Friday, October 31, 2014

Tractor Seat Update

Happy Halloween!  It is October 31st and the final day of my "31 Days from a Tractor Seat" series.  I want to start off by saying hi and welcome to all of the new readers that have started following because of this series, and thank you to my veteran followers, for following along with me as I went from writing an average of 3 times a week to 7!  This blog writing challenge was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate my blogging passion.  For all the new readers, if you liked what you read through this series, then you'll love my writing the other 11 months of the year.  My blog centers around my life as a farmer, a farm wife, a stay at home mom and a volunteer.  Now during this past month I've mainly centered my attention around those first two roles but I plan on talking about all four areas in the months to come.

My Birthday #Felfie from last weekend
After this post I will have wrote 29 posts this months, which yes, doesn't add up to 31, which I am a little disappointed about, but I have told myself that I had good excuses for missing a couple days due to my youngest sister coming home from deployment and my birthday.  I have a couple extra posts that I wanted to share to make up for those missed days but I've got to get my cowboy and prairie girl ready for trick-or-treating soon.  I will probably go back to my 3 times a week blogging in November but I still have so many ideas that I didn't get to in October or that I've been saving for November, I guess we'll see what pace I keep up at!

But now, onto my Tractor Seat Update!  We finished soybeans on Wednesday of last week and have been busy harvesting corn since.  It feels good to get past the 50% complete benchmark, especially since it is the end of October.  Maybe that means we'll be done by Thanksgiving!

What was your favorite post from my "31 Days from a Tractor Seat" series?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


(This post is a part of a 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series.  The best way to keep up with this series is to follow via email on the right sidebar of this post or by following on Bloglovin.  Also be sure to like the Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids Facebook page for daily updates from the field.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Farming - Lifestyle vs Business

If you asked 1,000 random people from across the country to describe farming I think you'd probably get 1,000 different answers.  Many people would focus on the nostalgic lifestyle of farming - wide open spaces, taking care of the land and animals, and the simple life.  While others might think about big business or big ag, Monsanto and "the almighty dollar".  

When I'm asked why I farm, I start by talking about the lifestyle.  It is how My Farmer and I want to raise our children and it's the way we've always wanted to live.  Farming is in our blood and we are proud to carry on the tradition.  I love being surrounded by fields and the privacy that farming gives us.  At the same time though, I have got to think of farming as a business.  After-all, this is the sole way our family makes a living.  And just like everyone else out there, I want to do the best I can at my business so I can provide for my family.  I want our farm to be successful, so we can live the life we want.

So why can't farming be both about business and lifestyle?  It is a balancing-act I feel to have the lifestyle I want for myself and my family, while still taking on risk and enough work and effort to make our business viable.  Harvest is a busy time for my family.  I feel like we spend a lot of time concentrating on the business but I am thankful that my whole family, three generations to be exact, get to be apart of that business which helps all remember about the lifestyle benefits of doing what we love, farming.


What do you first think of when you think of farming?  Lifestyle or business?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


(This post is a part of a 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series.  The best way to keep up with this series is to follow via email on the right sidebar of this post or by following on Bloglovin.  Also be sure to like the Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids Facebook page for daily updates from the field.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Harvest Sky

On this final Wordless Wednesday post as part of my 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series I thought what better picture to show you than a view from my tractor seat at dusk!  It is one of my favorite times of the day.  Aren't the colors beautiful?

31 Days from a Tractor Seat - Combining Corn at Dusk

What is your favorite part of the fall?  Mine has got to be the vibrant colors - from the leaves to the sky.  Simply beautiful!  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


(This post is a part of a 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series.  The best way to keep up with this series is to follow via email on the right sidebar of this post or by following on Bloglovin.  Also be sure to like the Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids Facebook page for daily updates from the field.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All Purpose Pork Rub - Tractor Approved Recipe

One feature this month through my 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series is that I am sharing some of my family's "Tractor Approved" recipes.  During fall harvest I have a unique situation where I find myself in the field pretty much all day, everyday, along with my husband and kids.  This means that we don't have that much food in our house because I don't have that much time to run to the grocery store or simply to just cook or bake something.  But one thing I always keep on hand is my All Purpose Pork Rub so I can smoke on a "rain day".  (Plus I had to share a pork recipe this month because it is National Pork Month!)  Be sure to check out my other "Tractor Approved" recipes:  Six Week MuffinsThe Best Tuna Salad and Sweet & Salty Corn Chips.

All Purpose Pork Rub Recipe

Why does All Purpose Pork Rub get the "Tractor Approved" seal?  First, deli meat sandwiches get a little old if you have them daily for a couple of months, so it is nice to make something a little different to switch up the standard lunch-box sandwich.  Second, this pork rub works on everything - loins, ribs, etc.  So whatever pork you have on hand, you can put it on.  It is a great salty rub with a little bit of a kick to it.  Third, the ingredients for the rub are staple spices I always have in my pantry.  I enjoy this rub so much that I even keep huge batches of it on hand so I can smoke with it whenever I find time.  I love smoking all year long.

All Purpose Pork Rub (adapted from Masterbuilt Smokin' Recipes)
1 Tbsp Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
5 Tbsp Chili Powder
3 Tbsp Ground Cumin
4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
4 tsp Black Pepper
4 tsp Garlic Powder
4 tsp Onion Powder

Mix ingredients and rub mixture on meat for at least two hours before cooking, overnight is best.  Allow meat to reach room temperature before smoking.  Store leftover rub mixture for future use.

My favorite pork product to use this rub on is pork loin!

Do you own a smoker?  What is your favorite pork recipe?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


(This post is a part of a 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series.  The best way to keep up with this series is to follow via email on the right sidebar of this post or by following on Bloglovin.  Also be sure to like the Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids Facebook page for daily updates from the field.)

