Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days from a Tractor Seat Questions Answered

#Harvest14 #Felfie

The kids are in bed after a full day of Sunday School, working in the field and baths, but before I indulge in some ice cream and Food Network Sunday night programming, I thought I'd continue my 31 Days of writing adventure by answering some of your questions I have received through this blog series.


What things do you see from your tractor seat besides just fields and rows?  We see wildlife (which I'll be talking about more in a future question), traffic (those that wave and those that don't), and we have a nice above ground view that allows us to see for miles.  The most exciting (and scary) thing we've seen this year so far is a car fire.

Do animals and birds know to leave the field during harvest time?  Just like if there was a vehicle coming down the road, birds and animals run out of the way of tractors.  In fact, I think they move a little faster since we are a lot bigger than a car.  We don't worry about running over any wildlife.

What animals do you typically get in your fields?  Typically we see birds, pheasants, ducks, deer, rabbits, and ground squirrels.  The corn and soybean fields are great hiding areas for these animals so we scare them out of the field when we come through.  They then run to a neighboring buffer strip or waterway for protection.

How do you deal with your kids while you're in the tractor (naps, play time, feeding them, etc.)?  The kids do a pretty good job in the field all day.  Our day typically starts mid-morning so the kids are able to eat breakfast and get some playtime done before we head to the field.  Each kid gets to pick out some toys and books to bring in the tractor.  Think of packing a busy bag for church, except it is for the tractor :)  The kids enjoy playing with the things they bring with them throughout the day but also simply enjoy watching out the window, singing songs, having a conversation, playing peek-a-boo, telling stories, etc.  I guess one way to think about our day in the tractor is the same you'd think about a day in the car traveling on vacation.  The kids eat, sleep and play in their seats.

As for food, we eat dinner around noon, then usually have snacks in the late afternoon and eat supper at the end of the night from the comfort for our tractor seats.  I keep a cooler with waters and juice boxes for the kids with me so they are always able to eat or drink when they'd like to throughout the day.  We usually end our day in the field after supper, and every once in awhile, we will take our supper home to eat, rather than eat it in the field.

As for naps, the kids naturally take naps in the afternoon when they usually would.  However, I'd say that MP naps shorter in the tractor then she does at home and LP, who usually naps only once or twice a week while at home, probably naps four or five times a week while in the tractor.  The hardest part for the kids in the tractor all day is that they have to sit for long hours.  Anytime we have a breakdown in the field I let the kids out to run around and usually after their afternoon naps I'll let them have a break while I have some wait time before needing to get back to catch the combine with my tractor and catch cart.

When is the best time for your family to vacation?  Our busiest times in the field are during the spring when we plant and during the fall when we harvest, so those are out for vacation time.  And there is usually quite a bit of field work done during the beginning of the summer, so that too is usually not an option.  We also raise pigs who need attention all year long, so we have to make sure whenever we do go on a vacation, that someone (aka my father-in-law) is available to do our chores for us.  We typically enjoy going on family vacations in the late summer and My Farmer and I like to get away for a weekend in the winter.

What other questions do you have about my life in a tractor seat or as a farmer and farm wife?  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.)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Best Tuna Salad - Tractor Approved Sandwich

One feature this month through my 31 Days from a Tractor Seat series is that I am sharing are 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 during harvest because I don't have that much time to run to the grocery store or simply to just cook or bake something.  But I do try to keep some staples in the house so when we do find ourselves at home we can eat something at home.  Last week I shared my Six Week Muffins recipe and today I'm sharing my recipe for my Tuna Salad.

The Best Tuna Salad Recipe - Easy to make and great for melts!

Why does The Best Tuna Salad get the "Tractor Approved" seal?  First, we eat a lot of sandwiches during harvest and I find it really easy to keep staples in my pantry and freezer for "salad" sandwiches - ham, chicken and tuna.  My whole family loves my tuna salad recipe and it is a little "special" or you might even say "decadent," compared to a traditional tuna salad.  Second, you can eat this tuna salad cold or use it in a tuna melt.  It is great to have a batch on hand to make with soup at night or my personal favorite is to eat with Doritos or Cheez-Its as a snack when we come in from the field.  Third, this recipe is really simple to whip up, which is always a plus when you work long hours.

The Best Tuna Salad
1 - 8oz brick of Neufchatel Cheese (or Cream Cheese)
1/2 cup Mayo
2 - 5oz cans of Chunk Tuna in Water (drained)
2 ribs Celery (cut in fourths lengthwise and then diced)
2 stalks Green Onions (diced)

With a hand mixer cream together cream cheese and mayo.  Then stir in tuna, celery and green onions.  Serve on sandwich as you desire.  This recipe is really good as a melt or a panini.

