September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
You know it's summer when...
You know it's summer when...you can start the fickle feed cart with one pull and no choke switch! This is like the first robins in springtime for me. When I can start the feed cart without a five-step program, I know it is summer.
You know it's summer when...the feed mangers are wet and there is no leaking water line! Even with tunnel ventilation, the cows still drool all over their feed on these hot humid days.
You know it's summer when...you walk outside and feel like your breathing underwater. These past hot humid days have really taxed everyone's bodies.
You know it's summer when...you go from sweatshirts and jeans to t-shirts and shorts in less than 12 hours for the year.
You know it's summer when...you trade in your insulated gloves for leather work gloves.
You know it's summer when...no one wants to wash up the milk house while the compressor is running. In the winter, everyone wants to warm up there.
You know it's summer when...the clothesline is filled with swimsuits and towels, while nothing is left to dry on top of the bulk tank.
You know it's summer when...Katie starts walking through the barn barefoot. At least she doesn't get athlete's foot! Mark's younger sister Judy would be barefoot around the farm from April to October, so I guess it is a Schmitt girl thing. But one day, Judy had a cow step on her toes. Now we tease her about a discounted pedicure since she only has nine toe nails to paint!
You know it's summer when...you open the refrigerator and it is empty again!
You know it's summer when...you can grab a handful of fresh strawberries while you take the scenic route to the barn via the garden. Fresh peas are just around the corner. If I'm lucky, two meals of peas will make it to the dinner table, otherwise it is a mobile snack.
You know it's summer when...you literally understand the phrase "growing as fast as a bad weed." The lambs quarter this year is just nuts in the fields and my garden. A neighbor said a farmer told him the lambs quarter went from four inches to eight inches overnight! I think he may be practicing his fishing stories, but they are growing quickly.
You know it's summer when...you turn your eyes skyward in search of answers. Is there rain in those clouds? Which direction are they moving? Is there hail in there? Will the clouds pass to cut hay? Will it be windy enough to dry down the cut hay? Will the hot morning sun turn into another baking day by afternoon? Mark and I were coming home from the State Junior Holstein Show in Litchfield this week. As we were driving northward through Stearns County, we kept watching as the clouds to the northwest developed into a big storm. Then a thought grabbed Mark's attention. We have had very little rain since the snow went away in April. The beans and corn are up and the last thing on our minds was having a summer storm. Mark suddenly realized that we had no hail insurance yet this year! We tracked down our insurance agent and he met us in the barn that night to put a policy in place. Then he was off to Holdingford to talk with another client. He called about an hour later and said the crops between our place and Holdingford were wiped out with hail and heavy rains. It missed us by two miles.
You know it's summer when...the best water on the farm comes from hanging your head below the hydrant in the yard or out of the end of the irrigation pipes.
And finally, you know it's summer when...the county fair premium book arrives in the mail and it is the highlight of your summer reading program.
Natalie, Mark and his brother Al Schmitt farm together near Rice, Minn. They milk 100 registered Holsteins under the RALMA prefix. Their four children are great help around the farm and are pushing Natalie out of several jobs. Therefore she is thankful to have something else to do. For questions or comments please email Natalie at [email protected].[[In-content Ad]]
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