Grinding Feed…from the Harvest

As I have previously mentioned, I love to farm. My equipment is as antiquated as I am I’m afraid. It takes me triple time do what other farmers can accomplish in one hour.  Still I am not ashamed of the way I do things, though I would sure appreciate being financial able to up grade now and then. Newer tractors,  newer planters etc.

This past weekend we spent three hours on the end of a shovel tossing ear corn into the grinder part of the feed mixer.  Its quite the process to grind up your own feed. Back 50 years ago, if a farmer had this same mixer he would be using it every week to keep feed pouring into the animals. Because we don’t have that many critters , when we grind we can usually go two weeks before having to grind again.

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First I hook the mixer up to the small tractor so the PTO isn’t running as fast as it does on the larger tractors. The grinder is old and isn’t forgiving if I work it too hard.  Then I align the grinder up with the opening in the corn crib. Usually we use 5 gallon buckets and we fill them and empty them into the grinder one at a time but since the crib is finally getting low on corn I can shovel corn from the crib straight into the grinder. A  back saving step for sure.

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IMG_6134 (2)     IMG_5894 (2)I dump bags of oats, and add dry molasses then just shovel the grinder full of ear corn until I have ground up to the line I have marked on the side of the grinding  bin. Then I off load the ground feed into a galvanized storage  bin where I store it . Sometimes if we grind a double batch and we fill the bin we then off load the extra feed into a covered gravity wagon for additional storage. I don’t expect other people to know or understand this old time method of grinding food to feed you animals but its a good life, A hard life but its good for the soul, good work out for the body and it builds character to always have to struggle amongst plenty.

This ear corn was all harvest last October 2014. I have an old ear picker that I bought from an Amish man and it runs really well. It takes a long time to pick a wagon load of ear corn and it then off using a grain elevator we unload from the wagon, it goes up the elevator and into the corn crib.  Time consuming and such fun.

When I was a small girl my older brother and i would ride in the gravity wagon while my Dad was picking ear corn.  We would get hit by the ears of corn coming into the wagon and it hurt, but it was a game to see to how long we could hold on to the sides of wagon till the corn mounted up enough that we could use our legs to stay up against the sides. It was usually cold November nights when he was picking after work so Stan and I would snuggle up in a corner of the corn and stay warm out of the wind. And sometimes we fell asleep. When we got back to the farm we would push all the corn out the door and onto the elevator for Dad.

When we bought this farm and started ear picking I couldn’t wait for my kids to experience the fun we used to during harvest riding in the wagon. That first harvest came and my kids rode about two rounds and told me I was crazy and it was NOT fun to be pulverized by ears of corn.  Must be farm kids from the 60’s were built tougher. LOL

Below are some great photos of the fall weather, my old tractor is in such need of a paint job  and actually needs to be replaced but I don’t have the heart to trade her in…

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I realize there are people who drive by my farm and laugh at the older gal out there plowing and disking and cultivating and ear picking corn as it is such an old way of doing it all

I am so thankful for the folks who came before us and persevered through all the modern technology to become the historians for us all.  Because of people like that we have museums, old cars, trucks, tractors, etc.  It matters today to help the children of this world appreciate and understand some of the finer things in life.

That fast and quick isn’t always better. That maximum yield and  mega profit isn’t what this country nor our lives is suppose to be made of. I wish for our grandchildren to see the old  WHOLESOME way that farming used to be. When it took the entire family to get crops in and harvest. Not just bigger , faster tractors, but TEAM WORK and PRIDE in who you are and what you were working for and towards.