05 Jun Megan: Spring Cleaning
Hemingford, Neb. – Just like a household, a farm is often in dire need of “spring cleaning” come the season change. Therefore, the last few months have been spent cleaning up the Roland farm after a long, grueling winter. My parents started planting peas at the beginning of April and haven’t had a rest since. Planting fall crops, spraying and disking fields, branding cattle, fixing fences, cleaning out the shop, mowing, working on harvest machinery, and doing maintenance on the semis are just a glimpse of what our days have been filled with lately. It is a truly tedious process to square away things at home before harvest hits full force down south.
Brandon and Matt finished up their college finals in mid-May and booked it back to the farm to help with everything. Waiting for the departure date of harvest is always difficult but it has a way of sneaking up on you when you keep yourself busy. It seems to be part of our harvest tradition for my family to go through this “organized chaos” as we prep for the next 3 months that we will spend on the road.
The planter has to be stopped intermittently to be filled with fertilizer and to check the level of corn seed. Mom and Dad have mastered this pit stop.
While the boys worked on equipment Ashley, Mom, and I headed out to the pasture to do some cowgirl work. Above: Ashley climbs the ladder of the windmill to check out the mechanics and to ensure it will be properly pumping for the summer.
On June 2nd, Brandon turned 22 years old! We celebrated his birthday about a week early at home with the family and a delicious steak dinner. By the forest fire on that cake it’s surprising that Brandon’s not pushing 50 ha! (Grandma Jo made sure he had trick candles!)
Brandon, Ashley, James, and I sneak a quick photo after lunch. We have each spent many summers on harvest and like to consider ourselves the “dream team” harvest crew. Between the four of us Roland’s we have over 35 years of harvest experience! We’ve almost caught up to Dad!
In the fall of 2012, Nebraska was experiencing a devastating drought and as fate would have it, lightning struck in six different places near our farm. Multiple prairie fires raged across the area, throughout our pasture, into our tree groves, and towards our house. With the help of neighbors, prayers, and the local fire department our home and most of our equipment was spared. Thankfully, no one or any livestock was injured, but it was certainly a reality check from good ol’ Mother Nature herself.
Above: One view of our pasture after the fire. The green you see is up by our corral and barn, which was saved by a neighbor making a fire line with the tractor and disk.
Below: Almost two years later, it’s time for some regrowth. We enrolled in a federal program that promotes re-treeing areas that were affected by the 2012 fire in western Nebraska.
Meet our helpers for the 2014 harvest season: Matt (left) and Justin (right). Matt will be our head truck driver this summer and will assist with mechanical work. Justin will be helping out intermittently as a grain cart and combine operator.
All Aboard Wheat Harvest™ is sponsored by High Plains Journal and New Holland Agriculture. Megan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.