It’s Wordless Wednesday, so I’ll let George use his words today…ENJOY!
I’m sure you’ve read about our sweet corn before. We planted it earlier this spring, have watched it grow, taken care of it and waited for the day that we could enjoy the product of our hard work…and now we’ve given the excess of our crop to some pretty deserving people.
The Great Plains Food Bank arrived on Wednesday afternoon and picked up the remainder of our crop that was ripe and have been able to make it available to food banks across the state of North Dakota.
I have to thank my friends, neighbors and everyone who volunteered to help with this crazy project of mine. Especially those that came from a distance, like my friend JP who flew in from St. Louis, and my friends at the ND Dept. of Agriculture. Thank you all!
I’m so happy that we are able to share this with those that are down on their luck, or are struggling to put a meal on the table. And I’m so happy that we were able to find a place for it, instead of seeing it destroyed by wildlife, time and eventually, our tractors.
It’s been a crazy week, one I’ll have to tell you about later. I’m going to go enjoy a cob of corn, a cold glass of milk and some time with my kiddos. School starts next week, and I’m not ready…even if they are.
After weeks of waiting, our sweet corn is finally ready to enjoy…and enjoy it we have!
After my last post on sweet corn, I received some interesting suggestions as to what we could do with our farm…namely, someone thought it would be best if our farm were to burn down. That wasn’t very nice, now was it?
A good friend of mine found this video clip, and I think it does an amazing job of explaining the exact science behind GMO’s, as opposed to random modifications that are made in plant breeding all the time. (And trust me, I would never consider the Huffington Post as a credible news source, ever…but this one surprised me!)
Technology. Some treat it as the downfall of our civilization, some treat it as the answer to everything. Me? I see it for what it is…a gift that can be used in many wonderful ways.
We recently planted a plot of sweet corn. What does that have to do with technology? Well, this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Grandpa’s sweet corn. This is Bt sweet corn developed by Monsanto.
Now, I say “developed” because the seed itself is just a simple corn seed, it’s the traits of the corn that makes it special. This corn is more resistant to bugs, which makes it less likely that we’ll need to use pesticides on it. The corn is also hardy to herbicides, meaning that we can use the same chemical that millions of homes use everyday when needed to kill the weeds in the field, limiting the competition to the plant and improving the corn yields. That means more corn with less cost, less trips up and down the field, and less soil disturbance. The fewer times we have to disturb the soil, the better our soil health is, and the less we lose to erosion. A win-win.
This sweet corn is a great new product, but the technology is nothing new. Modifying traits in seeds has been going on for decades. Need examples? How about burpless cucumbers? (Burpless cucumbers are seedless…but without seeds, how are there more?) Oils made from seeds that are healthier? Seedless grapes, navel oranges…the list could go on. Biotechnology is a mainstay of food production throughout the world. With it, we can develop plants that can grow in less favorable conditions, produce better tasting crops and can be developed for certain health-care concerns. And that’s where my hope comes in…
It’s not just the sweet corn that has me thankful today. It’s the possibilities that this corn presents.
Our son, George, has a metabolic disorder that limits his ability to break down proteins. To sum it up in a very short statement, he can’t have meat, dairy, pastas, etc. His diet is limited to 12-13 grams of protein per day. The rest of his essential amino acids comes from here:
Yes, George is still on formula. And he’ll be on this special formula for the rest of his life. I’m thankful for this can, because without it, I’m not sure what we would have done, or what would have happened. But I don’t need to worry about that.
So what does this can of formula and a cob of corn have in common?
Imagine: if we can make a cob of corn that is resistant to bugs and herbicides, maybe we could eventually make a version of meat that has limited protein in it. Maybe we could make a dairy product that George could drink (and I’m not talking coconut beverage or soy substitute). Maybe we could make a pizza, complete with cheese and toppings, that would be easy and tasty for him to enjoy.
No, this cob of corn is not just a simple treat for my family to enjoy in a few months. It’s not just a soil-saving, resource-saving, farm-friendly crop…it’s a sign of what we can do when we take the time to investigate and do some research.
I know what research did for us in the past. I see him every morning, waking up with an amazing smile and a great zest for life. It’s where the research leads us in the future that has me excited…and I hope, for George’s sake, that nothing stands in the way.
I am thankful that Monsanto provided us with the sweet corn seed, but please remember that the thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own…as well as those cute photos of my boys. Thank you!
First week of summer break is almost gone…we’ve been busy! I’ll catch up more later, but take a look at my boys enjoying a taste-test of sweet corn shipped to us from down south. I’d like to thank Monsanto for the chance to have an early bite of this delicacy…and can’t wait for our own to be ready!
The taste of sweet corn and the seed we planted was provided to our farm through Monsanto, but the thoughts, ideas and photos are my own.
My family is a big fan of sweet corn. Big fan. The only issue has been the amount of time and work that it takes (which I will admit, has mostly fallen on the shoulders of my father-in-law).
Imagine my excitement when a late-night Facebook conversation turned into an offer to test an acre of sweet corn? And not just any sweet corn…but sweet corn that could be planted with our field corn, without having to worry about killing it? I was beside myself with joy!
Now, if you haven’t put two and two together yet, this isn’t your regular sweet corn. It’s Round Up Ready sweet corn that’s been developed by Monsanto. (Wow, I was able to say Monsanto without thunder booming, clouds rolling and some menacing creature showing up.)
