Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wheat...my, how things change!

I thought I would do a "photo documentary" of the progression of our wheat field.  It's fun to see how quickly things change on a farm.
This is our field early in the spring.  It had come out of it's winter dormancy and when everything else around was dead and brown, the wheat was lush and green. 

 This was the wheat in early June.  It had grown tall and just set on it's heads.

 After reaching maturity in June, it quickly began to turn yellow and die.

 Drying down enough to cut the wheat is a waiting game.

Here we have our field of wheat shortly before it was cut.  Fully dry, it makes a lovely rustling sound when the wind blows.  It's a race to get it harvested before fourth of July fireworks start.

 After the wheat is cut, we bale the straw.  That's Sidney working with her dad.  Sometimes they have help, but other times just the two of them go out to collect the straw bales.  She drives the truck (a stick with no power steering) and also straightens up the bales in the field so they will feed into the loader.  Lots of hopping in and out of the truck!  Ted rides on the back of truck and stacks the bales neatly in the truck when one comes up the loader.  Very HOT work!

 This is the wheat stubble that remains after all of the straw is taken from the field.  We will plant sunflowers into this, but the field, as it is, is very flammable.  It also has a lot of weeds growing already.  We either have to burn it off, or work the ground first.

We chose to burn it off.  As an option, burning is faster, cheaper, and let's be honest...way more fun!  Also, we have learned over the years, that (most often) the sunflowers do better after the field has been burned, rather than worked.

The field went up like...like...well, a house of straw!  It was over 100*F (actual temperature) yesterday when we burned it.  Let me say that it got a little bit toasty out there!  Anyway, the field is now ready to plant sunflowers.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunflower News

I've had quite a few people ask about sunflowers, 
so I thought I'd get off my lazy kiester and do a quick blog. 

This is just a painting I did of the sunflowers and is not meant to represent how the sunflowers look now.

This is actually how the sunflowers look right now.
They will (hopefully) get planted today.  That is the plan, anyway.  They are 73 day seeds which means that they should bloom sometime in mid-September (but I'm too lazy to do the math right now).  The rate of growth also is variable on planting depth, sun, rain, clouds, and whether or not the NFL works out their negotiations.  Ha!  Anyway...farmer Ted is on it!
I promise to keep you posted!