Image

Farm Help Wanted

23 Aug

Pregnancy Announcement

Ready for His Close-up

21 Aug

Clay loves summer. It’s hot. There’s lots of water to play in. There are lots of critters to chase. And he gets to ride everywhere with his favorite human on earth, my farmer husband.

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

I snapped this photo while we were irrigating one evening and I think he looks like the dog version of Fabio on the cover of a romance novel. Isn’t he fabulous?

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

“Whatever, Liz. I’m just going to ignore you and pounce on this mouse.”

Ready For His Close-up | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

A Blanching Epiphany

19 Aug

We’ve had an abundance of green beans this year. It might have something to do with us planting twice as many. We like us some green beans during the winter!

Click here for my green bean freezing method.

Freezing Green Beans XV

As I’ve been blanching, vacuum-packing and freezing the beans, I came up with what felt like a food preservation epiphany. Ha! It’s really not that genius, but in my annoyance at trying to fish the “shocked” green beans out of the ice water and getting pieces of ice cube in my spoon, I decided to try this…

IMG_2616

The water still gets extra cold with the ice, but the colander keeps the ice pieces from interfering and you simply lift the beans out and drain them to package. Hooray! I feel so smart!

So, now you’re probably going to tell me someone on Pinterest already came up with this. Oh well.

Go forth and freeze!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded. – Matthew 10:42 

From My Head Tomatoes

16 Aug

I saw a shirt on Pinterest that said, “I love Gardening From My Head Tomatoes”. I love clever people!

We’ve had quite a successful garden again this year. It was a rough start, but now we’re rockin and rollin! Here’s how the progress went:

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

May 27

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

June 25. Watering with water trailer and sprinkler.

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

June 30. Irrigating with gated pipe.

Soaking Up the Sun | The Farm Paparazzi

July 2

Soaking Up the Sun | The Farm Paparazzi

July 10

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

Sweet corn on May 27

Soaking Up the Sun | The Farm Paparazzi

June 25

Soaking Up the Sun | The Farm Paparazzi

July 13

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

Tassel coming out on the sweet corn

Now it’s all about the harvesting. We’ve been blessed by God’s bounty and have been enjoying and sharing snow peas, tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, sweet and hot peppers, green chilies, yellow onions, zucchini, crookneck squash, red beets, pickling cucumbers, slicing cucumbers and sweet corn. The pumpkins are also coming along!

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

Our daily harvest started out small.

With all the harvesting comes a lot of preserving. I’ve canned a batch of spicy dill pickles, frozen green beans and other veggies, and have got some relish “stewing” as I type. I’ve got more pickles, sweet corn and peaches from Utah waiting in the wings. Click here for a recipe on “putting up” or freezing sweet corn.

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

But, the daily harvest quickly grew and grew!

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

Cutting up a beautiful cabbage for Cabbage Burgers! Get the recipe at http://farmpaparazzi.com/2014/08/09/cabbage-burgers/.

We decided to try selling sweet corn at our little local farmer’s market this year. So we planted that big swath I showed you earlier and have peddled the good stuff the last two weekends. There are great people organizing, vending and attending this community affair! I enjoyed it more than I imagined I would.

From My Head Tomatoes | The Farm Paparazzi

It’s only August 16, so that means I’ve still got lots of harvesting and preserving to attend to. In fact, I better get off my rump and get out to the garden soon. It’s time for another hour or two of picking!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us. – Psalm 67:6

 

Rainbow Bright

14 Aug

During barley harvest this year we had a few rainstorms that shut us down for a time. My first reaction was always, “Grrrrr.” Then I’d see sights like this as I was driving home and remember that God never fails us. His promises for our life are bigger, better, infinitely more amazing than we can imagine.

Rainbow Bright

Praise God for days like this.

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9

The Bird is the Word

12 Aug

During barley harvest this year, I had a couple of unique photo opportunities of birds of the very large variety. I don’t know what it is about birds, but the women in my family have always loved them. I remember my Grandma Marcie’s big, color, hardback bird book on a shelf in her living room. My mom always had a bird feeder and was naming different species as we’d see them land on a fence wire. And for my birthday this year, I asked for a book on birds found in Wyoming.

So, while I don’t know much about these winged things, I love watching them and capturing them. Maybe my friend Brittany over at Chasing Birds can offer some insights.

Bird is the Word | The Farm Paparazzi

Turkey vulture. He’s not ugly…he’s unique…okay, he’s ugly. But, you try eating road kill for a living.

Bird is the Word | The Farm Paparazzi

I heard that! I’m outta here.

Sandhill Crane double dinner date.

Sandhill Crane double dinner date.

Bird is the Word | The Farm Paparazzi

I do say, old chap, the barley is absolutely divine this time of year.

