By Nicole Small, KSWB Blogger of the Month for May
May’s theme is Grow Your Garden. I have to be honest, I do have a very small garden, but my full time job as a farmer keeps me so busy that my garden only consists of a few tomatoes, broccoli, hot peppers and onions. We love fresh salsa all summer long. In fact some nights in the middle of wheat harvest, salsa is all we want to eat when we get home.
If you don’t mind, I’d like to take you on a tour of our wheat fields. They are not golden just yet. In fact, the wheat is actually pollinating this week here in southeast Kansas.
Yes, wheat has flowers and pollen!
In a few weeks, the combines will be rolling through the golden wheat fields. It is a very stressful time for all of us involved.
It includes early mornings and late nights.
It includes unexpected breakdowns that are often very expensive.
It includes joys of fields that yield more than expected and the disappointment of fields that don’t produce enough to cover the costs.
As you drive by the fields, look out for slow-moving equipment. I can honestly say we don’t want to be in your way. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you follow that slow combine or tractor, and remember that following them for 2 miles is the same as sitting through two stoplights in the city.
The wheat in our area looks so much better than the wheat just a few miles west of us. Wheat likes dry weather, but not drought conditions like much of our state is experiencing. We even had dust storms here a few weeks ago.
I haven’t driven west this year. Last year, I went on a wheat scouting trip with my brother, and I have been told it is much worse than last year. I did hear one western Kansas farmer say last week, “Our ancestors were able to live through the Dust Bowl and the 1950s, and we will too.”
If you want to meet someone who is truly an optimist, talk to a farmer. He takes a tiny seed, plants it in the soil, and in his heart he knows that the seed will take care of him and his family for the next year.
Have you ever gotten to experience wheat harvest? From the highway? From the cab? What would you like to know about Kansas wheat?
Nicole Small is a mom, farmer, rancher, farm wife, volunteer, short order cook, baker and blogger at Tales of a Kansas Farm Mom.