Friday, October 10, 2014

A day in his shoes.....

I know we have all said it many times....."I can do that, or do what you do!" You know that feeling that you can take on the world no matter how hard it is....you aren't gonna let someone out do u.

My husband had to go to a meeting out of town, and was going to be gone from the farm for three days. And like usual I take over all of the farm duties, plus full-time mom, plus full-time......everything else. And the two days prior he works getting everything lined up for me and the boys to make the days gone run smoother.  

My armor on and my body equipped for taking on the world.....he was gone 30 minutes when it seemed I had so many questions. And as we are knee deep in cutting tobacco I had emails, phone calls,  and text messages from people needing information....(he being one of them on progress) and kids to be shuffled so I could work.  

Not that my work was much different than any day of the year it was that it all fell at my feet at one time.  I called in reinforcements for help moving wagons (my dad and father in law those few days).  And when my head hit my pillow the first night.....it was all zzzzzz until my alarm went off that next morning.  I slept like a rock....and now I know why he does most nights.

The girls also have to go into extra work mode as well, being that we had to check the cows before we went to school....up and at em dressed and out the door at 7 am.  This time of the year we have mama cows dropping babies so it is very important that you check on The herd each morning...... Which is no problem for my girls because they always want to be the first one to spot a new baby.

Day 2 and 3 were more cutting more routine......  The guys are super to make sure to pick up extra when I am here alone.  
Per Scott: Cut, pick up, house (tobacco going up in barn), check barn temps, cows to count and check barns?????
I learned those few days how to manage barn temps and what to do if one seems hot!  You water down the saw dust.....thankfully with a friends help my nerves got back in check!

I am amazed still at what all goes on when the farmer is away! This Momma doesn't clean and pick up or cook....she tends to the flock!  A dirty house is ok, dirty clothes are good too as long as there are more to wear and any food in the belly is good food. My OCDness didn't have time to cover my life because I was too busy with the important things! Now this all explains why my farmer is tired when he walks in the door.....it's not all physical labor but mental labor that runs each day!

What I learned about myself is that it's not that I can't take on the world....it's that I learned I could...... But each day that he is here.....I don't have to! Yes I am thankful!

The reality check of life is good for all of us.....for the love of dirt grows stronger between our hearts!

Just another day in the life of the farmers wife.....


Thursday, September 18, 2014

What I have learned....as I am still growing up on the farm


The realization of this picture is so true, it's not about "the hours" it's all about the acres. 

1. You work in acres meaning that when the acres or cut, harvested, finished shall we say, that is when the work is done!
A normal day is 7 to 7... But who has normal days right? 

2. The washing machine work is on overtime! We change clothes sometimes twice or three times a day. I can't stand sweaty or even overly filthy clothes....and this doesn't even count the days working with animals or in a smoking barn.

3. Sometimes we are praying for rain on the crops or just to have a break from work! Then there are days we pray for the rain to stop to get the work done. It's a very tough line when it comes to farming.

4. Dinner time is always soon!  It never happens like clock work and can never be planned on a schedule! One night could be early the next at bedtime.  So you always have to be on your toes.....preparation is key!!! Always having it ready per say is definite!

5. DIRT is my makeup!!! My favorite tshirt says this.....why fix your hair or slather your face in something that is gonna be wiped off.  A Hat keeps a lot of dirt out and sun off your head and face. Sunscreen is the aroma of fragrance during hot times. U will all look the same out here!

6. The farm is always an adventure due to be tested for my kids. Always something fun to ride, drive, or maze through in the fields.  The best place to find your creativity and something to play with is on the farm!


7. Nothing is free around here....work has to be done to pay the bills! Teaching kids at a young age to work for something instills the ability and knowledge that life has boundaries!


8. No such thing as a schedule...weather, temperature, work load.....all can be planned or unplanned due to the day!  Kids/dinner/sleep all is work itself in progress.....having back up baby sitters and a cell phone is how you learn to manage your family and your daily work schedule.

9. Your house is cleaned......um.....when u can get to it!  I eat lunch and clean....or while then girls are getting ready for bed....or how about those mornings before u walk out the door.  U can always tell when it is a busy time of the year for us based on my house. 

10. Never leave the house without toilet paper, a snack and a water bottle.  Those   5 minute trips always are hours long and you never know when you get a chance to potty properly....and this girl likes to wipe!

Our passions drives our willingness to learn and be better stewards of the land! We don't see this as a job but as our life!!! Neither of us being raised on a farm....and yet we get to raise 2 girls on the land by Gods hand!!! And yet we are still growing ourselves....

"Hands in the dirt-hearts at work"

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spiking.....but this isn't a volleball move

After we cut the tobacco the next process of spiking the plants begin.


