**Now, my guys here on our farm don’t like adding veggies to the dish…but if you find your household or farm love veggies…add some green peppers and onions…mushrooms- whatever you put on your pizza!
**Since we are a BEEF farm, I sometimes make this dish with ground beef and it taste just as yummy. Or mix it with pork sausage and ground beef. Both are delicious!
**Double the recipe and make a freezer dish- tastes just as yummy a few months later. This was one of my pregnancy meals that I planned before I had our daughter and worked great for those weeks of cooking for the farm and I didn’t feel like doing anything!
The last few weeks I have spent preparing. Preparing for the party that really is a milestone for us. My farmer and I.
In 2008 I made my very first trip to South Dakota for my husband and I to meet face to face for the very first time. It was a horrendous trip, I won't lie. I left around midnight. And it was a bit spur of the moment...ok, a lot spur of the moment.
I packed my bag and jumped in the car. What was supposed to be a 12 hour trip ended up being more like 18 hours. I drove slow at night and then I hit some awful traffic in Iowa and then in Minnesota blew my tire. Which isn't a problem, however, I had this new SUV and of course it had to have some cargo unit installed in the back which meant I couldn't get to the lever that would lower the spare down. So, I was stuck on the side of the road calling my mechanic grandpa to see if he could help me get around it.
While we were chatting this police officer pulled up and was not very friendly about me being parked on the side of the exit ramp. I pointed at my tire and he insisted I start following him to a Walmart right around the corner. I barely made it before they closed for the night. That took some time and then I was finally on my way.
I met my husband for the first time on the exit ramp by our house. He then had me drive to his parents just down the road so I could shower and then I went to his house, which is now ours. I then met just about every person that was important to him. I was tired. And all I wanted was a bed. But, it was pretty exciting, the rush of it all. Just meeting him, then his family, and then his friends.
It was the second year for what we now deem our "Annual Neighborhood BBQ". And the house was filled with people!
This year we celebrated the end of summer with the eighth Annual BBQ. It's hard to believe that I have been in South Dakota six years this month. So hard to believe. Time has flown by for us. We have been together those six years, married five years, a beautiful two year old little girl, and lots and lots of memories.
Every year we spend the summer readying our house for the BBQ. It's a really great deadline actually. To get all those house projects done before our big party at the end of July. Especially since in a little over four weeks we should be chopping corn silage.
This year I started cleaning, organizing, and shopping a lot sooner that I have in the past because now I have a very busy two year old. But, even when I fall into bed exhausted by the end of the night, I am so happy we have our party. It's a really great time to reconnect with our neighbors and our friends and to see how everyone's children have grown.
The party gets bigger and bigger every single year, as new people come into our neighborhood, or we get involved in bible studies with new friends. Or friends that live far away are back for the weekend for a visit. This year I would say we had around 50 people. And it was actually a relatively small year for us!
Every year as I plan for the party (I design a new invite every year!) I get excited to see our list of guests grow and it's such a warm reminder for how important it is to simply spend the evening in fellowship. The night is filled with laughter and children's happy screams. It's also really nice to see the farmers in our area enjoy a night off before Harvest!
Other than farming, I pretty much love talking about food. Well, and my small child!
One thing that is important when it comes to food is freshness. We have all been to the grocery store where certain produce seems picked over and all that is left is something that looks like it may have been sitting there longer than a few days.
One thing that you might find interesting is that it takes 2 days for fresh milk to make it to your dinner table. This video from Midwest Dairy sums up 48 hours in 48 seconds. And gives you just a small glimpse of the hard work that dairy farmers put in every single day!
On the 4th of July we didn't do anything too special, unless you count lots and lots of home projects.Knowing it was going to be a busy day of projects I decided I wanted to do something quick in the crockpot and still yummy!
One thing I love in my house is our crockpots. I use them pretty much all the time and I love trying out my favorite recipes in them.
My husband gives two thumbs up for this delicious pulled pork I make in the crockpot and it's so simple any busy mom will love it too!
6 lbs. boneless pork shoulder1 1/2 tsp. paprika2 tsp. black pepper1 tsp. cayenne pepper1 tsp. thyme 1 tsp. garlic powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1-2 cups of water
Mix all the seasoning together in a small bowl. Stick your pork shoulder in your crockpot and then taking the seasoning give it a good rub down. Make sure to lift up any pieces that are overlapping. There should be more than enough seasoning. Add your water last.
Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. Or cook it until the pork is really tender. Pull apart with a fork tender.
Serve on Kaiser buns or hamburger buns with BBQ sauce.
When I first married my farmer I don't think I ever fully realized how the past I had before him would be so helpful in my future with him.
I have always been involved in the Ag industry. It started with 4-H and showing horses and sheep and then moved on to FFA when I was in high school. And then everything just flowed naturally to college. It felt perfect for me to head to Purdue University and pursue a degree in Agricultural Education.
