As I grocery shop I am quick to look at what labels are put on my food, not because I am weary of GMOS, non-organic, etc. I look because I know how much the food industry is making off of these labels even though many of these products are naturally GMO free or their conventional counterparts are just as nutritious as the organically produced products. Truth in the marketplace continues to be muddied as companies continue to add more verbiage to their packaging when what we need in the marketplace is education.
As a producer, farming is our lifestyle. It is not just a job or a career. We wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the moon and sometimes vice versa. Producing a safe product for the marketplace is at the center of our operation. On our farm there are many moving parts to manage to ensure we have plant health throughout the growing season and after. This includes applying fertilizer, fungicides and pesticides. We consult with agronomists and read the labels to ensure that the products we use are safe for the environment and people.
The crops we produce on our family farm go into products my family eats, if our farm commodities are not safe in our eyes we wouldn’t be bringing them to the marketplace. As a mom I look to facts not fear when I make my buying decisions. Understanding where your food comes from and how it is produced is empowering, but look to the right sources for your information. Take the time to seek out science or ask a farmer.
I often feel defeated that our voice is not being heard, but I also know that I am not sharing my voice enough. So today I am challenging myself to seek out more open conversations at the grocery store, the gas station, church, etc. so that others can see my passion for the land and the food we eat. I want our food supply to be safe and nutritious but we all have a different view of what is safe is. I am also going to challenge you today that no matter what side of the table you are on seek out open conversations outside of your normal acquaintances and friends about food and farming. Let’s focus on facts not fear.
I think I need more hours in a day or more days in a week. It's already Tuesday and this is the only post I've wrote all week. So here it is the long awaited second installment of my Tuesday Ten. ;)
1. What's for supper? Mom’s got a night out on the town with a girlfriend so the sky’s the limit. Guessing we will get supper at one of our favorite restaurants The Wilkin before we head to a Paint and Sip event.
2. What am I listening to? I’m a podcaster, I love listening to them and what a great way to multitask! I will listen to one while I’m washing dishes or in the shower. The EntreLeadership Podcast is one of my favorites.
3. How's the weather? Cool, most mornings are in the 40s and warming to the mid 60s, the perfect weather for harvest and sleeping with the windows open!
4. What are our weekend plans? Hanging out at home, maybe take the kids to a local apple orchard/pumpkin patch. Ideally get the spaghetti squash and carrots out of the garden.
5. What are we watching? Seriously somewhat happy that I didn’t watch the debate last night, we opted for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I was outnumbered two to one. :)
6. Boy mom moment of the past week: Pulling his sisters hair and laughing about it, insert mom shaking her head and wishing she had wine. On the bright side he is saying a few more words and can do basic sign language: more, please, and all done. His more usually ends up being screaming by the pantry door even though he just ate five minutes prior.
7. Girl mom moment of the past week: Dressed in her NDSU Bison jersey she proceeds to tell her preschool teacher that we are a “Bison family” proud mom and alumni moment right there!
8. Favorite recipe of the week: Harvest meal prep was happening this past weekend with freezer breakfast burritos, puppy chow and blonde brownies.
9. What am I reading: The only reading done that past week is to my kiddos, so we read Little Blue Truck on repeat!
10. Farm moment of the week: Driving around the countryside and seeing all of the progress. We will finish soybeans today and continue on with corn. A final pre lift for sugar beets is happening tomorrow.
Phew! Cheers to another #TuesdayTen and a safe harvest for all.
Harvest is here. EEK! So exciting as fall is by far my FAVORITE season. Even better the first day of fall is on Thursday. I got the kiddos fed last night and we headed out to see everything in action. Mr. Farmer was at our second bin site unloading soybeans while his dad, brother and hired men were busy out in the field harvesting.
I believe my excitement comes as we see all of the hard word come to fruition. Seeing the combines rolling down the field through the dust at sunset is a sight that everyone should get the chance to see in their lifetime. Can I add to the list of the wonders of the world? Well if it was up to me farming/agriculture would be added. Where else can you see hard work, science, mother nature and God’s hand all play out? This excitement and wonder is shared by everyone when the hours get long. Soybeans have just started for us and corn will not be far behind. Soon enough we will have one combine doing each. Fast forward another 12 days or so and main harvest for sugar beets will be here. That also means September is done. How time flies...
To add to the excitement I am starting a new series called the Tuesday Ten. This will give a little glimpse into what our week is looking like from farming to family to food and all of the other stuff in between. So here we go with the first Tuesday Ten.
1. What's for supper? I guess it was only fitting that we had tacos for #TacoTuesday, I usually make homemade tortillas but we opted for some store bought flour ones tonight.
2. What am I listening to? I listen to mostly country and am still obsessed with Dierks & Elle singing "It's Different for Girls"
3. How's the weather? Fall-ish, starting to cool down into the 70s but spotty rain showers throw a wrench into planned soybean harvest.
4. What are our weekend plans? Mr. Farmer will be farming so the kiddos and I will be fending for ourselves. I want to get more of the garden cleaned up and I'm sure we will venture out to the field for more combine and tractor rides.
