All Aboard Harvest | Harvest Lessons
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Harvest Lessons

Harvest Lessons

Cheyenne, Oklahoma—I will be the first to say that I knew very little about custom harvesting and farming when I met my husband for the first time. Almost nine years later, I still feel like I’m learning something new every day … and that will probably never change! One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of a hot meal. This may seem obvious to most, but let me explain …

We're headed to field with supper. I think I've got a pretty cute sidekick...

We’re headed to field with supper. I think I’ve got a pretty cute sidekick…

When Jason and I were dating and I was working a full-time job, I did my best to travel to wherever he was combining during the weekends. Of course, as he travelled further North, that became more difficult. During one week in particular, I remember hearing more than once during our phone calls how tired everyone was of having hamburgers from the local quick stop. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to “Wow!” my boyfriend … and his dad, too!

My 3 favorite Orgain guys in 2015

My 3 favorite Orgain guys! (2015)

As the weekend approached, I worked to come up with the perfect meal plan. I decided on BBQ chicken sandwiches with baked beans and potato chips. I had to consider my time constraints: I worked about 15 miles south of my house and there was a 2-hour drive further south to where Jason was cutting on the Oklahoma-Texas state line. I didn’t want to waste any time backtracking from work to home, so I decided to cook on Thursday night and then take everything with me to work on Friday to keep in the refrigerator until it was time to leave.

As I left work on Friday, I remember feeling pretty darn excited. I was on my way with my first ever field meal! When I finally reached my destination, I proudly laid everything out on the tailgate and watched as everyone enjoyed this supper I had planned out and worked so hard on. Mission accomplished!

Or so I thought …

Fast forward about one year later. We’re in the exact same scenario except that Jason and I are now married. I was still working full-time and was preparing to make a weekend trip south. As Jason, his dad and I were discussing dinner plans, I very much remember the two of them saying to me (almost in unison), “Whatever you do, please don’t bring cold BBQ chicken sandwiches to the field ever again.” I instantly knew what they were talking about and I was slightly mortified! My first ever field meal was evidently not a hit. But how wise of them to wait until I was legally an Orgain to tell me. Ha! I’m pretty certain I pulled into the closest Sonic Drive-In I could find for supper that night.

Mason and I have made many trips to the grocery store in McDonald, KS.

Over the years, Mason and I have made many trips to the grocery store in McDonald, KS. (2015)

That was an important and memorable lesson for me for sure! Now that I’m no longer gainfully employed, I have the time to devote to making proper field meals. It’s something that I genuinely enjoy doing and take great pride in. I find myself scouring the internet for recipes and marking pages in my cookbooks as harvest approaches. I love trying new things, but there are those trusty old favorites I come back to time and again.

Ivy is ready to hand out supper!

Ivy is ready to hand out supper!

Sheet pan meals have been very popular lately. It’s a great way to use up produce that might be on its last leg and you can customize it to your liking—that’s what makes them so easy and fun. Your options are really limitless. Here is a recipe for sheet pan fajitas that I threw together a few nights ago. We’re still waiting to start cutting wheat, but we have been crazy busy planting cotton, custom farming and trying to put up hay. This meal is best served hot, but hopefully if life’s constraints cause it to be ice-cold, your family and crew will give you a hefty dose of grace like mine did … enjoy!

Sheet Pan Fajita Ingredients

Sheet Pan Fajita Ingredients

Sheet Pan Fajitas
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3-4 lbs. chicken breasts, sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 onion, sliced thin
2 yellow squash, sliced thin
7 or 8 mushrooms, sliced thin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 packages of fajita seasoning
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Combine all ingredients on large sheet pan. Toss to coat and mix evenly.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Use a spatula to mix and turn ingredients on pan and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Before....

Before….

...After!

…After!

I served these with flour tortillas, shredded cheese, salsa and sour cream. Mexican rice and corn were great side dishes, too!

To-go boxes make life easy!

To-go boxes make life easy!

Dinner is ready!

Dinner is ready!

Packed up and ready to go!

Packed up and ready to go to the field!

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Lindsey can be reached at lindsey@allaboardharvest.com.

1Comment
  • Tom Stockard
    Posted at 10:47h, 25 June Reply

    Lindsey,
    You will learn many things, each day, dealing with people, cows, and framing. I farmed and ranched for almost 60 years. I helped (watched) my first calf pulling at age 5. When I retired from large scale farming at age 70, I was still “learning”. That is the beauty of living and farming. Always an exciting experience. Helps keep your mind sharp, always trying to figure how to make something work, then improving for the next time. One or two bad times, quickly forgotten, in the exciting, hectic work load. I was blessed to have all those opportunities, and challenges.
    About your “tailgate meals”. I never complained about ANY food brought to the field. I was thankful for the efforts, thought, and love. When you are on a combine, tractor, in a truck, working cattle, ANYTHING taste wonderful and is appreciated. I liked some meals better than others, thankful, welcomed, and enjoyed all of them.
    Keep enjoying the blessings you have. Most people are never lucky enough to be able to experience the thrills, excitement, and happiness of family farming, they can only dream.

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