The week of sun was in our favor
Our corn chopping crew really gave ‘er
My garden has quit growing, praise be,
It’s the cool nights, though the days are sunny

10,000 plus tons of quality forage
Packed down tight for winter storage
Quart upon quart of delicious treasures
Filling the shelves with cold weather pleasures

Months ago they planted, fertilized and sprayed,
No doubt there were moments they even prayed
All summer we planted, weeded and coaxed
I admit, I would compare mine to other folks’

When the chopper hit the farm, kids were excited
“Can I ride in a truck?” Cora and Henry were delighted.
A carrot so long it was almost Cora’s height
Henry exclaimed, “Someone in China is taking a bite!”

Quality was good; the smell was fantastic
By Saturday night we were ready for plastic
Beet and bean yield was high, we were impressed
Hot water bathing, pressure canning – I am slightly obsessed

The roll of plastic unfurls like snow sliding on a tin roof
Tighten ‘er down so the bunker becomes waterproof
Everything washed, cut, hot and ready to go
I watched the canner carefully for fear she’ll blow

Tires were thrown from wall to wall
Wind snaps the loose spots, the air smells like fall
Rings were tightened, jars heated for their time
Ah, that precious ping! Food preserved at its prime

They stand back, grimy hands on hips
“That’s our fastest time ever,” Peter proudly quips
I wipe my hands on my apron and admire
“These jars are so beautiful,” gazing at them, I never tire

We’ll have ample haylage and corn silage it seems
Harvest is almost done, fulfilling farmers’ dreams
Peaches, pie filling, pickles and tomatoes just right
Squash soup getting frozen, for many a cold night

High moisture corn, as we turn the calendar page
We’ll wait ‘til its right, checking the moisture gauge
Apples in abundance, last in line for preservation
Then my canners can take a needed vacation.

Soon the bunkers will be full and sit at the ready
To feed all the cows and hold their milk production steady
Soon jars of all colors will be ready for bellies
From the sauces, to the butters, right down to the jellies
    Jacqui and her family milk 800 cows and run 1,200 acres of crops in the northeastern corner of Vernon County, Wisconsin. Her children, Ira (12), Dane (10), Henry (5) and Cora (3), help her on the farm while her husband, Keith, works on a grain farm. If she’s not in the barn, she’s probably in the kitchen, trailing after little ones, or sharing her passion of reading with someone. Her life is best described as organized chaos – and if it wasn’t, she’d be bored.