Spring of 2021 was wonderful. My dad and I were the primary people turning dirt and planting. We had a date set on the calendar for cutting hay, May 25. I don’t remember if we actually started cutting hay May 25, but I know we were really close.
Last year, I wasn’t at home for any of the spring fieldwork. I was able to help keep my dad, brother and a hired hand in the fields on the weekends by helping man the parlor and do all of the feeding. Cows are my strong suit on the farm, but a change in pace is necessary to keep yourself sharp. I longed for a few hours of solitary confinement in the tractor, whether it was hauling manure, cultivating or cutting hay.
Usually, I’m excited to get moving on fieldwork, and then, two hours into a six-hour job I regret my decision. Kudos to cash croppers. I don’t have the attention span for 12 hours in a tractor.
This year has been wet, cold, hot, cold again, wet again, cold, warm and windy, and finally, I’ve been able to float the manure spreader across the unplowed fields.
This year will be a year where you harvest as many days of sunshine as you can and run the clock until your eyes can’t stay open. Now that mid-May is upon us, I’m not certain cutting hay May 25 will happen, but a girl can dream.
Projects seem to pile up during spring fieldwork. I have a number of cows that need feet trimming done and calves that need a pasture to frolic on. I love a good challenge, which is why I love farming. I enjoy completing a project and sitting back watching things fall into place.
As much as I despise break downs and broken fence lines, my job would be boring if those things didn’t keep me on my toes. As much as I love the challenges and constant busy work on the farm, I need time for socializing too.
It’s easy to forget how important spending time with loved ones is during crunch time. Almost like the hunting season widows, many farm wives experience planting season widowhood. At first, it might seem like a blessing, but in reality, the loneliness sets in quickly. This is why God put fenders and buddy seats on tractors.
My mom said she used to sit on the floor of our 7030 Allis-Chalmers while my dad planted corn. She no longer does that, but she understood finding time to spend with my dad while they were dating was going to be limited if she didn’t get her pants a little dirty.
In my case, the buddy seat is occupied by a 5-year-old on the weekends. The funniest part is he passes out for a nap within the first 30 minutes of riding in the tractor. Lucky for him, the space behind the driver seat is perfect size for a kid.
Acre by acre passes by, and with time, we will get it done. But until then, it is pedal to the metal while sending a prayer to the man upstairs.