Archives For farm

There’s an old saying that I hear at least once a year: “Make hay while the sun shines.”

Before farmers cut and rake hay (alfalfa, grass, red clover, etc.), they check the weather forecast to determine if they can get the hay “put up” before it rains. If you aren’t familiar with the process, it is best for hay to be cut, let the sun start drying it out, rake the hay (turn it over), let it dry a little more, then bale it and put it in storage before it gets rain on it.

Make Hay While the Sun Shines: John Deere tractor and round baler

Make Hay While the Sun Shines: Round bale of hay with tractor and baler | Photo by Ryan Eidson

Rain decreases the quality of the hay.

If it rains too much, the hay will spoil. You won’t have any to sell or to feed your livestock in the winter when the snow covers the ground.

Recognize the Season

Make hay while the sun shines applies to all of us. Continue Reading…

cold-windy-Christmas

Places are set for Christmas dinner

On Christmas Day in 2010 Lori (my wife) and I gathered with other expats in the city where we lived in China. We took her famous oatmeal rolls and two other dishes with us and ate with the group at 12:45. It was nice to have a break from our work as managers of a farm company and enjoy time together celebrating a cherished holiday.

Sometime in the early afternoon, our driver (his English name is Philip) received a call from our farm workers outside the city that very high winds had broken part of the barn roof. The previous night was very windy in the city. We didn’t know that the wind caused damage to any buildings until this phone call. We thought that just a few pieces of tin were gone; however, the workers called back and said the entire north addition to the barn was gone!

Continue Reading…

2011-hfmgrFor nearly two years my wife and I managed a farm overseas. A US-based non-profit organization asked us to help turn the farm operation around. In many ways, the farm was in a very difficult situation: poor use of natural and mechanical resources, employee troubles, and unwise financial decisions, just to name a few.

We did not realize how bad the situation was until after we moved there. Continue Reading…