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Laura: Now we’re cooking

Wichita County, Texas—Now we’re cooking, both literally and figuratively. That’s a good thing because it won’t be long until northern jobs start calling. 

Both the draper and stripper header teams are trying to cut as hard as possible, when able, to make up for the weather challenges. Late morning or early afternoon have been the earliest we’ve been able to start lately, due to moisture staying in the grain. For the most part, ground conditions have held up relatively well, with the exception of a few spots, despite the showers that have seemed to be ever present.  

Working like busy bees to finish this finger of the field.

On one particular day, the rains were all around again and it seemed like we could be rained out at any minute. That afternoon, harvest chatter was filled with truckers asking if they needed to come back after each turn at the elevator. Despite driving in the rain for most of their trip to and from the elevator, it somehow managed to end right before they returned to the field. 

Speaking of truckers, they’ve had some very long hauls. As mentioned before, due to the elevator that went off line the remaining grain handling facilities have been flooded with harvest traffic. In amongst hauling into the local elevator about 20 miles away, over half of harvest was spent hauling wheat 70 to 100-plus miles one way. Yes, you read that correctly. One way. We had to bring in some of our extra truck power to keep grain moving. 

Jack returning to the field after another run to the elevator.

Cooking meals for twenty-two, as a one woman show, in a camper kitchen, isn’t easy. Getting them delivered, in one piece, to the different crews that are running, may be even more challenging. 

Catching a willing and able truck operator is such a help because they can help me be in more than one place at once. And as an added bonus, the crew gets their food faster. It’s a win-win for sure  

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch a picture with the other drivers, but I nabbed one of Matthew.

On one particular Sunday, I gave the kids instructions to fill the meal boxes with hamburger buns while I slipped out to give Matthew some boxes. Upon my return, I discovered they had attempted to fill all the boxes with the remaining food, not just the buns. We had to even out a couple portion sizes, and there may have been a little bit of food that missed the boxes and ended up in strange places, but overall they did an outstanding job. They had the best intentions and were just trying to take a load off of their mom’s plate.  

Note this piece of lettuce I later found stuck to the chair. It was a little like lettuce confetti In the camper. But a mess like this, when they were trying to help their mama and the crew is to be celebrated, not scolded.

I’m proud that they are learning to take initiative to help even when not specifically asked. I have no doubt much of that has come from their observations of harvest. It truly takes each and every one of us doing our part to have a successful team.  

Laura Haffner can be reached at laura@allaboardharvest.com.

All Aboard Wheat Harvest is brought to you by Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Inc.High Plains Journal, New HollandITC Holdings CorpU.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., Kramer Seed Farms, and Lumivia Insecticide Treatment by Corteva Agriscience.

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