Monday, July 29, 2013

Farming in July

Here is what we've been doing this harvest season!
July is usually the busiest month around here for harvesting blueberries, grass seed and wheat.  We are working our way through the blueberries still but are over half done.  Blueberry harvest has not been too pretty this year!  The berries are beautiful and there are plenty but with the weather being so hot in June/July and the warm spring, the early and mid season berries all came ripe at the same time.  This led to every farmer in the Willamette Valley needing crates to pick into at the same time!  And there was a shortage.  That has never happened since we have been growing blueberries (almost 20 years!).  But that seems to be farming.  Always adapting to some kind of problem or change :)
But there are plenty of crates to pick into now so that problem is behind us!  Thank goodness.
It gets a bit stressful when your whole year's income is just sitting out in the field and you can't do anything about getting it harvested when it needs to.

We also finished up our grass seed and wheat harvest last week.

My son who is almost 2 years old, got his first combine ride this year.  In the wheat AND grass seed.  Let's just say he loved it!  I thought he would be a little nervous but he just seemed curious instead. It is fun to see through his eyes.

This is how we get the wheat seed from our truck into a storage bin!  That big long silver arm lifts up to the top of the bin (there is a hole in the top of the bin) and augers it into the tank.  There is an option of hauling your wheat straight up to the commodity buyer who then ship your wheat out on a barge, or you can store your wheat until winter and hope for a better price.  Or you can do some of each, or even contract a price a year(s) ahead if you want. 

Here is the wheat being harvested.  Has already been harvested on the left side, and just about to be harvested on the right side. I like wheat harvest because you feel like you are getting something done!  With grass seed you swath it (cut it so it lays into rows), then wait 10 days and come through and combine in (shake the seed off).  With wheat, you just plow on through and do both in one pass! 

 Dumping the wheat seed into our truck.  Wheat seed weighs much more than grass seed so you have to be careful you don't overload the weight of your truck.  You can only put in so much.  With grass seed, you just fill it as full as you can. 

 My son's first ride with Grandma and Papa!  He loved that Papa let him drive and also kept asking to "dump it." 

 Thank goodness for a cab!  Wheat is dusty!  I can't believe it was done in many years past without a cab.  Would have been miserable.  This is the view from behind the combine though, not the front.

And here is one of our only pictures of blueberry harvest.  Ready to take in a truckload of blueberries.  It takes quite the work to get one of these loads tied down!  You want to make sure it's nice and secure!

 Next we have 2 kinds of vegetable seeds to harvest...radish and mustard seed.  Then corn and of course, apples!

Heads up, apple season might start a week or two early this year because of the weather.  It has been true with all our other crops so just check the blog a little earlier than you normally would if you have your eye on a certain variety of apple this year and don't want to miss it!

Also, we just have started a Facebook page!  So check us out under Beilke Family Farm!  I can conveniently upload pictures very easily to Facebook so you may see quite a few pictures on there!  I will be updating about the apples on this blog and on Facebook, so you choose what you prefer (or both)!

Anything else you guys want to know about?  More pictures from a certain crop harvest?  Or questions?  Let me know!