Laura: Bring on the braai!

Northern Texas: The wheat finally dried down enough for us to cut a whopping two truckloads Sunday evening before the rain started again that night. I suppose on the positive side, two truckloads is better than no truckloads, which is what the stats sheet had read previously.

Yesterday, June 7, was another day of humid, cloudy conditions. We woke in the night to rain, and it continued until morning. Some areas received only a few hundredths while others received closer to an inch or more. We even heard a report of an area further south that had five inches.

The guys have been working hard to keep morale strong. Last night they planned for a braai. Braai is the South African term for what we in the states call a barbecue. One doesn’t merely just “have” a braai. It develops over a period of many hours. To give a timeline, they started mid-afternoon prepping the meat and we didn’t eat until after 8 p.m. If you get hangry easily, you’ll definitely need an appetizer to get you through. However, the wait is always worth it.

We hope this was the last time we’ll have the opportunity to braai as a full crew for some time because the forecast becomes more favorable later today. However, last night was a great time of sharing memories and laughs. Quite a few on the crew are returners serving consecutive seasons or coming back after time away. COVID prevented some from joining us last season. The new members heard lots of old stories and I’m so excited that they too will soon have their own stories to add. One of the neatest things about owning the crew is watching the relationships and personal experience and skill sets grow as the season progresses. There really is nothing like it until you’ve lived it yourself.

South African dish of potjie. It is like a beef stew served over pup (grits) or rice.


This shows some of the meat the crew smoked and, back by popular demand, the grape salad I made per request.


A rare photo of us in the same place at the same time.


It’s awesome to get to know these guys. Sometimes hidden talents come out too.


Things got a little quiet when the plates of food materialized.

Laura Haffner can be reached at

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is sponsored by Case IH, Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc., BASF, Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children, Gleaner, ITC, Westbred, Huskie, Western Equipment, US Custom Harvesters, and High Plains Journal.


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