Now, that last comment was just me being funny. I have no problem with Monsanto, or any other seed development company. And no, I’m not on the payroll. I’m just simply a mother of four working on new ways to feed my children. Monsanto is just one of the companies that we purchase seed from, and they have no say in what we plant, where we plant it, or other management-type decisions that Boss Man makes.
So what about biotechnology? Aren’t I afraid of the unknowns? The simple answer is…well, simply no. Advancements are how we were able to increase food production, while we decrease our carbon footprint, lower soil erosion and improve our environment overall.
Every where I look, I see where technology (especially biotechnology) has made improvements in our world. Need some examples? How about burpless cucumbers? Seedless cottonwoods? Tomatoes that don’t soften after harvest?
I have no problem with any of these things.
So, in this instance, the sweet corn that we planted has a trait built in, that will help it stand up to insects, and makes it possible for the plant to survive if treated with herbicides (those are chemicals that we sometimes use to eliminate weeds in our fields). Now, before you get ahead of me, let me tell you that we have no desire to spray our corn with herbicides, unless we have to…and sometimes that happens.
Our fields were treated right before planting, so the weeds out there presently should die soon. We won’t have to reapply any herbicide until later in the year, and only if we have a weed issue. (Trust me, we don’t apply chemicals unless we have to…and that’s after a discussion with our crop consultant AND checking out each field ourselves.)
So, here we are, sweet corn in the ground, waiting for some rain and excited to see where the year takes us!
I’d like to thank Monsanto for providing us the opportunity to test out a new product (Obsession II). Although the sweet corn seed was provided to us, the thoughts and photos are my own.
Our blizzard turned out to be not so much a snow event, as it was a wind event…but it still made me so very grateful. And after the storms in Illinois and elsewhere, I thought it would be appropriate today to give my thanks for shelter.
The bale processor (above) grinds up the corn stubble (left over corn stalks) that our farm baled at the end of harvest last year. It provides great bedding for our cows, as well as a treat or two, as they find leftover corn cobs and other goodies in the bedding.
And I’m grateful for our home, and for all of those that make it possible for us to provide shelter for our animals, our children and ourselves.
And as I give thanks for the shelter that we have, I offer prayers and condolences to those that lost their homes and their lives during this week’s storms.
I have been anxious to share this post with you for quite a few weeks now. And the funny thing is, I can’t wait to show off more once winter is actually here!
What am I talking about?
Well, thanks to my friends at The Real Farmwives of America, I was hooked up with some awesome Carhartt bibs. When I picked out my bibs, I felt like the luckiest woman alive. I’d been contemplating ordering a pair, because last winter I used a pair of my husband’s…and let me tell you what, they are NOT made the same!
My hubby’s coveralls were baggy on the bottom, tight across the top and difficult for me to move in. My new ones fit me like a glove, and the best part yet? They’re PURPLE! No more worrying about grabbing the wrong pair, one of the boys taking off with them, or Boss Man slipping them on because they’re handy! Yay!
This winter, I’ll be putting these bibs through their paces, checking cows during snow storms, like I did in this video:
But for now, I used them for a variety of tasks. Like:
1) Driving truck during silage cutting.
2) My hubby’s idea of an early-morning, marital-relationship-building-exercise…AKA covering the silage pile.
The best part of this yearly routine was the beautiful sunrise I was able to take in:
3) And don’t forget, the ever-wonderful job of spraying out the horsetrailer after hauling the cows and calves home from weaning!
These coveralls, bibs, whatever you want to call them, they will quickly become a staple in my wardrobe. They are warm, comfortable and easy to care for…all things that are a MUST in my house!
To win a pair of Carhartt Bib Overalls of your own please visit The Real Farmwives to sign up for their giveaway. Seriously, do it. They are amazing. I will never buy another pair of men’s bibs again!!!
Carhartt did provide me with this product to review but the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Let me start off by saying that I love our cows…really, I do.
not so much.
Two hours of chasing them, mostly on foot. Hide and seek in our corn. Destroyed garden and sweet corn. More hide and seek. Nutso puppy. Ticked off children. Neighbors driving through the yard. Speaking to husband on cell phone. More hide and seek. Fence problems. Gate problems.
I’m enjoying my beef tacos tonight.
This morning has been an interesting one indeed…Boss Man and I moved cattle from the pasture where the plane crashed, to home. It’s less than a 2 mile trek, but there’s corn in between…lots of corn. And cows tend to like corn. (In fact, contrary to what some would have you to believe, cows do tend to prefer corn over grass, but these gals get both!)
The problem is, that cows, when allowed to move on their own, can destroy corn, and destroyed corn makes unhappy neighbors.
So off we were, moving cows, staying calm and everything going smoothly…until…(well, you KNEW there’d be an until, right?)
Let’s just say that Boss Man isn’t the greatest at communicating exactly where it is that he wanted me to be placed. His response was something along the lines of, “Well, let’s see how they go.” Which means??? Yeah, I don’t really know either…which was the problem.
But we made it home, I found out that our suburban can act a lot like a border collie and I’m still talking to my husband. What more can a girl ask for?
But now for the announcement you are all really looking for:
The winner of the new Crock Pot and prize package is…Rita Luri! Congratulations! Please send me your mailing information, so that I can get your package to you in the mail!