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Little Dirt Never Hurt

Have you ever heard the saying "A Little Dirt Never Hurt"?  When I hear this I can't help but think of my kids and memories of my sisters and I growing up on the farm.

A Little Dirt Never Hurt - Farm Kids are HealthierA Little Dirt Never Hurt - Farm Kids are Healthier

During fall harvest my kids spend many hours in the field with their Dad and I, which let's be honest, is a kind of dirty job.  After all, we are literally working in the dirt.  (My agronomy professor would be very disappointed in me for just calling soil dirt...)  But you know what, My Farmer and I, and are kids, wouldn't want it any other way!

Our kids love being outside and being apart of the farm.  They play in the sand and mud, they climb fences, they pick wildflowers, they help in the field and garden and they love exploring our acreage.  There have been many times I have had to tell my kids to not leave the mudroom and to take off all their clothes by the wash before they go anywhere in the house.  I love that they enjoy getting a little dirty and the truth is, it is good for them!

Being exposed to a little dirt truly makes people healthier by toughening up their immune systems.  There have actually been several studies that state that farm kids are healthier than those that live in urban areas.  The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has found that non-farm families are diagnosed with asthma nearly twice as much as farm-dwelling families.  And as for hay fever, nearly four times as many non-farm family members are diagnosed than farm family members.  Animals can be beneficial too.  A study published last year in the Journal of Pediatrics suggests that babies raised around dogs are 31% more likely to be healthy.  And for you cat fans, 6% healthier.  Their research poses that animals help children's immune systems mature faster, because animals help them grow antibodies to better combat infections.

A Little Dirt Never Hurt - Animals Make Babies Healthier
Does a dirty farm dog like ours
make our kids even healthier???
So what do you think?  Do you believe that "A Little Dirt Never Hurt"?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

31 Days from a Tractor Seat - A Little Dirt Never Hurt

(This post is a part of a 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series.  The best way to keep up with this series is to follow via email on the right sidebar of this post or by following on Bloglovin.  Also be sure to like the Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids Facebook page for daily updates from the field.)

Also, be sure to sure to sign up for the Iowa Blogger $150 Visa Giftcard giveaway!  Entries are open till November 1st.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cookbooks Tell Our Story + GIVEAWAY

Did you know that October is National Cookbook Month?  I was excited to hear this because I personally own over 30 cookbooks (plus two recipe boxes and one giant recipe "folder").  I love to cook and bake and I love how recipes and cookbooks tell stories.


I have gotten to know several Iowa bloggers through our love of food.  We all have our own style and preferences when it comes to food and cookbooks, but I think that is what makes this group so great.

Personally, for me, my favorite cookbook is probably my home church's 1998 Harvest Cookbook.  Because let's all agree, no one puts a "bad" recipe in a church cookbook!  This cookbook is full of this community's best recipes and it also tells the area's heritage through food.

Fellow Iowa Blogger, Jeni from Jeni Eats, is also a big fan of her church cookbooks too, for many of the same reasons that I do, and that they have so many "retro" recipes.  One of her other favorite, and go-to cookbooks right now is The Spoonriver Cookbook.  She loves how the recipes are so approachable.

Amy from Modern Rural Living, loves her newest cookbook, The Kitchy Kitchen.  She loves all the imagery in the cookbook and can relate to her as a blogger and You Tuber.

Jenny from In the Kitchen with Jenny, cherishes her family's cookbook that she helped her mother-in-law put together the year before she passed away from cancer.  This cookbook not only tells her family's story, but passes along her mother-in-law's traditions.  And another thing that makes it so special, is that the front cover has a copy of a water color of the family's home.

Michelle from Simplify, Live, Love, likes Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.  Life is busy and making food ahead of time for your family is a must for Michelle and her family, as well as probably all of ours.  This cookbook includes a variety of recipes, ingredients and cuisines, while using less processed foods than the freezer meals of decades ago.

Kelli from The Sustainable Couple current favorite cookbook is The Elliott Homestead: From Scratch cookbook.  This cookbook teaches traditional ways to cook nutritious food.  Personally when I saw this cookbook's cover, I thought it screamed Kelli and her passion for whole foods.

Lastly, Iowa Blogger Wini from Chez Bonne Femme has wrote two cookbooks!  Her first, The Bonne Femme Cookbook looks at every day French cooking and her newest, The Braiser Cookbook, shares how to braise through several different methods and ingredients.  I highly recommend checking out her Pork Meat Balls with Dijon Cream Sauce recipe from her newest cookbook!



Doesn't this want you to get out your favorite cookbook or discover a new recipe tonight!  All of these great Iowa Bloggers, plus Ally from Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats and Kristen from Make the Best of Everything, have partnered up to giveaway a $150 Visa Giftcard.  This giveaway is open from today to November 1st.  You can enter by liking these blogs on Facebook and following them on Twitter.  Good luck!



What is your favorite cookbook?  Which one of these cookbooks might you buy with your $150 if you win?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - My Favorite Buddy Seat Riders Through the Years

Earlier this week I took this picture of MP riding with me in the tractor:


And it made me think back a lot to this photo I took back in 2012 of LP and I when he was just a few months older:


I love having these two as my buddy seat riders!

LP & MP taking a break with Mom
hanging out on the tractor tire earlier this week
We have one more Wordless Wednesday post this month as part of my "31 Days from a Tractor Seat" blog series.  What photos would you like to see next week?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!


(This post is a part of a 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series.  The best way to keep up with this series is to follow via email on the right sidebar of this post or by following on Bloglovin.  Also be sure to like the Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids Facebook page for daily updates from the field.)