Week 15: September 10, 2016

Dene assisting with the old fanning mill cleaning the rye seed.

Dene assisting with the old fanning mill cleaning the rye seed.

Catcher of Rye

Farming has been a learn-as-you-go process being neither of us has a farming background. Oftentimes, we simply don’t realize what we are getting into when we get an idea into our heads. From underestimating the necessities involved in making hay to trying to raise animals without a barn.

So this week, we found ourselves borrowing another piece of equipment to do another specialized task on the farm. We needed to clean our rye seed. Taking the grain to a mill to have it cleaned may have been an option, but then we take the risk of it being contaminated with non-organics. Shortly after we harvested the grain, our neighbor came by to buy some rye seed for planting a food plot. Being unclean, we weren’t willing to sell. He proceeded to mention he has a grain cleaner in his old barn we are more than welcome to use. Just like that! We were considering driving 60 miles and right next door, in the back of an old barn is exactly what we need.

Something similar happened two years ago when we had five acres of grass to bale for bedding. We saw an old abandoned baler and rake in the neighbor’s field. He explained it had been sitting out unused for 15 years. It was buried in the mud. A little TLC and we got the old equipment running like a charm and have used it for two years! It makes us stop and wonder what else is out there in the old barns and rock piles that we could use. A lot of the old equipment is too small or no longer useful to large scale operations. Keep your eyes peeled because we will be looking for things like a chisel plow, hay wagon, gravity bin, planters, a potato digger, etc.

This week, when we started to run our rye seed through the neighbor’s old grain cleaner, we heard their stories about hours and hours spent each fall running the year’s harvest through the old machine. Our boys began to ask questions and eventually took over the process on our farm. Turning the seeds at the end of one season, into the seeds that start the next like it was done before hybrids and seed patents.

Living back in the ol’ days,

Eric & Rebecca

Week Fifteen Newsletter

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