Learning to Love Summer on the Farm

By Krista Stauffer

I love summer.

The sunshine, warm days, summer breeze, the smell of fresh cut hay and flies. Okay, well I love everything, minus the flies. Sadly no matter how hard we try, we always have flies.

I typically hear farmers say their busiest time of year is spring calving on the ranch or harvesting crops in the fall. Ours is definitely "silage season." Silage is just us cutting feed, packing it in a bunker, covering it and allowing it to ferment into yummy goodness for our girls (cows of course). During those three months, we put up an entire year's worth of feed from June through August. There is always a big push to get started and a huge sigh of relief when it is finally finished.

I can honestly say that silage season is my least favorite part of farming. I despise the stress of getting all the equipment ready for it, negotiating the price of the feed and the simple fact that our whole world typically revolves around moisture for those three months.

Is it time to chop? No, too early in the day.

Is it time to chop?! No, feed is too wet.

Is it time to chop?!! Yes, but wait the truck is broken down.

Okay, let's start chopping now that the truck is fixed. Oh but wait… the chopper is having issues. Alright, it's fixed. Crap, the feed is too wet it is plugging up the chopper. Now we need to wait until tomorrow. Repeat again tomorrow.

By the grace of God, we will be done in August.

This is our summer. Every summer.

You are probably thinking this is going to be "that" blog post where I write some really beautiful words and tell you how amazing the time we spend together during silage season really is. How our kids are happy no matter what we do because they love farming. Okay, well that part is true. The kids love farming.

Me, however...I am struggling to love farming. I love the life it has given us. I love that my husband's life long dream has come true. I love that it makes him happy. I love that farming is what brought us together. AND of course I love the cows. Oh my gosh, do I love the cows.

 KristaSummer2

Honestly, I don't want to do anything other than farming. But that doesn't mean I don't struggle with farming. Summer is when I think I struggle the most. Instead of driving to the parts store for the umteenth time, I want to drive to the beach. Instead of getting burgers and the local fast food place for the work crew, I want to be barbecuing with my friends/family. I would like to go back to that point in time where we actually were invited to weddings, birthdays, etc. Back when we could actually attend those sorts of things.

Going back in time is not an option. Giving up farming just so I can get invited to a wedding or go to the beach is simply not going to happen. So this summer, I am going to do things a tad bit differently than in the past. I am going to do what I should have been doing all along. I am going to work on hospitality. Yep. I am going to invite friends/family over more often. I am going to open up our home and farm (more so than I already do). I am going to let the kids swim in the water trough while we cook burgers. Even if it is in between breakdowns and parts runs. I am going to focus on the fact that this farm, flies and all, has given us such a great life and it's time to share it with those we know and love.

Krista Stauffer, the Farmer's Wifee, is a small town girl that grew up in a logging community in Eastern Washington and married a first generation dairy farmer. Together, she and her farmer have three amazing children that they raise on their dairy farm of 150 jerseys, Holsteins and crosses. You can read more by Krista on her blog!

related topics: farming, agriculture, summer

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