Disclaimer: The Franklin County Harvest Bloggers Tour was sponsored by the The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce & Franklin County Farm Bureau who provided our lodging, meals and activities. All opinions and thoughts are totally my own.
Do you know how many ears of corn grow on a single stalk on average? That is just one of the things that I learned on my recent Franklin County Harvest Bloggers Tour weekend. I honestly learned more that weekend than I could have imagined. Not that I am an expert by any means but what I loved about the weekend is that all of these folks took the time out of their weekend to help educate us. Since the bloggers that attended were all very different we all had different levels of education on farming and agriculture as a whole. There were no dumb questions and we always got thorough and easily understandable answers. That made this weekend such a perfect mix of fun and education that I am ready for another one already. I am so grateful to all who helped educate us on all things agriculture.
One of our stops on Saturday was to visit the farm of Roy and Jeanie Arends in Alexander, Iowa. Roy shared a lot of great information with us about tiling and what tiling is all about in agriculture. You have probably seen those huge coils of flexible tubing rolled up on trucks or in fields and Roy explained to us the importance of having well tiled fields to help with drainage. Too much water is not good for crops, obviously, and the tiling process helps to drain the excess water out of the fields. The water that is drained from the fields at the Arends’ farm eventually finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico by going to the Mississippi River. There is quite a science behind tiling and I won’t pretend to understand it all but suffice it to say it is a very important part of maintaining farmlands. Without proper drainage fields are just not able to produce crops as effectively. Roy and fellow blogger and friend, Larry Sailer of Musings of a Pig Farmer offered some great information to the bloggers and we were all very grateful for their time and expertise.
I loved being on Roy and Jeanie’s farm and hearing some history of their farming family. They are obviously good people who love their land and did I mention they had some pretty adorable and friendly barn cats? That wins me over every time.
Later in the day we were able to experience combine rides which probably was the highlight of the day. Chris and I went to join Ian and Val Plagge (Val blogs at Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids ) in their fields and had a blast!!! We took turns in the beautiful RED (Case/International Harvest) combine with Ian and thoroughly enjoyed being able to ride up high watching the corn get gobbled up and then shoot out into the wagon that knew just when to rendezvous thanks to the fabulous technology that is available today in farm equipment. I am sure Ian got a kick out of my questions but he was very patient and kind and explained everything to me in terms that a non-farmer could understand. Some of the other bloggers were with Roy Arends harvesting soybeans in his green (John Deere) combine. I am going on record saying that I am Team Red all the way—no offense to any John Deere lovers out there but red suits me better. (click on any picture to enlarge)
Farming has come a long way since the days when my own grandparents had their farm. Everything is very sophisticated and the combines have GPS along with monitors that indicate all kinds of things like number of bushels being processed to the moisture content in the corn. That does not mean the farmer does nothing—the farmer still does a lot but it is now much easier.
My new friend, Ozzie Ohl, volunteer at Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank (our October Comments for a Cause recipient) posted a challenge on his Facebook page earlier today called #SpoonSalute. Farm Credit Services is behind this campaign to involve everyone in thanking farmers for all that they do. It fits perfectly with today’s post and with this month’s Comments for a Cause. Farmers are such an important part of our every day life and it has been such a privilege to be able to meet a lot of these folks over the past couple of weeks and find out why they love what they are doing. For each #SpoonSalute posted on Facebook and Twitter Farm Credit Services will make a donation to their local food bank (In my case Hawkeye Harvest).
If you want to thank a farmer yourself—please make sure that you tag your picture the correct way so that credit will be given. Instructions are as follows:
Post your message:
On Twitter – Include @fcsamerica and the hashtag #SpoonSalute in your tweet. (Unfortunately if your Twitter account is set to private, we won’t be able to see your tweets.)
How to change a Facebook post to public –On Facebook – Include @fcsamerica and the hashtag #SpoonSalute in your post, and set the post to public so we can see it.
Or, easier yet, post your #SpoonSalute on our FCSAmerica Facebook page.
The correct answer to the question I asked at the beginning of the post is ONE! Did you get it correct?