Sunday, April 27, 2014

Faith and Farm

     Faith is an important part of our life on the farm and today we are proud of our beautiful Mary who took a very important and special step in her faith life. Mary received her First Holy Communion and was all smiles knowing what a big step this is in her life.

A special moment with her dad. Mary's dad gave her a special necklace with the image of Holy Mary on it,
a special keepsake for this special day.

Receiving the Body of Christ, the true nourishment we need in life

Her Grandpa Pat got to give her the Blood of Christ
Because of the rainy weather today, both of the farmer grandpas and Paul were able to spend some extra time with Mary to celebrate.  Sometimes it seems like it rains on days when we need a reminder to take time for family and rest.  Because we both grew up within a few miles of each other, we are fortunate to have our children's grandparents and great-grandparents able to to join us to celebrate this special day.
The glow of having Christ inside of her

A quick family shot

       Faith is what keeps life together. On the farm there are so many things that are out of our control: weather, prices of products, and sometimes health of animals. Faith is needed to know that things may seem to be out of our control but there is a God who always has our best interests in mind and knows the bigger picture in life and is always in control. Every night during prayer time with the kids we pray for favorable weather for the crops, fair prices, and health of the animals. Our children are learning that we need to place our life in God's hands and have faith that he will provide for us. Faith and farming go hand in hand.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter New Life

    It was a beautiful Easter. The weather was perfect and the kids had more candy than they needed. I love Easter with the promise of New Life and Resurrection.
Luke is too cute among a pile of eggs

Mary enjoyed some face painting

David is silly excited about his finds

Rose practices her sharing
       With the warmer weather we have been busy getting ready for planing both in the garden and in the fields. The kids have been helping me get the garden ready. We are all excited for the fresh vegetables and working in the soil.

     Paul went from tilling up the garden to working up the field. A little rain today put a slight hold on the planting for now but as soon as the sun starts shining the tractors will be rolling again.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ag in the Classroom

       Yesterday Paul and I went to our local private school and taught the elementary kids about agriculture. Living in a smaller town in SW MN we consider ourselves a rural community and assume that everyone should have been exposed to agriculture. It is eye opening to see how many of the children and teachers know very little about production agriculture.

         As you can see we had to use the chapel space but it worked out well and animals are part of Gods creation also. We focused our education on animal production in agriculture. We brought along our baby chicks, kittens, and a 3 day old calf from the farm. The kids were very attentive and asked lots of great questions. We were able to talk with about 150 kids and their teachers.
        Holding the baby chicks was a big hit. Many kids said it was the first time they have held a chicken. They were all amazed at how soft they were.We did talk with the kids about why they are different colors because of their different breeds. We also discussed the difference between egg production and meat production chickens.

      We brought a cute 3 day old brindle face heifer calf. She was very well mannered and let the kids pet her. I'm sure this is the closest many of them have every been to a calf. The kids were amazed to learn that in just 14 months a steer calf will grow to 1400lbs and be ready for market. We stressed with the kids that as farmers were are very concerned with our animals safety and health. We care about our animals but they are not our pets. The kids asked if they cows all had names and we told them how each one is given a number but only the very special cows get names.

       We also brought our 3 baby kittens and the kids passed them around.  We talked to the kids how the kittens are different from the chickens and calf because cats are pets and we have them for enjoyment but the chickens and calf we raise to produce food. We thanked the kids for helping use on our farm. We told them that their job is to eat food and we will continue to produce safe, nutritious food for them.
     Paul showed them Cow TV on his farm and how we use technology on the farm. The kids thought it was very neat that they could see the cows in the barn out on the farm.  It was a lot of fun to talk with the children and their teachers. Many of the kids and teachers thanked us for coming and said they learned a lot. Paul and I plan on doing this more often and encourage others to share their farm experience with others. The public is interested in learning about agriculture and what we do on our farms.

Linked to
Country Fair Blog Party

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring Cleaning

     It has been some beautiful days on the farm. The kids and I have been spending as much time out enjoying it as possible. Today the weather has changed and is much colder so I am taking some time to sit down and write.
   It has been fun cleaning all the winter off of things. The girls helped me clean off the table and chairs on the porch so we can start having our meals outside again. I have to say meals on the porch is one of my favorite warm weather things. We have been able to eat out there a few times already this spring and I am looking forward to many more meals out in the fresh air.

    The kids loved being outside enjoying the sun shine and provided some cute pictures. I will gladly deal with muddy cloths and feet to have them outside having fun. Isn't getting dirty part of childhood and as I always say kids are washable.

     The warmer weather also means cloths on the line. I enjoy hanging close out on the line and having the fresh air and sunshine dry them. With 5 kids and all the "fun" they are having outside I feel like laundry can be a constant job.
      We ended the day with burning the stick pile that we removed from the grove to make room for the tree house. I was beautiful to watch. I am so thankful for the warmer weather and the energy and projects that it brings with it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Life Within

    We candled the eggs we are incubating to see which ones are still alive and developing. We did this by shining a flash light through them and the one the glowed clear were not developing and the ones that were dark are still viable. We picked out 15 eggs out of 47 original which we felt were not developing.
     I took the kids outside and we broke open the dead eggs to see what was inside. We found that most of them appeared to around the same early point of development. I taught the kids that there are many reasons for the baby chicks to stop developing. The temperature could not have been right, not enough humidity, or a germ got into the egg. The kids were interested to see the big dark eye on the chicks and that they could see arms and legs on some of them. They also stated how they looked like pictures of baby people they have seen in books. I taught them that in this very early stage of development many creatures look alike.


       Then we came across this one. I'm not sure if we candled this one wrong or if the other one's would be more developed than this one at this stage. We were very interested to see that this chick has a beak, feathers, and chicken looking legs. We were amazed to see how much the baby chicks change and how wonderfully made they are. We also talked about how precious life is and how it needs to be taken care of carefully in order to develop normally. Everything was inside those eggs to make a baby chickens all it needed was some time and tender care. When asked the question what comes first the chicken or the egg, I say the chicken, because life begins with conception when everything is in place for life and the waiting for growth begins.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Snow

      Minnesota is a roller coaster of weather. On my last post I talked about a wonderful day we had on Sunday and now just 4 days later we are having our second snow fall of the week. I myself think winter just wouldn't be the same without the white snow to cover all the dead brownness and give it a fresh clean look. But at this time of year snow is not a welcome site. I would much rather be looking for tulips pushing up through the soil or buds on the trees. I think it happens this way every year where we get these little set backs and it feels like spring is never going to come. I just have to keep telling myself that this snow won't stay long and before I know it we will be turning on the AC and saying it is too hot outside. I am sure ready for some green.