If you’re an aspiring bird nerd, here are a couple links for more info:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Turkey_Vulture/id

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Sandhill_Crane/id

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Matthew 6:25 (NLT)

Family Farms

23 Jul

You hear a lot about “factory farming”. Anti-ag groups produce cartoons of a cow on a conveyor belt and smoke stacks coming out of the barn. A corporate CEO is at his desk puffing a fat cigar and ordering copious amounts of chemicals be poured on his crops. Meanwhile, the family farmer is sitting in the corner wearing torn and faded clothing as his starving wife and children huddle around him.

Farmed-and-Dangerous-Chipotle

Just like any cartoon, this is fiction. The reason they produce cartoons and create online series with actors, is because they can’t find these circumstances in real life. The wonderful truth is that most farms are family owned and operated!

Fall 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that today 97% of U.S. farms are family owned. As they completed the latest Census of Agriculture, NASS Director Hubert Hamer said, “What we found is that family-owned businesses, while very diverse, are at the core of the U.S. agriculture industry.”

AGvocating | The Farm Paparazzi

USDA defines a family farm as any farm where the majority of a business is owned by the operator and individuals related to the operator, including through blood, marriage or adoption. This is certainly the case in our situation! Tyler and I are proud to farm the land we own, as well as work hard for the landlords from whom we lease acreage. We are closely tied to the land and the community and do our best to treat the land, our resources and our neighbors respectfully and responsibly.

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Have questions about modern agriculture? Ask your local, family farmer!

Family Farms | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. – Romans 13:8-10

Soaking up the Sun

18 Jul

After the long weeks of rain departed and the sun started shining, our crops and garden took off with a bang!

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

Clay is happy to be soaking up the sun. Our short-haired dog did not approve of the rain and clouds.

The corn is close to head high and some is starting to tassel.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

Over knee high on June 25

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

Over chest high on July 10

The barley is getting close to harvest. It won’t be too long before you can drink it from a Coors can.

IMG_2499

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

The beans are really taking off.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

The garden is growing like crazy. I’m picking zucchini and anxiously awaiting tomatoes and peppers.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

Garden on July 2…

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

…and then on July 10!

The sweet corn is all tasseled. If all goes well, we’ll sell some at the Platte County Farmer’s Market this year.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

Sweet corn on June 25

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

Sweet corn on July 13

Even my herb garden is providing abundant offerings.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

A bouquet from my herb garden: mint, Shasta daises and lavender.

Tyler and our farm employee, Brian, have been chasing water like mad. Irrigation is a huge task in our arid climate.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

They’ve been preparing pivots and cleaning out plugged nozzles, cleaning irrigation ditches, laying out gated pipe and plastic ditch and ditching rows and diking the ends of the flood fields to control the water and ensure it runs down the rows.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

And that’s just to prepare for irrigating! Then they actually have to set flood water and manage pivots to irrigate the crops. It seems like this happens all at once. Two guys and 1400 acres makes for a lot of hard work and long days.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

But Clay doesn’t mind. This is his favorite time of year.

Growing | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (NLT)

Mother Nature

20 Jun

Yes, I realize what a bad blogger I’ve been. Three months is like 30 years in Internet time. But, I always wanted this blog to be a fun outlet, not a chore. So, whenever I dread sitting down to write, I just don’t. It gives me a sense of power and freedom in at least one tiny part of my life. I’m such a rebel.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

Instead of blogging I was doing things like celebrating the 10 year reunion of my State FFA Officer Team! The “cockroach face” came from a training we did early on in our SO year and it lives on today.

It’s been a hard spring to want to blog about. It’s fun to tell you about the years where we get our crops in on time and they grow like mad. It’s not so much fun to tell you that we started out really dry and had trouble getting our barley to grow. So, we turned on a pivot and the pump got struck by lightening.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

Then it started raining in April and it felt like it never stopped. Since the end of April we believe it’s rained 14 inches. Our average precip for the whole year in Wheatland is 13 inches. We’re not equipped to till and plant in such muddy conditions, so this put a big chunk of our corn and dry bean planting behind. Some of it never got planted because it was too late.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

I got Tyler a weather station for his birthday in March. We got it up the end of April, just in time to start watching it collect rainfall data.

Then, as it started to warm up, the severe weather started. There for about a week we had severe weather warnings every day. We got damaged by some hail and even had something tear through one of the corn fields shearing stalks off at the ground. Our best guess is that it was a tiny twister. We also still have standing water in some fields and the corn is literally drowning and dying.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

Assessing hail damage.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

No, that’s not a wheel track. Our best guess is a tiny little twister went through the corn field and the hail it gathered sheared off the corn at the ground.

