Winter on the Farm.

Winter on the Farm.

Winter on the farm.
It’s pretty. It means Christmas will soon be here. It means snowmobiling. It means the New Year will be here soon.
But it also means: cold.
Really, really cold.
The corn has been harvested and now the wind blows like crazy. We don’t have many trees (well actually we just have one) but we have a lot of really big buildings. This blocks a lot of the wind but it still whips around. Snow blows and drifts easily in the country. And anytime there is a major snowfall there’s no doubt the gravel roads will drift shut. When we have a blizzard the snow drifts right up by our front door, last year we had a couple of 3-4ft. drifts right outside the door. Such a nice surprise to open the door and get a face full of freezing cold snow. Wakes you right up! Thank God for tractors & buckets. Because a shovel ain’t going to cut it! We don’t have that much snow yet, maybe 6 inches so far, but it’ll come.
You would think that since gravel roads have loose gravel and have texture that they would be easier to drive on and less slick. That’s not always the case. Gravel roads are going to be the last ones the county comes out to clean, they also don’t get salt or deicer put on them before the storm or after for that matter. Last year when we had that big ice storm the gravel roads were 10x as bad as the paved roads. 4×4 is pretty much a requirement of living in the country. Well not necessarily a requirement, I know a lot of people that have cars that live in the country, but 4×4 makes your life so much easier. Just use your head, and drive safe!
The weather has been very cold this last week, and that makes everything harder. As I sit here typing this it is -1 outside, but with the windchill feels like -20. Working outside is harder, working in unheated buildings is harder, checking the mail is harder (ahem, I drive 😉 – too far to walk, may freeze to death), bringing in groceries is harder, just being outside doing anything is harder. In fact when it feels double digits below zero, it makes leaving the house harder. If you have to be outside a lot in the cold I suggest investing in a pair of Carhartt bibs, the nice insulated ones. They have nice coats that match them also, I have one and I’m happy with it. But seriously, the one thing I could not live without is my Polaris snowmobile coat. They keep you SO warm. But if you’re working or going to get dirty/greasy don’t wear this. $300 is too much for a work coat, at least for me! But for being out and about in town or obviously for snowmobiling this coat is a must.

Diesel prices & fieldwork.

A couple of days ago I went with Kyle to town to get parts and go on a service call. When we drove by Kwik Star we checked out the fuel prices. Can you believe that diesel is cheaper than gas? Unleaded gas was $4.02, super unleaded gas was $3.99, and diesel was $3.79. It’s 20-23 cents cheaper that gas! It’s been years since gas surpassed the price of diesel. Kyle even said he thought he’d “never see the day when diesel would be cheaper than gas”. I guess we’ll start having to drive Kyle’s truck around more, because you know diesel is cheaper than gas… 😉

With the long LONG winter (there was a snow storm May4th!) then a very wet start to spring it pushed backed the start of farming greatly. We’ve only been in the field for about a week!  So the men have been working from dawn til dusk (and after!) to get the corn in as quick as possible. Kyle’s been manning the shop by himself and has had some pretty long days with all the service calls to work on equipment in the fields. And it continues this weekend, he had more service calls and has been helping in the field. These are a long couple of weeks, filled with 12-16 hours days, handwork, and eating alone; it’ll be nice to have my boyfriend back (until harvest).