I Can't tell you enough how labor intensive a tobacco crop is. The first time we handle it we are setting tobacco in late spring, the second time it is handled is when it is cut in my previous blog post, and the third time that we now are handling it is when we are spiking it on the stick. After we have a good wilt we drop sticks to begin the spiking process. 

The stick is dropped between three plants on each side of it which equals a total of six plants that will be spiked on it. 

With one hand the guys will have the spike and the other hand they will bend over and pick up each plant spiking it on the stick making a total of six plants again on the stick and then left in the field for the next time we handle it.


Cutting time.....on the ground she goes.

August brings tobacco harvest....and normally some of the hottest weather of summer! Each plant has to be manually cut with a hatchet and laid down with ease so the leaves do not break. The slump is about all you see of our guys when cutting. You stay bent over at the waist so that you can slightly bend each plant over to cut it at it's base.
video


Once cut the sticks are then dropped at the groupings of plants in order to start spiking. The sun and heat wilts the plants so the plant becomes in "order" or a limp state to ensure proper readiness for spiking.

During hot weather you have to constantly watch the tobacco from sun burning. Just like you or I would burn, the leaves can burn and injure the tobacco.  

 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Not your ordinary field of wagons....

To some this May seem like a field of tobacco wagons....and yes they are....but to us it is a field of dreams.

Each wagon is pulled back and forth during harvest season to the field....to the barn and vice versa numerous times.  As they do serve a purpose....to transport our tobacco crop.....they also serve an even greater purpose....and that's a memory!!!!

Each hand that touches each wagon has a story....some It's a story of survival...others it's food on the table.

For my family, it's living the dream of working on one of Gods greatest masterpieces....this earth.  One wagon may represent being able to pay for electricity, another wagon represents being able to put food on my plate, another.... knowing that I'm able to feed 12 families beyond myself that live on this farm.  The list could go on every time I look at each wagon, because it is hours spent away from family, it is sweat shed from exhaustion, it's a playground for my children when they have to come to the field.  

And the end of each harvest they all come back empty to be put back in the barn for another year.

Farming as I have found isn't just a lifestyle....it's where you grow up....it's where you look back at how far you have come as a worker....as a family....and where you created your life!! 


Friday, May 2, 2014

My friends...our workers...our family gets bigger this time of the year!

Each year it feels like Christmas eve at this time...... We wait and wait then finally have to head to bed and find out the boys have arrived overnight. Today is like Christmas morning all over again for my girls. I actually heard them stir before their alarm clock even went off and when it did I called their names to come downstairs..... There they were dressed and ready to head out the door before 7 AM. Yes, all this to see their friends that have arrived back to live on the farm and work!

We hear many comments from those in the community the nation and even friends on "how we could hire labor outside of the US when there are so many American citizens that need jobs." And to be honest, really honest........ The simple answer no one here wants to work. But that could definitely start a whole new rant of how I feel about the issue and those that do not understand.

This will be our 9th season to have our friends come in. And most and then have been here as the original crew. For my Sayde was born the December before our two workers Oscar and Leonel arrived in May. Both of them being babies know no difference between us and them.  We all celebrate together, laugh together, and even cried together when we need to. In nine years time we have grown lots of crops, families and the farm all together!  

The Mexies as we call our boys live on the farm next to the house......another reason we are so close as a family!
I personally cannot imagine not having them in our lives especially with all the work that they have committed to us over the years.  We work as a team, we live as a team. For those of you that don't understand and want to judge first, please I welcome you out to the farm to come experience our life and then maybe you can decide. Their money is put back into our community for food and well-being. 

Girls welcoming back our family to the farm!!! 

Each one of them has a family, has a life, and a job back in their country. Most of them have babies while they are here and do not get to welcome their new son or daughter into their life until they are sometimes months old. Imagine yourself leaving thousands and thousands of miles between you and your family......to provide a better life for the ones your love. It is a pretty selfless way of living....... 

A farmer having daughters.....never did I know that I would have 12 sons one day!

Hands in the dirt......hearts at work

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Back bends...bridges....and farm moms

One of my most favorable times of the year is when is comes time for field work ......but I become single mommy to 2 girls.  The farmer comes in after the girls go to bed and leaves before our 6:30 am alarm goes off.  And each morning like clock work one of the girls asks like a broken record.."where is daddy".  

So like every farmers wife I get 'em up, get 'em out, check on the farmer, try to get some house work done along with lunch and supper then head back to school......to round em up again.

Getting to see him smile from the back of his head is all worth my long days sometimes.....and when it all works right it's worth that even more!

From running kids to after school activities to coaching soccer and track meets the farm mom tackles house/farm chores and still finds time to cook and prepare the day again for tomorrow.  

It's just not the girls at gymnastics whose abilities can extend to back bends and bridges.....it's the mommies that bend and bridge the farm family together so it all flows! Or it's another day in the life of the farmers wife.....