I was completely involved in everything I could be that involved agriculture. Then I met my farmer and moved to the farm. And I everything I had "learned" was now something I could apply every day. And for once I felt like my past, my present in education, and my future with my farmer came full circle.
And every day I find myself using all my skills and knowledge from my past to apply them to what is going on on our farm. But, there have also been quite a few things I have learned. Ok, may a whole lot of things.
1. Timing is everything. On our farm the livestock have to come first. And that is a concept I get, for sure. But, one thing I didn't really grasp right away was the timing of the crops. My hubby tells me stories of combining through the night to finish the last field before an early ice storm came in. And I have stayed in the grain cart until well past midnight to try and get as much done as possible before we were going to have a full day of rain. And sometimes the timing isn't perfect. Sometimes cattle get out right when you are walking out the door on your first date in a month.
2. Learn how to do it all, if you want it done soon. My husband and I always seem to have a list of projects that we want to do around the house. Well, ok, maybe my list is a lot longer than his. And since the farm pretty much gets all our time, you can probably get that our home projects are always done last. Luckily, I have a degree in Agricultural Education, which means I took a lot of classes in relation to agriculture. And shop classes, mechanics, electricity, and welding, are all classes that I have taken and being able to have that knowledge is pretty handy. So having the knowledge of power tools is super helpful, especially when I am dying to build and hang shelves downstairs in our basement.
3. Dinner or lunch will rarely ever happen on time. So, be prepared to reheat or keep warm.
4. Dinner will also almost always be requested to be in the field about ten minutes before the noon hour and you have already laid out spaghetti on the table. So, having a back up in the freezer is ideal. Hamburgers work great.
|Delivering lunch to the field.|
5. When you are asked to help for just a little bit be sure to pack a bag. With water, a snack, toddler toys, bottles, sippy cups, diapers, wipes, and pretty much anything else you can think of that you might need for at least half a day. I can't tell you how many times I have been asked to help for a little bit, only to end up being at the farm the rest of the day and night. Which is fine if it's just me. But, when you add a little one in the mix you always have to have a bag ready.
6. During harvest or planting pretty much plan on doing it all. Sometimes I already feel like I do it all around our house. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard work, maintenance, painting, small repairs, but during the fall and the spring it's pretty much essential to know you are on your own. And that means wrangling your child everywhere you need to be. When Ellie was a baby I took her to a few different Ag related events that I needed to be at. She has sat quietly sleeping in her car seat during business meetings I have had or conference calls. It's imperative to be prepared for those seasons!
|Having a meeting at South Dakota Soybean with my crawler.|
I have learned so much being a farmer's wife. But, more than that I feel like I have truly contributed. I have good ideas and I really value that my hubby listens to my ideas and respects them. And even more importantly, I have learned that as a farmer's wife I am always, always learning. Every day is a new adventure and I learn something new about our farm and why we do things a certain way nearly every week.
My advice to any future farm wives...Always keep learning and always keep asking questions!
Are few and far between.
It's safe to say that my hubby does the hard work of getting up everyday and working on the farm. I used to be right along side him, but then we added our cutie pie into the mix, and I spend a lot of my time with her. If any of you are moms out there you know exactly what I am saying! Kids are busy and the older our little girl gets the busier she gets. And she absolutely loves anything farm related.
One thing that is a bit tough is that the farmer's wife doesn't seem to get sick days. My farmer, he works through most of his being sick days. And if he does sit down to rest it's normally locking himself in our bedroom while my daughter and I play quietly in the rest of the house. But, on the days I get sick I can normally convince him to take our daughter for a little bit of the day. Since she loves going to the farm remember.
But, I will say that being a farm wife and getting sick is normally not any fun. There are still chores to be done. There are still meals that need to be cooked for the guys. And a very, very busy little girl that wants all my attention. Some days I can't help but wish that my husband had "sick days". So that when the "stay at home" mom is sick. He can be around to take care of our girl and help with my chores.
But, one thing my farmer rarely ever even attempts to take is a sick day. We work from Monday to Saturday every single week. And honestly, even when it is our Sunday off, it seems we are working on something farm related on our own place. And those hours can vary significantly, sometimes quitting by 7. A good chunk of the year, well after 9 or 10.
It really stinks on the days when you are sick being on the farm. It doesn't matter if you are feeling like you are on your death bed or not. There are still animals that need to be fed. And chores that just can't wait.
But, when you are sick on a family farm it's wonderful having brothers around that can cover chores so you at least have a little time of rest.
Another great thing about being on the farm? There may not be a lot of sick days for your farmer, but on our farm at least, bring your kid to work day happens at least once a week. And that is something really special.
I don’t know about you, but I chose to enter and continue the relationship with my farmer because I loved him. He loved me. I felt cherished by him. And I loved being with him and loved our relationship and how he made me feel. And he made me feel like I was the only woman he would ever look at again (He still does, by the way!).
