Friday, June 29, 2012

Farm Friday

Today's Farm Friday edition is coming a little later than I normally like to post because I've been away from home for most of the day.  Things have been busy on the farm this week.  We have been working on several jobs and projects around the farm, as well as taking care of things like certifying our acreage at the FSA-USDA office.

In "my backyard," the corn is still coming along well, even though we haven't had any rain this week.

The corn is now over 6 feet tall and is about ready to tassel.

My "hog's backyard" of soybeans is coming along well too.

The soybeans are at V7...

or at R1.  R1 means the soybeans have begun their Reproductive Stages and are flowering.

Do you have any questions about the development stages of corn or soybeans?  Be sure to ask any questions or make any comments in the comment section below.  If you farm, how are your crops coming along?

Also, be sure to let me know what your favorite summer pork food is on my Tuesday Tasty Pork Recipe post to win a pig silicon pot holder.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I'm Farming and I Grow It

I'm sure by now you have all seen the You Tube video I'm Farming and I Grow It.  This video was done by some brothers from Kansas and the video in less than two days has went viral!  Yesterday morning I found out about it and at that time there were 2,000 some odd views, as I write this blog post now there are over 250,000 views!  What a fun video and a great message to the world about agriculture.  Today I noticed the family farm, Peterson Farm Bros, have started a facebook page and are planning on doing more videos.  I can't wait to see what they have in store for the future!  Good luck guys!

Warning the tune is very catchy and you'll be singing it all day!

Gotta Feed Everybody, Gotta Feed Everybody, Gotta Feed Everybody
I - Work - Outside!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tasty Pork Recipe

The weather at home lately has been ideal for grilling outside and today is no different.  One of my family's favorite side dishes to go with any grilled meal is my Sweet & Spicy Hog Wild Baked Beans.  So today I'm going to share with you this recipe in my first installment of "Tuesday Tasty Pork Recipes".  I'm planning on sharing more "Tuesday Tasty Pork Recipes" throughout the summer, so keep you eye out for more as the summer continues.

Sweet & Spicy Hog Wild Baked Beans

1/2 pound bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 - 28oz cans of Bush's Honey Baked Beans
1 can apple pie filling (chop up the big chunks)
1 pound crumbled cooked pork sausage
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2-3 T chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 T worcestershire sauce
2 T prepared mustard
1 1/2 t cayenne pepper powder

Brown bacon and saute onion and green pepper in bacon grease.  In large pot mix all ingredients together.  Simmer on stovetop.  (You can also throw all of the ingredients together in a crock pot on low.)

Look at all that pork in these baked beans - Yum!

Everything stirred together and simmering

Ready to eat with a juicy pork brat
This recipe makes a half gallon and feeds around 25 people.  If the beans are too spicy for you, lessen the amount of cayenne pepper.

What is your favorite summer time pork dish?  Share the name of your favorite in the comments section and you'll be entered to win a pig silicon pot holder from the Iowa Soybean Association and the Soybean Checkoff!  The winner will be selected on July 3rd.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bacon Sundae Review

Being a pork producer and a huge fan of bacon I just had to try Burger King's new Bacon Sundae!  So a few days ago LP and I were in a town with a Burger King and we stopped in to try it.

When we ordered the sundae I asked the manager how many they had been serving since it started on their menu; the manager said at that location they'd been selling an average of 12 a day.  She said she was surprised that it was that many (she came off to me as unbeliever in the power of BACON and if I had to guess, I don't think she had tried one yet.)

I have to admit, I was surprised with the amount of bacon in the sundae.  I bet there was the equivalent of 3 to 4 slices of bacon in my sundae.  There was enough bacon that I had bacon in each bite from start to finish.  I thought the sundae was good when I'd eat a bite that at first tasted like a regular hot fudge and caramel sundae with a small bacon crumble surprise at the end.  I however didn't care for it when the bacon pieces needed to be chewed a few times because they were large "crumbles."

Now will I stop in to indulge in 510 calorie salty-sweet dessert again in the future, probably not.  I'll probably just stick with a regular ice cream treat, but I do have to give props to Burger King for being adventurous and combining two of my favorite foods.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Radishes Ready To Go!

I picked my first measurable crop of radishes today.

By the looks of it, it looks like I could have picked some a little earlier.

I'm excited to eat some radishes for supper tonight!  It is so much fun to be able to get food from my garden.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Farm Friday

This week on the farm we finished spraying our soybeans and now have moved onto finishing up several little jobs on the farm.  We also have started working on some large projects that have been on the to do list since spring started.

The big thing that has happened this week was that is RAINED!!!  Last Friday night we received 2 1/2 inches of rain on our home farm and then on Wednesday night we received an additional 1 1/2 inches.  We have been very pleased with the amount of rain we have received, especially when out to our east things are really dry and to our north things are flooded.

The rain this week, along with great temperatures has made for great growing conditions for our crops.  The corn in my "backyard" is growing strong.

And now the corn is officially taller than me!  Here is a photo that I took of me in the corn to give you an idea of how tall it is.