5. What are we watching? I'm not a huge TV watcher, but I can't wait for the next season of Fixer Upper to start.
6. Boy mom moment of the past week: Little man is 16 months old and is starting to know animal sounds. So far we know sheep, deer and cow.
7. Girl mom moment of the past week: We are heading out for the morning and little Miss says "today Junior" out of the blue, queue laughs from Mom and Dad.
8.Favorite recipe of the week: I haven't had much time to try out anything new, but I have a hankering for sauerkraut hotdish!
9. What am I reading: Make it Happen by Laura Casey
10. Farm moment of the week: Me "Do you want to ride in the combine with your uncle?"
Little Miss "No, just my dad...he's my favorite guy."
I have been struggling with farm topics to blog about lately which really shouldn’t be a problem at all. There is soo much to blog about, but I tell you what as an off the farm working mom with two young kiddos some days it doesn’t happen. I hate to say there are days that I am not in touch with the farm or my husband. I feel like I am not sharing the story that I was set out to tell. I sit here reminding myself that this is reality.
The reality is I work off the farm and my husband works on the farm. At the end of some days we don’t even talk about the farm or agriculture. I work with farmers in my job off the farm, so I have a good grasp of what is going on in the neighborhood, but sometimes I miss out on what is happening in my backyard.
This is more of an internal struggle so I thank you as you listen to me rant. How do I fix this? I think its letting go of what isn’t important: the laundry, vacuuming, paying bills…okay paying the bills is important but you get the gist! Focus on family and farming and why the two together are important to us. So these are my goals for #harvest16 :
So there it is, #harvest16, I’m coming for you with my big girl pants on!
We survived Labor Day weekend and are trying to ease our way into September, but let's be honest it will be Christmas in the blink of the eye. As a farmer's wife I fully enjoy these falls months as harvest begins and the fruit of our labor is removed from the fields and either brought to market or stored on the farm. Fall also means apples. We have contemplated planting apples trees for several years now, they were actually supposed to be my Mother's Day gift in 2015 but as you can guess that didn't happen. I promise Mr. Farmer had great intentions. We know that our family and neighbors would fully enjoy our apple trees as much as we would. I continue to dream of all of the apple pies, apple bars, apple crisps, apple sauce, and apple juice that I could make with these apples from our phantom apples trees. One day these phantom trees may become a reality, but until then we have decided to graciously accept apple donations. Thank goodness for gracious parents! I have been able to make several pans of apple crisp as well as dehydrate some. Dehydrated apples make the perfect snack. Soooo good! Not a surprise though is that apple slab bars have been the biggest hit. Tonight I kid you not I walked into the kitchen as Mr. Farmer was holding a half a row like a piece of toast...devouring it. I laughed and he goes "what?" I assumed it was a rhetorical question so I shook my head and didn't respond. So here it is the bars that can't stay in the pan for more than a day because they are THAT good!
Apple Cuts - (I call them bars above but Mr. Farmer informed me that "cuts" is the correct technical name)
7 cups apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 egg, separated
3/4 cup of crushed corn flakes or similar cereal
Put cut apples in a bowl with the 3/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon, stir and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine flour, salt, butter and sugar. Place egg yolk in a one cup measuring cup, add milk to the 2/3 cup line. Mix with flour mixture. Take half of the dough and roll to fit a jelly roll pan (extra flour will be needed to roll out the dough). Place rolled dough in the pan and top with crushed corn flakes. Fill the bottom crust with apple mixture. Roll out the remaining dough and place atop the apples. Trim and crimp edges. Beat the egg white and brush the top crust. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Let cool and top with powdered sugar icing if desired.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine ingredients and add additional milk until an icing consistency is reached. Drizzle on cooled apple cuts.
I find this recipe baker friendly and have adapted it from one of my go to church cookbooks to fit our taste buds. The dough is pretty no fuss and hard to mess up, which I LOVE! Here is to a late night snack or early morning breakfast of apple cuts. The apples make it nutritious so go ahead and have one for every meal. ;)
We are headed into a long Labor Day weekend and have no idea what to do with this extra free time. Anyone else get like this when busy schedules and farming seem to consume your life? We keep throwing out ideas and none of them seem to stick. Do we do the State Fair, Duluth, a lake getaway, or a staycation? We sat in the living room for over an hour last night listing pros and cons of each. You are proably thinking its not that hard people get your poop in a group and go, go have fun as a family. Sounds simple until we start looking at hotel availablity, the cost of hotels, tickets to attend certain events and all I see are dollar signs, BIG dollar signs. Oh and one other thing Mr. Farmer and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage on the 3rd so that sparks one other thought, do we ditch the kids instead and have a weekend to ourselves? More or less I STINK at making decisions on things like this. I should just flip a coin, but then I might just end up reflipping it. So here is to a weekend full of last minute decsions spent with those closest to my heart.
I'm Lisa, a farm wife turned city slicker. A child of God, wife and mother. I'm a dreamer relying on God's grace to get me through.