This leaves a farmer and his farm wife a bit down in the dumps. To put it simply, it’s been a tough farming season so far.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

Poor corn.

But, enough complaining! The crops we got in do look pretty good. And, a lot of folks have it way worse than us.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

Getting corn planted in between rain storms.

The sun has been shining for two days without severe weather warnings. We’re going in the fields again at full speed. And, we’re going to do our best with what we’ve been given. We know as farmers that we are at the mercy of the weather and we know as Christians that God cares for us and will provide all we need.

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

There are days when we feel defeated by our dependence on the weather for our livelihood. But, we also know we’re in good hands for the bigger picture of our lives. Our faith in Christ as our personal Savior gives us strength and endurance through the difficulties. We just laugh and quote Mother Teresa… “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”

Mother Nature | The Farm Paparazzi

Please say a prayer for those dealing with natural disasters all around the world. And, go spend some time in the sunshine!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? – Romans 8:31-32

Whistle While You Till

20 Mar
Drilling 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Drilling malt barley seed

Happy First Day of Spring! It’s been beautiful here in Wheatland. Our trademark Rapid Air Movement (RAM, a.k.a. wind) has been kind to us, the temperatures have been favorable and we haven’t yet gotten dumped on by a major blizzard. I’m sure this also makes the ranchers happy as they calve this time of year.

Drilling 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Filling the grain drill with malt barley seed

We’ve been in full swing getting malt barley planted. It’s one of my favorite crops to watch grow and to harvest. Nothing like seeing beautiful fields of green and, later on, golden waves of grain!

Tillage 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Malt barley growing in June 2014

 

Malt Barley Harvest 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Malt barley harvest 2014. Combine harvests the grain (left) and the grain cart takes the grain to load on the trucks (right).

In order to prepare the seed bed for the malt barley, we’ve been busy tilling; discing, plowing and roller-harrowing. I’ve been able to help quite a bit in running all three implements. I also helped drill some of the barley. When I was a little girl, I didn’t imagine I’d be married to a farmer and running huge tractors in the fields!

Tillage 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Discing a field. The disc breaks up the top layer of soil and works organic material from last years’ crop into the soil.

 

Tillage 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Plowing. In certain circumstances (variables depend on soil type, the crop grown the year before, etc.) it is necessary to perform “heavy” tillage.

 

Tillage 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Roller harrowing. We call it a roller harrow, but many folks call it a mulcher. This breaks up the soil clods and creates a smooth, consistent seed bed for good seed to soil contact.

Agriculture is being celebrated across the country this week during National Agriculture Week. I see no better way to do that than to be farming!

Tillage 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Discing a field where we had harvested pinto beans last year. Discing prepared the seed bed for drilling malt barley. You could really see how it lightly tilled up the soil and distributed the bean residue.

 

Tillage 2015 | The Farm Paparazzi

Can’t you just smell the soil? A beautiful day for plowing!

Why should you care about agriculture? It permeates every part of your daily life! From the food you eat, to the clothes and cosmetics you wear, to the medicines you take and more! Learn more at www.agday.orgwww.fooddialogues.com and www.factsaboutbeef.com.

 

I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to and what your spring plans are!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. – Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)

Martin The Blog

Armed with an automatic setting to expose a happy life full of God's grace

DirtRoadWife

Living Life where the dirt road runs out

Food & Swine

Tales and recipes of an Iowa farm girl.

Intentional By Grace

Making it Impossible to Not Think About God

Gorges Quilt Labels

Put a GQL Care Label on all your quilts

Backwoods Buffalo

a journey through life with a young ranch couple

(in)courage

Armed with an automatic setting to expose a happy life full of God's grace

Uprooted Magnolia

I am a freelance Photographer born and raised in the Southeast. I have uprooted my life in Macon Georgia for a new life as an unlikely cowgirl in love with a handsome cowboy in Wyoming. I hope you enjoy my photo journal on life, love, and the spirit of Wyoming.

PLF Liberty Blog »

Armed with an automatic setting to expose a happy life full of God's grace

The Adventures of Dairy Carrie... I think I Need a Drink!

My life as I live it as a farm girl, wife and friend. Random, hectic, occasionally booze soaked.

HeimDairy

The Whole Story

High Heels & Shotgun Shells

Where backwoods meets Barbie, that's where you'll find me.

Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom

Armed with an automatic setting to expose a happy life full of God's grace

Paint The Town Ag

sharing our story in agriculture

Bovidiva

Defending beef daily! Passionate about livestock production, dedicated to giving producers the tools and messages to explain why we do what we do, every single day.

Mom at the Meat Counter

Armed with an automatic setting to expose a happy life full of God's grace

LeAnn Cooks

Recipes for gathering in with those you love, and reaching out to those in need.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers

%d bloggers like this: