a tough year to be a wheatie

Picture credit goes to Nancy Eberts 0f Eberts Harvesting, Inc.

We’ve had a bit of crummy luck with our summer jobs this year. I wrote about it on the All Aboard Wheat Harvest site. To read it, you can click here.

In all of our 35 years of being in this business, I can honestly say I have never seen it look so bleak for so many. Typically, when things happen, it happens to a select few harvesters and then you can, hopefully, make up for the lost acres somewhere else along the way. This is not so this year. I’m afraid the 2017 wheat harvest may come to a complete stop for many in a week or so. The acres in the northern states are depleting by the day. The already low wheat acres are becoming even lower and I’m afraid there won’t be enough for everyone to be able to make up what we’re losing.

We are sitting on some acres in Garden City – thankfully! After we received word the hail had wiped out the acres we normally cut, Jim made a couple of phone calls and one of them came through for us.  It’s irrigated wheat and is doing quite well considering this is the wheat that was flat on the ground due to snow the end of April. It’s yielding more than 70 bushels per acre and the test weight is very good (60-62 lbs).  This should keep us busy for four to five more days and then we don’t know what we’re doing next. I have to believe God knows and I will remain faithful to that belief. I know He works things for our good – we just sometimes have to learn to wait! And who knows…maybe we’ll get home to welcome grandbaby #3 to the family afterall.

Garden City, Kansas

Garden City, Kansas

We had some German visitors arrive while we were still in Claude, TX. They are in the states to make a documentary on the wheat harvest. They told us there is great interest in this lifestyle in their country. They were a lot of fun to have around for a day or so. They traveled with us while we moved the combine and trailer house from Claude to Garden City. I believe they are returning tomorrow for more footage of us in the field.

Jim’s preparing the Pete for the trip north while Dirk (one of our new German friends) watches.

 

Volkert sitting in as the “dummy” while Michael and Dirk were setting up the cameras inside the Pete. 

Volkert and our farmer, Bryan, talking about Germany, I’m sure. 🙂

We had to make a planned stop to change things up a bit with cameras and mics. This is Texas beauty!

Another quick stop at Bryan’s Corner, Oklahoma for changes to the plan. Volkert and Michael look pretty involved in a conversation. Dirk and Jim in the background. 

The day after we arrived was the day for fellow HarvestHER visitors – me and Nancy Eberts (Eberts Harvesting). She came to the yard while Jim and I were unloading the equipment. She was in Garden City to pick up a new crew member. 

Later that same day, Amanda Buus Thomsen (BT Harvesting) and her husband, Anders, came to Garden and we went out for supper. 

Jim took this video while he was running the grain cart in Texas. He did an awesome job!!

 

few called him bubba

The last picture I took of Wes

(My final blog for 2016 – although it is 2017 – and it’s the very hardest to write. I’ve been mulling this one in my head for a long time. I’ve thought of all the things I’ve wanted to say for over a year and yet the words don’t come easy. I pray that God gives me the story and the words and the healing my heart is needing by writing this letter.)

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wheat harvest 2016 nearly here

IMG_1474Miss Nora showing us one of her many talents.

There has been a lot of activity within the household! Graduation was on May 14 and it’s already June 6.

Because the wheat harvest journey was next to happen, that’s what was focused on after the graduation party was cleaned up.  And speaking of the graduation party, I’d like to thank everyone who came. Everything turned out nice, including the weather – just enough chilly to enjoy the awesome fire pit Jim and Mark built.

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a sure sign of spring in nebraska…baby bovines (calves)

Palm Sunday 2Regardless of what the thermometer shows for a temperature this time of year, the surest sign that spring has sprung is the sight of calves standing near their mama. Or, better yet, a gang of them running and leaping as if to say, “Why worry? Have fun!”

We don’t live on a farm. The last link to the farm for our immediate family belongs to Jim’s sister, Maureen, and her husband, Harvey. They plant corn and soybeans and raise cattle. They used to have pigs, as well, but gave up on that quite a few years ago already. Diversified operation. Recently, I’ve come to appreciate them and the connection much more. Prior to this appreciation, it was taken for granted.

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all of z crew present…for a week

IMG_6734-1Thanks for sharing your picture, Taylor! This little guy loves the equipment!!!

Sitting here waiting for my fingers to move and my mind to shift gears to writing is the reason I fail at keeping a journal. It’s not the writing that I fail at – it’s the getting behind and trying to catch up. When this happens, I become overwhelmed with the amount of time that has passed and then I just don’t even want to do it. Once I’m caught up again, I tell myself I’m not going to let that happen again. Guess what…I generally do let it happen again.  I’ll start catching you up and if need be, I’ll just have to make it a continuing story. Otherwise, I’m certain you’ll lose interest.

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a calf named ruby

IMG_7806All pictures are thanks to Taylor Zeorian Photography.

Palm Sunday brought our family and  Jim’s side of the family together. This is our only link to the farm – a real farm. We visit farms with our business but Harv and Maureen’s farm is the only one left in our family unit. I was excited for Eli to visit the farm and even more excited that it was a beautiful day!

IMG_2723_editOne of the highlights of the day was getting to bottle feed the calf named Ruby.  As long as I’ve known Harv and Maureen (and that’s a long time), they’ve had cattle. They used to have quite a few hogs, too, but sold out after prices went too low to justify keeping them. At least when you visit the farm now, it’s a bit less stinky!  Anyway…back to Ruby. Harvey and Maureen’s grandson, Harvey Jr., has the chore of feeding Ruby every day. So, on this particular day when it was time to feed her, we tagged along.

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came as strangers – left as family

IMG_4295

The days have been long.

Since my last post, we’ve moved to Limon, Colorado – higher elevation, cool nights and no biting flies (oh…and a view of Pikes Peak from the field). Since six days have already come and gone, I’ll take this one day at a time and get caught up.

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