Refrigerate the rest of the batch up to a week (but it'll never last that long!).

What are some of your go-to sandwich recipes or staples?  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.)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tractor Seat Update

Tractor Seat Update
After a wet start to the week, we've been busy combining corn, and today, have switched back to harvesting soybeans.  Last night My Farmer and I crunched some numbers and decided we are 20% finished with corn and 40% done with soybeans as of today.  And I have to admit, that feels pretty darn good!  With a "rain day" or two weekly it seems, I think we were both surprised at our progress.

Soybean and Corn Harvest Headers
If you've been following my Tractor Seat Updates each Friday this month, you'll notice that we've been bouncing back and forth between corn and soybeans.  While this usually happens some each year, we usually don't like to do this each week of harvest like we have been this year.  When we switch, we have to change the combine head.  Corn and soybeans have separate combining head attachments.  We then have to clean out the combine grain holding tank and our catch cart so we don't mix soybeans and corn.  It isn't a lot, but it just takes time.  It is a lot nicer if you can just pick up where you left off the day before and not have to worry about cleaning everything out.

We've been having to switch back and forth due to the maturity of our corn and soybeans, as well as the moisture levels.  Soybeans have a somewhat narrow window to get harvested during due to the moisture levels you want.  So if we don't have soybeans in that window, we've been switching to corn, which is more flexible.

What questions do you have about corn and soybean harvest?  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 16, 2014

World Food Day Addresses World Hunger

Happy World Food Day!  This internationally recognized day was celebrated today at the World Food Prize and around the world, by bringing together the citizens of the World to proclaim their commitment to eradicate hunger and discuss what actions need to be taken to achieve this.

On Tuesday, I asked you all to think through what you can do to address one of the key questions of this year's World Food Prize, "Can we feed 9 billion people by 2050?".  For me personally, it is easier for me to first think about what I can do for people in my "backyard."

  • Help your local food bank.  Check out my guide that includes six different ways to contribute.
  • Volunteer to organize meals or serve a meal yourself at your local soup kitchen.
  • Contact your local school to see how you can help with their efforts to feed their students.  Maybe your school has or needs a back pack program, or maybe an after-school snack program.

1 in 9 people worldwide are under nourished #WFD2014
Beyond the needs of my local area, state or even nation, there are needs throughout the World.  What can I do for the one in nine people worldwide that are under nourished?


  • Sign up to help package meals or make a donation towards a meal packaging initiative, such as Meals from the Heartland.
  • Participate in your local CROP Hunger Walk.
  • Support groups like Self-Help International, which partners with people in Ghana and Nicaragua on training and education for young farmers, micro-credit loans for women and school feeding programs.
What are you going to do to celebrate World Food Day?  What other ideas do you have?  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 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Sometimes You've got to Stay Up for a Homecoming

Harvest creates a lot of long hours and long days, but earlier this week I was more than happy to add hours to my day.  After nearly a year from being away from home, my youngest sister and her unit returned back to Iowa this week!  I left my house at 10:30 pm so I could see her when she stepped off the plane at 1 am on "Monday night".

My sister walking off of the airplane
Our first hug since her leave at Christmas
I'm very proud to be a solider's sister and am so happy for her to be at home.  It was great to see many soldiers from her unit step off the airplane earlier this week.  I'm happy and honored that I got to be apart of this military homecoming!  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 13, 2014

Can We Feed 9 Billion People by 2050

Can we feed 9 billion people by 2050?  That is the question being discussed at this year's World Food Prize, being held in Des Moines, Iowa this week.

I want you to think about that today and I'll talk through some ideas hopefully tomorrow, if I ever get my internet fixed!

Also, in the meantime, have you ever heard of Norman Borlaug?  I'd encourage you to check out a post I did on him earlier this year on his would have been 100th birthday.


(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.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 Days from a Tractor Seat #SelfieSunday

Well, it finally happened, I'm writing this post from my phone...  Somehow I figured this would happen when I decided to challenge myself to write for 31 days.  This past week I've gotten in a groove of writing my post the night before it is published, which has worked really well, until last night I couldn't get our internet to work...  And tonight I'm afraid I've got the same problem, so I have an internet technician coming by tomorrow to hopefully solve my problem.  So, today's post is simple and sweet.  Here is my #SelfieSunday:

31 Days from a Tractor Seat #SelfieSunday


(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.)