Winter on the Farm

Between December and March, activity on the farm slows down considerably. While work doesn’t stop completely, it is much more relaxed and Colby is almost always home by dark.

This is a very welcome change for me. During harvest, Colby is gone from seven in the morning until at least midnight. If I want to see him, I better go jump on a combine. The man knows how to work! In the winter, Colby spends most of his time getting financial information straightened out, but it also a time to pick up on odd jobs around the farm that have been put off during the busy season.

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Lately, Colby has spent a lot of time getting the irrigation sprinklers running. The farm is located in one of the areas that was hit hardest by the Dust Bowl. While the rest of Oklahoma has received huge amounts of rain and snow this winter, the panhandle is drying out. Because of the cold temperatures, the sprinklers have been shut off since about November. Last week, the forecast called for high’s in the 50’s so the work began to get the sprinklers up and running.

In late August, winter wheat was planted. Wheat is one of those weird crops that actually thrives during the winter, soaking up the moisture and surviving the bitter cold. In early spring, the wheat really grows and will be harvested in early June. Because our wheat hasn’t gotten the moisture that it needs, it was essential that the sprinklers get up and running while temperatures stay over freezing.

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If a sprinkler was an employee, they would be the grumpy old ladies who call in sick at the tiniest discomfort. After sitting still for two months, the sprinklers are every more temperamental. Dirt and rust gather, clogging up the entire system. Colby was given the job of cleaning these clogs. He was literally playing in the sprinklers in January!

And that’s why it’s better to be the girl who takes pictures. I don’t want to get soaked to the bone in 40 degree weather. No way!

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What is your least favorite part of your job?

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5 Comments

Filed under Marla's Ramblings, The Farm

5 responses to “Winter on the Farm

  1. I spent alot of summers in a New Holland 1075 bale wagon. As a matter of fact, I got the first one in Southern Idaho. Replaced the 1068. The dirt is deep on the plateaus alongside the Snake River and gets REAL gooshy when wet. Pivots started replacing hand lines in the early 80’s and HOLY SHIT did they leave deep ruts. There was usually only one “haul road” in and out of the field. Like a single spoke of a wheel. In quarter section fields that was sometimes a long ways around. So I started building my own haul roads. A couple 3 string alfalfa bales, opened and stuffed into the ruts and you had a temporary “detour.” A ton or so of product sacrificed for expediency sake. Those were the days.

  2. Liz

    Gorgeous photos! I have always wanted to see your part of the country.

  3. Wow! Farm life is foreign to me, but I’m enjoying reading about it! I can’t imagine my husband working from seven to midnight! Crazy! I knew it was hard, but reading this I think I didn’t really KNOW.

  4. Pingback: Lake Tahoe « As the Farm Turns

  5. Pingback: My Dream Job « As the Farm Turns

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