Friday, December 31, 2010

Let Us Continue

'In the Fall of 1999, when we were about to enter a new century, there was panic. Some people in nearly every walk of life were worried about something. Computers were predicted to fail. Chaos was sure to follow. Everything would surely change. Anyone who was happy and doing well would fall into a life of deprivation. The frail would not survive. Many people began to hoard food and supplies. Even in our area, where everyone seems very sensible, there were those with a basement full of canned food and bottled water, just in case. 
Just in case of exactly what, was never clear to me. There were vague predictions of system failures. This would lead to widespread contamination and starvation. No one wanted to do without. To many, the stockpiling seemed prudent.  
In GriggsDakota we didn't hoard food intentionally. The nature of our business means that there is food around here all the time.
Although it would take some work to put it on the menu, I imagined it could be done if worse came to worst. 
After all, that is how the pioneers survived, with next to nothing. They managed to live long productive lives. 
Perhaps the general fear in 1999 came from the thought of chaos. Who would decide who was fed and who would starve? It's an overwhelming question.
The new century dawned with barely a blip on a computer screen. Although news reporters were stationed worldwide as the stroke of midnight circled the globe, there was little trouble to report. 
The panic subsided and life began to seem normal in 2000. That was years ago. Today I have practiced saying "Twenty-eleven." 
The experience of the dawn of a new century had a lasting effect on me. Food and farming seemed more important than ever before. We produce food, so people can eat. More food, more people eat. Enough food, everybody eats. Although there are many things that I cannot control, farming in GriggsDakota is something that I understand.
 People need daily nutrition or face starvation.
 Producing affordable food is the solution.
 Let us continue.
 Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Watch Time Fly Under the Sky in 2010

Another year is ending.
The New Year began with Winter snow and cold. 
The geese could not wait for warm Spring weather and returned as soon as there was a tiny bit of open water.
The sun rose and warmed the land.
We planted trees 
And crops 
That flourished as the days flew by. 
 Farmer Fred checked the fields.
We waited and prayed.
We gained a son, but did not lose a daughter.
The children grew faster than the weeds. 
 We basked in the days of Summer
While we prepared for harvest. 
The crops ripened.
Fall brought a bountiful harvest.
 We worked long hours
And the geese began to migrate.
The cold Winter is with us once again 
As we say farewell to 2010 under the sky. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grain on the Go

After taking a holiday  
 for a long Christmas weekend 
We are again hauling grain.
Farmer Fred and Robbie fill the tank on the thirsty truck.
As Jake waits his turn with the semi
Which also needs a fill. 
Deer have visited the yard overnight to glean any spilled grain or hay. 
There are deer tracks in every yard.
The clear skies and light wind make us optimistic that the roads will be in good winter driving
Winter brings its own hardships. Hauling grain is not just a matter of loading up. Snow must be pushed out of the area near the bin. 

Off to the bin site to begin loading.
They have the grain vac set up to fill the truck as the tractor finishes clearing snow from the area.
It takes hours of patient work to clear the large areas necessary to maneuver the trucks.
The trucks are not made for driving in ice and snow. They slip and slide, especially when empty.
The grain vac, with Robbie's assistance, finishes filling the truck for Farmer Fred.
As the trucks deliver the 2010 crop to the elevator, our part of the process is completed.
 The grain from GriggsDakota travels out to the world.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who Feeds the Deer? Farmers!

This has been a snowy winter and the deer are already beginning to herd up, a sign they are hungry. 
In this field they will find food under the snow.
A few months ago the field looked like this.
The ripening soybeans provided food for the area deer through the growing season.
When the beans ripened the combines separated the beans from the plants
and we hauled them away
 leaving behind plant trash that contains some soybeans. This adds organic matter to our soil, but also provides protein for wildlife.
Local deer feasted on it all Fall. 
 Now they have summoned their friends to share the feast.
Deer generally winter well in our area, but it looks like a long snowy road ahead for all of us.