eye on Noel so he wouldn't run away. Sammy was sitting right next to him when our neighbor dog, Fred, came in our yard. Fred tried to get a hold of Noel, but Sammy got mad and chased Fred home! It was cute! This shows friendship between our pets.

Throughout the whole week, Dad has been fixing the chicken house. We poured in a new cement floor last week, but the building itself needed some major fixing. Dad had to replace the bottom of the building so he could put it back on the cement floor. He also had to rebuild some walls, replace the window, and re-insulate it so the heat would stay inside of the building. After the chicken house was back on the cement floor and all done, Dad and I bedded it up really good and put 15 young laying hens in it. I think the chickens like being inside of the chicken house. They spent some time outside in an outdoor pen while the building was being fixed. Now they have a much warmer place to live. Dad finished the chicken house on Friday.

Tuesday morning, I had my first New Hampton Spirit Jazz Band practice. I play the trombone. My band director taught us how to improvise when we are playing. Improvise means to make it up as you go along. I had another practice Thursday morning, too. Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school is when I have jazz band practice. I am already enjoying jazz band and we just got started. I can't wait until we have some competitions!

On Tuesday, Dad sold 5 hogs. Wednesday, Dad went to the Iowa Organic Conference. At the conference, Dad learned about scientists placing genes from certain human beings into corn plants. These genes produce proteins that kill sperm and make it impossible for a female to become pregnant. Dad was shocked at the news of this genetic engineering development. In my opinion, that's sick! (All the more reasons to buy organic.)

Also, Fox News interviewed Dad. The media has been covering organic foods because organic is receiving a lot of attention since the USDA announcement. Thirty-nine percent of United States consumers have chosen an organic product. We watched Dad on TV that night.

Saturday, Dad and I spread eggshells on a harvested soybean field. As you have read in past journal entries, the eggshells are given to us from an egg-breaking plant in New Hampton. We used our recently purchased slinger spreader to spread the eggshells across the field.

You may see a picture of this slinger spreader and a definition in my glossary of farm terms. To get to that page, scroll your computer screen up to the top, and look for 'Glossary of Farm Terms'. Click on that option and you're in my glossary. Also in the glossary, you can find many other pictures and terms that I talk about in my journals.

After Dad and I spread eggshells on the field, I used the field cultivator to work the eggshells into the soil. The field we spread the shells Saturday will go to barley next year.

Saturday afternoon, Dad and I hauled sow huts from the pastures to the yard. We put 11 huts inside of the North-farrowing barn. Then, we had to line the huts up correctly and take the roofs off for convenience (the huts are inside of a barn). We also prepared other things so we can be ready to move sows inside in case if they are ready to farrow. It is too cold to give birth to piglets outside, now.

While Dad and I were doing this, Mom was putting up our Christmas lights outside. Noel and I like Christmas. I can't wait until Christmas. It?s always fun opening presents and being together as a family. Mom always makes our holidays special. She is a good cook and always has great food. But before Christmas comes, we'll celebrate Thanksgiving. Jess and Jolene will both be home. Grandpa and Grandma are coming to our house for Thanksgiving Day. I can't wait! We'll have a great feast! Noel can't wait, either!

Farm Fact: We believe that the eggshells will fertilize the soil to produce larger corn and barley yields. We have been advised to incorporate the shells into the soil to prevent loosing the nitrogen. We only spread and worked half of the field to see if there is a difference next year. Our custom harvester has a yield monitor on his combine that will be able to determine if this practice will improve yields.

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