Farm Project: May

This past weekend, my sister Elaine and I went out to the country for May’s installment of our farm photo project. It’s seeding time and my brothers are about halfway through — they have approximately a week left to go and are putting in a total of 1,100 acres between their two farms. This year, they are planting wheat, barley, peas, soybeans, corn and two kinds of canola (one for edible oils).

On Saturday, my brothers were trying something new that a few of the neighbors have had success with. Essentially they were planting both canola and peas in the same 80 acre field. My brother Gordie went ahead, spreading the canola seed on top of the ground. Then my brother Warren followed along behind; seeding the peas which also worked the canola seeds into the ground, though not as deep.

By following this method of seeding, the canola will give the peas something to grow up on and the peas (which create their own nitrogen) will provide the canola with fertilizer. They are still putting fertilizer in the ground, but less than usual. At harvest time, they’ll clean the canola out of the peas (easy to do because the seed sizes are quite different). So although they are planting approx 2/3rds of each crop, they’ll end up with a higher total yield (in theory).

Warren’s seeding equipment runs almost 100 feet in length once you add the tractor, the first air tank, the air drill and the second air tank. In this way he is able to fertilize and seed at the same time. All told, it took them about six hours each to get the field in. They started early afternoon and finished after sunset. An early night for seeding time (the night before my brother Gordie was up spraying well into the night).

On Saturday after supper (before taking the sunset seeding shots), my mom, sister and I went for a two mile hike north of the yard… to a place that we haven’t wandered through since going on a trail ride there 20+ years ago. It sounds strange not to go somewhere so close to their yard but we tend to hike more in the river valley.

It was fun exploring… we found a large marsh and a couple of lakes! Definitely a good location for a sunrise photoshoot although it may be a bit tricky getting there in the dark. One of the lakes had clouds of mosquitos — thankfully they weren’t in a biting mood. The wood ticks found us though.

I feel like I don’t really have a story to tell this month. All I can say is that it was lovely as always. It’s so nice to be home with family… to visit, to share in their work, to nap, to eat mom’s homemade bread and to feel safe and at peace. I’m so very thankful to have two places to call home.

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