The soybeans are looking great in my "hog's backyard" too.  I feel like they have really started filling-in this week.

The beans are at the V5 and V6 stages and are as high as my knee.

I hope the nice temperature and nice rainfalls continue for us throughout the rest of the growing season!  Do you have any questions about corn or soybeans?  Ask me questions in the comments section and I'll answer them in my next Farm Friday post.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Our family had a great Father's Day yesterday!  The morning started with LP and I making waffles for breakfast for My Farmer.  We didn't quite serve them in bed to him, but we did serve them to him on the couch!  

Then we headed off to church.  During the service our Pastor had everyone think of their Dad and reminisce about what we remember or think of them.  Then everyone was asked to share with someone sitting next to them.  It was great to talk to my father-in-law about his Dad and listen to some of the memories he has of him.  When I think of my Dad, I think of his smell (sounds weird, but it is one of my first thoughts) and I think about how he taught my sisters and I to be hard workers but yet still make time for yourself and have fun.

After church, My Farmer, LP and I headed down to Altoona to meet up with his family to celebrate Father's Day.  We celebrated by going to the horse raises at Prairie Meadows.  This might sound like an odd place to celebrate Father's Day but we all had a great time.  They actually make the races very family friendly, plus all of us like to gamble from time to time for entertainment.

My Father-in-law, LP and My Farmer celebrating Father's Day
Then for supper we went over to my sister Amanda and brother-in-law Brandon's house for a Father's Day grill-out with my Dad.  It was a low key evening filled with way too much food for everyone that was there and lot of good conversation.

Me, LP and My Dad celebrating Father's Day
It was great to spend yesterday with all of our family.  We fill very blessed that all of our family lives within 100 miles of each other.

I also feel very blessed to have such a loving and great husband who has become a wonderful Dad.  It is so much fun to see how much LP looks up to him even at such a young age.  For LP, anything Dad does is very cool and he wants to be there doing whatever right alongside him - from being in the tractor, to eating new foods.  Happy Father's Day!

LP and My Farmer
(I must have caught My Farmer talking to LP - he was trying to have him smile!)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Farm Friday

This week on the farm we finished spraying Round-up on corn, as well as side-dressing corn.  We also have started spraying our soybeans with Round-up and Assure II herbicide; the Assure II kills grass and volunteer corn.  Besides doing all of this field work we have been praying for rain.  Things are extremely dry in our area and we'd love a good soak or two!

Despite the lack of rain, the corn and beans keep on growing.

To give you an idea of how tall the corn is I walked a couple rows into the corn field.  The corn is at my chest or higher, granted I'm 5'2" tall, but still, it is quite a bit higher than it looks from the road.

As for our soybeans they too have been growing nicely.

When looking close at the soybeans you can see that they are at the V3 development stage.

V3 soybean plant - 3 trifoliate leaves unrolled
One other thing I'd like to show you today is that I noticed when I was crop scouting this morning that our local cooperative was hauling corn out from its "pile."

Temporary corn pile storage is common in our area during the fall.  There is so much corn that comes into our local elevator that they don't have enough bin storage or can't truck or rail it out fast enough, so they store the corn under a covered pile.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Travel Midwest

I promised in my "Purple, Girls, Healthy and More" post last week that I'd explain about Girls and Healthy at a later time, well today I'm going to explain Girls, as well as talk about the Fly In To Fly Over Country initiative going on right now.

At the beginning of the month I had my annual "Girl's Weekend" with my Mom and sisters.  We do it every year as my Mom's Mother's Day gift.  The criteria for the Girl's Weekend is that it must include massages, lots of good food and drinks, be an overnight, involve at least a little shopping and be a lot of fun!  We have traveled several places in Iowa for our girl's weekend and this year was no different, we celebrated our Girl's Weekend in Dubuque!

My Mom, Sisters and I at Stone Cliff Winery in Dubuque
We started out our Girl's Weekend by slowly traveling over to Dubuque.  You see my sister Amanda and I live about 100 miles away from each other and my Mom and sister Rachel live in between, so in order to get everyone in one car it takes a little time and usually means we don't take a direct path to where we are going.  So I figured on our way east to Dubuque we should visit my county's town seat, Hampton.  We started our Girl's Weekend by doing plenty of shopping in Hampton.  This town offers a wide variety of specialty shops.  Great shops to check out in Hampton include (but are not limited to) Freckled Dandelion (baby and kids clothing, books and toys boutique), Orange Possum (teen and young female adult clothing and accessories), Wood Cellar (home decor and gifts), Cornerstone Cottage (home decor, books, gifts, bath & body shop) and Cornerstone Cottage Kids (kids books, games and room decor).

After our shopping in Hampton we traveled the rest of the way to Dubuque and got settled in at the historic Hotel Julien.  After checking-in to the hotel we checked out the downtown area including Cable Car Square, went out to eat at Crust, and then drank wine and listened to live music at Stone Cliff Winery and Star Brewery.

Star Brewery and Stone Cliff Winery, Dubuque
My favorite wines at Stone Cliff were their Riesling and Red Fox.  I recommend going to Stone Cliff Winery because besides being a fun atmosphere and good wine, it is right along the Mississippi River and the River Walk.

