Tag Archives: pinto beans

Frijoles!

1 Oct

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi
It’s bean harvest time! When you listen to farm reports, you’ll hear them talk about beans. Thems not our beans. Thems soybeans. We ain’t got no soybeans.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Okay, now that every English teacher I’ve ever had is crying tears of desperation, I’ll tell you that we raise dry edible beans. Mainly pinto beans. Yup, those beans you buy for your Chugwater Chili and your Mexican food.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

I love raising a crop that I can cook with. Corn is great, but I have to wait for the cows to turn it into nutritious, delicious beef. Malt barley is great, but I have to wait to drink that as beer. And right now, at 27 weeks pregnant, I’ll be waiting awhile before I can even do that.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

But pintos? Yes, those, I can cook up and eat in all their original glory. They are also fun to give away as gifts.

We harvest beans two ways. The first way is called direct cutting and is a more modern method. On center-pivot irrigated ground, we grow upright bean varieties. These plants grow taller than other varieties and we can run a flex-header through the field to combine.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

The header’s cutting bar actually flexes to contour with the ground, rather than staying rigid. This allows the head to move across the field and harvest the beans more effectively.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

We also have an air reel on the head that helps keep the shelled beans in the head once they’re cut.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

There’s more to growing beans for direct cutting, but you get the gist.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

The second method is the traditional method. On flood irrigated ground, we have to pull ditches in between the crop rows so the water can run down and irrigate the entire row. This creates mounds in the field that aren’t conducive to direct cutting. So we take our Pickett machine through the field first.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

This machine cuts the plants at the roots and a rod breaks partially cut roots and lifts the plants. Then the cut plants are pulled into a windrow behind the machine.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

This is done when the beans are mostly dry, but not completely dry, to prevent the bean pods from shattering during the cutting process. It helps to cut when the humidity is high and/or there is a dew.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Then the windrows are left to dry and a second pass is made with the combine to finish harvest.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

I’ve told you about the grain cart before, but in this harvest, we don’t run the cart. Beans are more fragile and apt to split the more they are handled, so the combine usually dumps directly onto semi trucks and the semis haul them to the beanery.

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

Our beans go to Kelly Bean in Torrington, Wyo. where they get sold all over the world and may end up on your dinner plate. Ole!

Frijoles | The Farm Paparazzi

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

[Jesus said,] “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

 

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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)

Fall 2014

29 Sep

Yup, I guess I have to admit that it’s officially Fall and has been for a full week. It’s a busy time of year on the farm. The time of year where I think back and try to remember what happened the past couple of weeks, but specifics don’t come to mind. It’s more like a blur of bean harvest, canning, family visiting, and volunteer activities. Do you ever get done with the day and remember being busy, but can’t remember exactly what went on? That’s been my brain for awhile now. But, I’m sure it has nothing to do with sleep deprivation. Nothing at all.

Fall 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Fall 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Fall 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Well, Happy Fall/Autumn to you and yours!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Crop Progress Aug. 2014

12 Aug

We’ve only got 25 acres left in malt barley harvest. It’s always gratifying to have most of the crop out of the field.Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm PaparazziThe beans are blooming and vining. If Mother Nature treats them well, they’ll be pinto beans on your plate this winter.

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm Paparazzi

The corn is all tasseled and the silks are being pollinated. Did you know that each strand of silk equals one corn kernel? Learn more about this on Dairy Carrie’s blog.

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm PaparazziThe boys are still running around like crazy keeping water running. We live in an arid part of the country, so in order to get row crops to grow, we have to use irrigation. Other parts of the state and country rely on precipitation to grow their crops. This is called “dryland”. The Wheatland Irrigation District is actually one of the largest, privately-owned irrigation districts in the world!

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm PaparazziWe’ve had some wet weather recently. What a change this year was from last year. In 2013 we didn’t have enough water for our crops. This year, we have more than enough. In fact, a 4-inch gulley-washer caused the irrigation district to temporarily turn off most of the water a couple weeks ago.

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm PaparazziThat’s the life of a farmer; always dependent on the weather.

Crop Progress Aug. 2014 | The Farm PaparazziBut, boy, it’s a great life!

God Bless You & American Agriculture,

Liz

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

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