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If you have it, use it

From the Farm

May 17, 2013
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

I am beginning to think that spring may have actually arrived.

Knock on wood.

I hate to jinx the idea that spring is actually hanging around. I mean, it's no fun to wake up in the morning to see a boat load of snow on the ground.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

The activities going on around here at the farm sure are indicative of spring.

Steve has been an invisible partner on the farm. I don't know how he keeps the kind of hours he does, but he manages. He gets up at 4:30 in the morning and heads out to the field. I usually get to see him once or twice during the day, when he comes home for a hearty dinner or supper and then he disappears again.

Usually he gets home around nine or ten at night.

He always says, when you have the perfect chance to do it, you might as well do it.

Steve's been working frantically to get the corn planted. He works in tandem with his brother and father and this year Joey has been helping quite a bit.

We're working Joey to the bone this summer. I guess working him to the bone doesn't mean he's working all that hard, after all, he is skinny as Kate Moss. Anyway, he has been working very hard and is learning the ins-and-outs of dairy farming.

This winter, our alfalfa fields were totally decimated by the gnarly weather in January and February. (So was my lawn.)

We decided to replant the alfalfa. The entire field is not dead, there is a little bit growing, but eventually, without reseeding new fields we would end up short on alfalfa for feed and have to purchase some down the road.

Knowing that, we decided it would be more cost effective to reseed.

We don't have a seeder for planting alfalfa; we have the United Farmers Cooperative of Lafayette seed our field using a fertilizer spreader. Those are the machines that are really tall and drive really fast back and forth across the field. They have the capability of mixing the alfalfa seed directly into the fertilizer. It's quite efficient.

So early Wednesday morning UFC planted our alfalfa field directly across the road from our house. Later in the day, Joey had the opportunity to drive the tractor pulling what we call a roller; it packs the field a bit to give the alfalfa a better start-up chance.

"Dad said I can drive as fast as I want," Joey said with a sheepish grin.

I knew what he meant.

He was going to go fast.

It was comical watching him from my extensive kitchen windows as I folded three days worth of clean laundry. I hate folding clothing, so watching him actually made this ugly task just a bit more enjoyable.

Now, some fields are quite bumpy and driving a tractor across a terrain similar to any State Highway in the state of Minnesota can make you look like a balls inside the Fischer-Price Corn Popper toy.

It's very dramatic and quite irritating.

Judging from the speed Joe was going across that field, it had to be smoother than the glass plates they are going to put on the new stadium. It's good to know they have their priorities straight. Roads on one hand; Vikings on the other.

When Russell returned home from school and baseball practice, I filled his and Joe's dinner plates with mounds of fresh asparagus and burgers. As they ate supper, we had a discussion about all the activities that had been going on that day.

Joe and Russ proceeded to have a deep discussion on the task of driving the roller.

"I used auto-steer going 20 mph!" Joey said.

"Really? Isn't that kind of extreme?" I asked.

"If you have it, you might as well use it," Russell said.

He's just like his father.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

 
 

 

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