Trust to me is one of the biggest parts of a relationship. And being married to a farmer that is gone a lot means that trust is pretty vital to the relationship.
There is no better way to a man's heart than through his stomach! Try out this recipe for a nice surprise for your significant other. He or She will love it!
It makes my farmer happy to come home to this meal, especially since it has beef!
1 Roast, 5 to 6 lb.2 cans cream of mushroom soup 2 packages of French Onion soup mix1 package of cream cheese Few spoonfuls of sour cream (optional)1 package of egg noodles
Throw the roast, cream of mushroom soup, and French onion soup mix in the crockpot and let it cook for 6 to 8 hours. Good to throw it in before you leave for work and then it's ready to finish up when you get home.
After the meat is cooked and can be easily shredded add the cream cheese and sour cream. Mix it all together. Let that all soak while you boil your egg noodles. Not too long on the egg noodles because they get mushy easily.
Pile some egg noodles on a plate and top with the beef stroganoff.
In South Dakota, and really across the Midwest from what I can see from my Facebook friends, planters are finally hitting the ground. We actually hit the ground a few weeks ago and got nearly all our corn in the ground before we had about four days of pouring down rain and really chilly temperatures. Well, chilly for this time of year anyway.
It isn't just the air temperature that can affect a growing crop, it's also the soil temperature. When you put corn in the ground you really don't want to see the soil temperature fall below 50 degrees. Any seed needs moisture and warm soil temperatures to grow. Hence the power of a greenhouse! Lots of warmth in there! That's also why you see many people start their garden indoors with grow lights on the plants to help give them a bit of a push.
The way that I love to explain planting season for farmers is to talk about planting season for gardens. The process is one in the same we are just planting a whole lot more than my "tiny" garden in the backyard.
First off, you apply some fertilizer. We let the local Co-Op do that for us. They do a great job and are really nice guys! And slap on my wrist for not snapping a picture. The one time I was in the field that they were in I forgot my phone! I also fertilize my garden, in the past I have used cattle manure (which we also use in our fields) from my heifers, this year I used a fertilizer you just shake on.
Just like in your garden we till up our fields with this big guy. My hubby's job typically. My garden is currently tilled and waiting for some tender loving care. Well, and someone to pick up the sticks all over it from our ever shedding willow tree.
And if you are like me you do some spraying before you put your crop in the ground. I really don't like weeds in my garden, and the guys don't like weeds in their fields. My brother in law spraying.
And then you plant your seed. Which the seeds for my garden are sitting on the counter also waiting to be sorted and mapped out. I am way behind on drawing out my garden this year. Farmers are typically ordering their seed months ahead of time and know exactly how much they need and what fields are getting what seed.
And then you take adorable pictures of your child while you wait for the piece of equipment to get to the end of the field to get their lunch.
Just like in your garden all of our crops have a certain amount of time until harvest. If you look at the back of your seed packets you will see a variety of timelines for your crops to be ready for picking. Without corn the shortest amount days until harvest is 95 days. That puts us hopefully chopping our corn silage at the end of August beginning of September. Right where we want to be!
Happy planting season to all my farmers out there across the country! And happy gardening season to all my gardeners. I know I can't wait to get in my garden!
I know I love gifts, but it isn't just what I need to maintain our relationship.
If your love language is Receiving Gifts it's safe to say you love getting gifts and you do not forget special occasions.
Anniversaries..Birthdays..these are days you won't forget. And you expect your loved ones to remember them too!
You might appreciate when your farmer heads to town and brings you home something a little special. Whether it's a milkshake or a movie, it's a little something to show you how much they care.
Now, I have went to town and brought my husband things. Like his favorite candy, a new work shirt, new socks even, and I don't get much of a reaction. I get a thank you and a smile. Now, when Christmas rolls around I always get him one gift that I know he really, really wants. It's normally a big one and most likely an expensive tool. I spend all year listening to him and saving money without him knowing so I can buy him whatever it is he has talked about the most. When he opens that gift on Christmas he normally gets really excited. The first year we were married and I bought him a DeWault Miter Saw I thought he was going to die of shock.
He might forget that I do have a degree in Agricultural Education and I do have to teach shop, so I do know my tools...but I also know my man and am real good at observing him in stores and jotting down various notes later that night in my prayer journal (so I know he won't accidentally see them!).
If your significant other loves receiving gifts, forgetting your anniversary will break their heart. Even if it's something as simple as pulling a few wildflowers on your way into the house from a long day in the field. They will love it. My husband brings me rocks. Because he knows I think they are neat and I despise planting flowers around our landscape only to have our two dogs destroy it. So, when he digs up rocks in a field he keep a pile somewhere and when we have a spare moment he drives me by the pile and asks if there are any I would like.
Even the smallest, most inexpensive gifts are still gifts. Still thoughtful and still require an act of love.