Soccer and Being in the First Grade (according to Bladen)

Organized sports are such a fun thing, especially when you are in the first grade and you get a neat shirt with your last name on it, “Like Dad has”. 

soccer-and-blade

That is worry on his face, he was afraid he won’t do well.mccormick2

“Only Dad’s say Football, or Basketball, or Track and also say Coach” I was informed.

 

blade-and-soccer 

But the “REALLY BEST THING is getting to run ALL the time!  Football is ‘okay’ but soccer is the best BECAUSE  YOU GET TO RUN ALL THE TIME!”

Fourth Step—-Leveling

leveling

Here is where art meets practicality.  If this part isn’t done right, whoever irrigates will spend the rest of the summer fighting water. 

leveler

But if it is done right, the water will flow to the end of the field, subbing the ground along the way, without nary a hitch.  But if the ground doesn’t have the right fall, if there is a hole or a pocket, or a hill, well—- you have a mess.

leveld-ground

Here you can see what the leveled ground looks like.

It’s a good thing Terry got this done, because this morning we had snow. All farming has come to a stand still until it dries out. Having the ground leveled, will help it dry out faster than if it were a big plowed sponge.

 

 

 

Our Water is HERE!

Our water, for irrigation, comes about because of the Uncompahgre Valley Water Project.  The project has one storage dam, several diversion dams, 128 miles of canals, 438 miles of laterals and 216 miles of drains.   

The project canal runs right by our road and is the source of all water for our crops and my yard and garden.

Usually the water isn’t turned on until closer to the 30th of March, but when a grower calls

for early water (because of raising onions or lettuce) the water is turned on early.

water-001

I love the canal, I love hearing the music of the water as is trips along on its way to the states of Arizona and Nevada and California.  I think of it as a friend, one who goes away for the winter and then comes back bringing life to our farms.

A Couple of Neat Ideas for Baked Veggie Fries

My family does not/did not like parsnips, but they eat these.  ( love to eat them, though).  I sometimes save this for company use, but they are JUST THAT GOOD!

parsnips-with-garlic1

Preheat over to 450*

Halve parsnips lengthwise and cut into spears.   (You can also add a red potato, sweet potato and fresh beets to the mix, if you like).

Place in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. 

Combine Parmesan cheese (2 Tablespoons grated), ½ tsp salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ tsp oregano and sprinkle over the vegetables and toss to coat. 

Arrange in a single layer and bake until golden brown, turning once.

(I like to add crushed garlic to the mix, makes for a more garlic taste.)

If you sprinkle them on the pan, like above, watch that the seasonings don’t burn.  The scrapings are really yummy.

brown-sugar-and-sweet-potat

Another idea for Sweet Potato fries- after placed in a bowl with olive oil, mix together 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over the fries, toss to coat.  Bake until golden brown, turning once.

Watch carefully as the sugar can burn.

Both of these are really good, I can’t keep them on the table.  (Works for all of those pesky root vegtables that most people don’t really like)

 

 

Third Step in Spring Work

rolling-the-field

Rolling the fields, after they have been disked and plowed, and before the fourth step-leveling.

roller

What the roller does is smash and break up the clods of plowed earth, leaving a mellow loam, perfect for placing little seeds to grow.

broken-teeth

Of course, everything had been going along pretty smooth, so it was time for a mishap.  Two teeth broke off the roller.  These are expensive little items; last year’s prices had them around $200 a piece.

One thing about it, life is never dull!

Cough, Hack, Sneeze, Wheeze

fire-001

I will be soooooooooo happy when this burn season gets over!  For some odd reason most of the farmers around us have decided to burn off last years’ crops instead of grazing them off.

fire-003

I’m sure there would be many sheep and cattle people who would have loved to have the feed!!!!

We graze and then plow under.  In an effort to keep our soil healthy we feel turning what is left from the cows (poop and corn stalks) into the ground reduces cost of purchasing fertilizer and adds body to our clay-like soil.

fire-0041

 So until all the ground is turned under we will be plagued with smoke.  This is what it looks around our house the last couple of days.  Ugh.

Step Two of Our Western Colorado Farming

If you are opening up corn ground or tearing up an old hay field, all the farmers in our area plow. 

I know that plowing is a dying process back east, but we have heavy clay soil and must plow.

 

So after disking we Terry plows

shinny-plow-shears

BUT if a farmer is going from a former bean field he can rip the field open because of how the beans grow causing a much loamier field.

 

 

ripper-002

Terry plowed all the old corn fields, and today he is ripping the old bean field.   

I’m really glad he has retired, before all of this would have taken place after 7 at night and before 6 in the morning.  Now, while I am at work, he is at work “playing” in his fields.

 

 

 

Spring Work Has Begun

building-fence

Always there are fences to fix and re-fix

dude-waiting-for-spring

The canal bank has to be burned readying for the water coming on the last week of March

Both Fuzzy and Sammy Sam like to help us (Monkey never leaves the house, the fresh air messes up her fur)

 

sammy-and-the-ditch

Other farmers are burning so a haze hangs everywhere, creating breathing problems for me and others (but spring rains help clear it out)

smoke-filled-sky

Hoolie wants to get out and help us also, but her parents said no!

 

hoolie

And I finally got the hedge cut down so I can start over this spring!  YEAH!  I’ve been trying to do this for two years.

 

 

cutting-down-the-hedge

Thankful Thursday

There are always so many things to be Thankful for, but one of the things that came to come to my mind today is Bladen.

He is in the first grade and already very gifted in the math world, understands and does fifth grade math, plays chest and wins, but also is still a little boy.  Struggles to understand sentence structure (fourth grade level) and is reading Harry Potter, but says recess the best part of school.

I see this questing mind as an amazing gift, good for Blade, and hopefully good for the world some day.

I asked him why all his pants have a tear on that one leg at the knee, “is it because that is the one that hits the dirt all the time”? 

“Yes,” he replied very seriously, “it is my useful leg”.

I had to laugh.

chest-and-blade

Consignment Sale

farm-sale-in-grand-jucntion

The last consignment sale for the spring season just ended this weekend.  Terry always goes, mostly to visit with other farmer friends, but sometimes to get something or other.

consignment-sale-2

In spite of this economy the prices are staying high on used farm equipment.

consignment-sale-3

This primarily a man’s world, although women do show up from time to time, just not lots of women.

consignment-sale-41

Me?

I stayed home and worked on projects that I had been putting off.