Mississippi River Walk, Dubuque
On the second day of our Girl's Weekend the big thing we did was get massages at Potosa Spa.  The massages were great and we all loved to spa amenities and atmosphere.

My Mom, Sisters and I love traveling Iowa, and I love exploring Iowa with my family too!  And that is why I encourage all of you to join the Fly In To Fly Over Country: Travel Midwest facebook page.  This campaign was started last month when National Geographic's Aric Queen announced he would be traveling the United States on a "Classic American Roadtrip."  The only downfall of this roadtrip was that it started on the East Coast, went down South and then over to Los Angeles - completing bi-passing the Midwest!  As a child many of my favorite family vacations were in the Midwest including the Badlands, Deadwood and the Corn Palace in South Dakota, Hannibal, St. Louis and Kansas City in Missouri, and Springfield in Illinois.

If the Fly In To Fly Over Country: Travel Midwest facebook page gets 300 likes by next week National Geographic has agreed to talk with Deb Brown from Iowa about traveling to the Midwest.  So please help this effort to showcase why the Midwest is so great by joining the facebook page and spreading the word to your friends.  Also, check out the groups's Pinterest page too.

What do you think makes the Midwest special?  Where have been some of your favorite Midwest vacation spots?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Green Thumb Journey

I promised a couple weeks ago in my original "Green Thumb Journey" post that I'd give an update on my garden today.  I'm proud to say that things are going pretty well.

My pumpkin and gourd garden (photo above) has many plants that have popped out from the ground.  Looking at the photo it looks like I need to do some weeding, but I have to admit it is hard to weed a pumpkin and gourd patch when you know they'll grow through anything!

Here a look at my salsa garden (photo above).  I weeded on Sunday but I see I need to do it again already.  I thought about taking a picture after I weeded it the other day but figured by today it wouldn't be that bad...

Both my tomato plants (photo above) and pepper plants (photo below) are flowering now.  I took the milk jugs off my tomato plants on Sunday, and a couple of my pepper plants are getting ready to grow out of the top of their tiles.

My radishes (photo above) still need a little bit longer.  I picked a couple today and the ones I picked tasted good at dinner!  I hope to have all my radishes ready by Sunday so I can give some to my Dad on Father's Day - I know he'd really like that.  And if they aren't done by Sunday I have some relatives coming to Iowa next week that hopefully I'll be able to share some with.

 The best part of gardening this year is that LP is able to be a part of it more.  Last year I did everything while he took naps and now he is out in the garden with me every day helping.  He loves carrying the watering can to the hydrant and playing in the dirt!

How are your gardens coming along?  Any advice on gardening for someone trying to become a "Green Thumb"?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Farm Friday

Happy Farm Friday!  This week on the farm we have been busy cultivating and spraying.  The purpose of row crop cultivating is to take out the volunteer corn in our corn on corn fields.  The photo below is of My Farmer cultivating earlier this week.  You have to be very careful while cultivating, because one wrong jerk of the wheel and you will take out your corn rows!

Another interesting thing about this photo is that it shows some egg layer houses in the background.  Iowa is the top producer of eggs in the nation.
My "backyard" corn field is growing nicely.  Things are a little dry, but other than that, things are going well.

The corn is above my waist and quite a bit of it is chest high.  So much for "knee high by the Fourth of July." 

Our dog Bailey playing in the corn field
Moving onto my "hog's backyard".  Our soybeans are now all up out of the ground.  We had some cooler weather that caused some soybeans to stay under the ground till it warmed up a little bit more.

Probably in the next week or so we will begin spraying our soybeans to get rid of any weeds and volunteer corn that is in the fields.

If you look at the soybean plants you can see that they are at the V1 growth and development stage.  V1 means that their first trifoliate leaf is unfolded.  In the photo below I am trying to show the trifoliate leaf, as well as the second trifoliate leaf in the process of unfolding.  Once that second trifoliate leaf unfolds the plant will be at the V2 stage.

Hope you have a great weekend.  Feel free to leave comments and/or questions.  I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Purple, Girls, Healthy and More

You might be wondering what Purple, Girls, Healthy and More means.  Well, short answer means things have been busy this last week.  Over the next week I'm planning on talking about some of those things.

Today I'd like to explain Purple.  This past Friday my family and I participated in a Relay For Life in Boone, Iowa.

My sister Rachel, LP, brother-in-law Brandon, sister Amanda and me (my Mom was taking the photo)
Our team was in memory of one of my Dad's cousins, Denny, who passed away earlier this year from brain cancer.  The team was filled with many family members.  Here is a photo of most of our team:

Besides Denny, my family also walked in memory of my cousin Jake and my grandpa Gil.

We had a lot of fun walking all night.  Even LP walked an entire lap around the track!

The Boone relay raised $65,350.92 to FIGHT against CANCER.  If you haven't participated in a Relay yourself check out more information about Relay for Life in your area and get involved.  1 out of every 100 Americans participates in a Relay for Life event.