Top 5 Harvest How To's
I grew up on a dairy farm and truly enjoyed everything that my parents provided for me. My family got to work alongside each other every day and that is something to be proud of. My sisters and I got to spend everyday together during the summer, playing games in the barn, creating the best adventures in the sandbox and making my mother scared with our trampoline contraptions. All of it. I mean all of it- was the best.
After meeting Brett in college and purchasing our farm when we were so young, I knew I was going to be a farmer's wife someday. Little did I know, how important of a role that plays in the farm and how much I needed to learn.
My first harvest, nearly four years ago, was a total bust and I learned a lot. I spent a lot of nights navigating my role and understanding the bigger purpose of what Brett was doing. I struggled with a lot and I know I am not an expert, but I wanted to share my Top 5 ideas of How To Get Through Harvest. Please know- Brett and I don't have children and I understand that adding kiddos to the mix of the harvest season creates an entire new level of stress!
Top 5 Harvest How To's
1. Field Names
I should have known that this was going to be an issue before Harvest started. We were driving by a field on the way home and Brett said, "Man, the big field looks so good this year." I thought, "Yes... that "big field" looks so good (insert a lot of sarcasm)". Little did I know, how important it would have been to know which field was the Big Field. (Ps- who names fields like that?)
Every farmer has a different naming mechanism- all of our fields(well except the big field and the one across the road) are named after the previous owners. Seems easy enough, right? Well, it hasn't been that easy for me. With my father in law picking up more acres this year and Brett and I purchasing our first piece of land- I have a lot to learn before Harvest starts. Which reminds me- I wonder what we are going to call our new field we bought?
So needless to say- learn the field names BEFORE harvest starts. When your husband or father in law calls you in a panic needing parts or whatever, it is less stressful when you know exactly where to go!
2. Don't Compare Neighbors Progress
Learn from my mistakes- my first year as a farmer's wife, I was constantly comparing our progress with the neighbors. I was constantly wondering, how in the world did they get the entire field combined, dug and corn dried in the time that we got 25 acres done? Well- I think the solution to this is simple. Keep my thoughts to myself and just don't talk about the neighbors progress. :)
And while we are at it, just don't talk about the weather.
3. Food- Easy + Quick ideas
I love cooking and baking, you all know that. My first harvest, I was so excited to grill steaks, veggies and a dessert and bring them out to Brett. I would sit in the field driveway, getting more and more frustrated as his food got cold. I wanted him to have a warm meal and I was getting so impatient.
I learned quickly- easy food ideas are so important. Don't stress over making a gourmet meal for your hubby. If your husband is anything like mine, he doesn't ever remember to eat and he is more than willing to eat anything I bring him.
My Mother-in-law has always been so good about going to Sam's Club and buying "Harvest Snacks". Anything from M & M's, trail mix, cashews, etc. that the guys can keep in the tractor/combine to snack on during the day.
Brett and I took our annual Harvest Sam's Club run last week to stock up on his goodies. Some of his favorites- Oatmeal Creme Pies(don't understand why he loves these), Peanut Butter M & M's, chips, combos, Mountain Dew..... you get it.
I plan to share some of my favorite Harvest meals later next week!
4. Don't Make Any Plans
Harvest takes time and sometimes time is of the essence. I learned this quickly my first harvest. I would plan nights out, nights in, grocery store shopping dates(yes that is a thing that Brett and I do- He says he hates grocery shopping but he always asks to go when he is hungry so he can get the goodies), etc. All of which were never attended by Brett. It took me a good year to fully understand and come to accept what life would be like during harvest.
I found out early on that not making any plans and not expecting your husband to come with to events during harvest, is just plain easier. I struggled with this a lot and still do to this day.
I have found that some of our best memories are when I jump in the tractor at night with Brett. We catch up on what happened throughout the day, what broke, what yields we are seeing, what the plan is for tomorrow. These moments, when Brett is so excited to tell me that the field across the road(oh yes, another weird field name I forgot about), yielded over 200 bushels of corn. Those moments are when I am so grateful for Brett and his love for farming.
5. Love on your farmer and Thank God
Harvest is hard. Plain and simple. Hard for the farmer, hard for the wife, hard for the kiddos, hard for every single person that plays a part in farming.
But I wouldn't have it any other way. Harvest comes and goes and I am just so grateful that I get to live this life. Life on the farm with Brett. Life as farmers, doing what we love each and every single day.
Praying over each and everyone of you. Praying for a safe and bountiful harvest and for continued happiness.