The little green heads are pushing up through the dirt, and my heart is smiling. I love working with living things, from the sturdy little tomato seedlings to the bottle-fed lambs that follow my footsteps all over the farm!
As the days grow longer and the plants grow taller, we look forward to (soon) providing fresh produce for our customers’ tables once more. In the meanwhile, enjoy the pictures of the progress. 🙂
I treasure this simple life, which brings us closer together and closer to God.
“And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, that they may yield a fruitful harvest.” Psalm 107:37
Chantée is the newest member of the Fisher family. She married our son Luke last fall and they run the organic produce business.
Things are busy around the farm as we prepare for spring to come. We recruited all the kids to help with working cattle recently. It was a big day. We did sorting, weaning and ear tagging. We also gave pink-eye vaccinations; hopefully, it won’t be as troublesome this year as it was last spring.
After working the cows we needed to move some to a different pasture. In order to that, we had to clear out the fence row so the electric fence would work. We were happy to have a less-windy day to get that job done. Most of the tasks around the farm are related. In order to complete one, you have to start another!
Luke and Chatntée after rounding up the cows.
Madalyn pushing them through the gate.
Burning the fence row.
Andrew checking teeth.
Anna petting a cow.
The well-drilling rig at work on the Fishers’ farm.
We drilled a drought well today thanks to Mickey Moore Well Service and the state of Oklahoma. I have 14 farm ponds with 3 good enough to still use. This well will furnish water for three pastures. With no water for so long the well will be a blessing.
Good well water is scarce on our farm – the biggest well started out at two gallons a minute. I do not think this one is that good yet. The plan is to use a solar pump and a stock tank.
It was so interesting to watch everything work. 160 feet deep. A foot every minute. It blows a lot of dust until they hit water. When they drill through layers of limestone it makes the whole truck shake.
I was in the middle of planting a wheat field when the driller showed up. After a few hours of watching the well being drilled I finished my wheat planting.
We did get two good rains the last month. One week we got over a inch and the next week it did the same. After the second rain, we finally had some green grass. We had nothing green for most of the summer, but it is looking better out.
I still am feeding cattle hay every day. I do not have water everywhere i have grass. Next Monday I am going to sell calves and move the stock to new pasture. I was hoping for some more rain today, but we will see.
Two weeks ago, the day of our last rain, I planted oats, wheat and clover for fall pasture. I have a good stand, but the 100-plus-degree temperatures every day since I planted have not helped.
We have our ground ready for wheat planting as soon as we have the moisture.
The big news for our life is the upcoming wedding of our oldest son Luke and his fiancee Chantée. I am so happy for them both.
A hay bale smolders after the Fisher family’s baler caught fire.
We have had two equipment fires recently. I lost my round baler and the neighbor who sold me the baler lost his tractor. Both could have been saved if a good fire extinguisher had been available. When our round baler caught fire I panicked and couldn’t push the computer button twice in a row to get the bale out until it was too late. The local volunteer fire department from Slick did a great job with getting to us fast. Without them the fire would have reached the cornfield.
The neighbor’s Kubota tractor caught fire while driving down the road. The gauges were jumping around and there was a burning smell, so the driver got off to look, and when he popped the hood he opened a fire ball. Two of my kids had just pulled onto the road to come home for lunch and called me. They were able to pull the baler away with their 4 wheel drive.
Although the Fishers’ neighbor’s tractor burned, they were able to detach the baler.
We still have our farms but it was a close call, too much adrenaline for me! Both were such sad losses, but nothing like what is happening right here in Creek County.
Hundred of homes, barns, balers, tractors, hay and cattle were all destroyed by fires in the past few weeks. We appreciate our volunteer fire department that keeps a sharp eye out for smoke We are also stocking up on bigger and better fire extinguishers.
The fire was dangerously close to the Fishers’ corn.
The Fishers’ neighbor’s tractor on fire.
Corn harvest started in July for us. The rain last spring was just enough to make a little corn. So far we are getting almost 40 bushel to the acre. The kernels look like pointed popcorn. It is so hot and dry we are blessed to get any corn at all.
Dried-down corn awaiting harvest.
For the most part the old 6600 is holding up good. Don’t get me wrong, we get to tinker on it often enough. The a/c is needing most of the attention. August has started, so maybe four more weeks ’til cooler temps or less, but we are getting good dry down weather for the corn.
Andrew has been running the combine, today his little twin sisters took turns combining corn with him. I checked on them every once in a while, but mostly I filled my day moving round hay, which I hope to not feed too soon.
I moved cattle to a different pasture and am supplementing the pasture with protein tubs. Most of my stock ponds are the driest since they were dug.
Do grasshoppers like round bales? As I picked the up hay, hundreds of grasshoppers moved away. We have had no new growth since the hay was cut earlier this summer, so maybe they are eating the hay. Or maybe they just like the shade.
We had a customer appreciation dinner in the front yard and a farm tour.
The dinner was made from the garden. We ate outside sitting on straw bales covered with quilts. The tour was a hay ride on old wagons. Everyone enjoyed the farm experience and the evening together. It was pleasant.
For me it was meeting the nice folks that buy my son’s vegetables.
Here are a few pictures:
Summer days are long and full. Working from daylight to dark can make a full day.
We are having a real long dry spell. We got a good rain in April, so everything is turning brown. Somehow the corn is going to make a partial crop.
Dry weather is good for hay. We mowed hay yesterday and will roll it up today. I am selling calves at the Holdenville sale barn today, but they were shipped yesterday.
The Fisher family loads a wagon with sweet corn.
Our morning started with picking a wagon load of corn. Just enough corn for the sales here at our house. We also dug potatoes to be sold at the Oklahoma Food Coop which is Thursday this week. It makes for a good night’s sleep.
Luke was up bright and early for our first appearance of the year at the Brookside Farmers’ Market in Tulsa.
As you can see, we had a lot of choices for fresh picked produce. We do our best to encourage Americans to eat more vegetables. Somebody is going to eat good tonight because we didn’t bring anything home. Luke is the one posing for the picture and his sister, Elisa, is the photographer. It is always a busy day.
This morning when I went to check on the cows, I took my berry bucket. I don’t know which I like more – picking blackberries or eating them. Wild blackberries are weeds in the cow pasture, so most of the time they get sprayed or mowed but we try to save some of them to enjoy. This has been a very good year for them and since my son and mother joined in the picking, we got 5 five-gallon buckets in the few hours before I had to get back to farm work. The small amount of rain we got was not nearly enough for the corn but too much for the wheat. We have finished harvesting some of the wheat and we have more that is almost ready. On the produce side of the farm, tomato and squash production have increased significantly this week.
The pictures below are from this week’s wheat harvest.