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Goodbye Old Friend

June 28, 2012 5 comments

Today I parted ways with and old friend of many years.  I’ve known and have spent countless hours with this friend since I was a little one myself and know every thing about er.

 I basically grew up with this friend but after realizing this friends time has come and gone, I as well as my Dad and Uncle knew it was time to cut er free, and let er go.

Now this may sound a bit silly at first but hear me out, this friend isn’t a family pet, or a family member, or anything to get too terribly attached to, it’s a piece of Iron.

Yeah, I just might have made you say WTH? in your head, or maybe you get where I’m headed here.  Either way, let me explain:

This Old Friend is a 1980s model 4600 Cultivator:

Ever since I was barely big enough to sit on my Dads or Uncles lap in the tractor cab in the spring, this cultivator was behind me, tilling the dirt, prepping the fields for planting, etc etc.  Through out the years, I can fondly remember a few memories made here and there while pulling it through the field.  I learned (as a kid) that even though you have 4 tires on the main frame, if one goes flat, the others will not be of any help getting you to the other end of the field, they work together as a team.  I also learned how to change a tire on that day.  I can remember leveling off plowed ground with it one spring and coming up on a wet spot in the field, but it didn’t look too bad.  While the tractor made it through it just fine, when this old friend hit the spot, it went down..hard, and almost stopped the tractor as well.  I also remember learning a very important lesson about changing the sweeps (the part that actually moves the soil around when in the field).

NEVER, and I mean NEVER, attempt to hold the sweep bolt down with your finger if you are using an Air Wrench to take the nut off on the other side!

 I’m sure just about every farmer knows what I’m talking about there, but incase you don’t, here’s a short explanation on what happens when you spin that nut off the back side:  Since the front of the bolt is constantly  rubbed by soil, it wears flat, and gets very sharp edges.  Now picture, your finger holding it in place then all of a sudden that bolt spins around at an RPM high enough to slice your finger open in a flash.  The usual result is something like

Son of a *#&$^#&^&@#&@*&&^$,

followed by a lot of blood, water to clean the cut, and electrical tape…farmers dont need band aids 😉

The point is, I learned a lot from this old Red Friend, and will miss it.  Well, I suppose I wont really miss it, but I will miss the memories, life lessons learned  and much more that running this rig in the field taught me.

To loosely quote a conversation between my Uncle and I this past week,  I stated that it is just a piece of Iron, which is true, but he replied (in not so many words)

 Its more than that.  Its your heritage, your memories, it’s where you came from, it’s what got you to where you are today, it’s a part of who you are.

Today, Im finding those words to be very true.

To me this picture says it all.  Years ago, when I was a kid, this tractor and cultivator were perfect in every way.  Today, the tractor and soil finisher in the background are the widely considered to be the preferred tools to use.  I’m not saying either is good or bad, just that everything has its time.  And for this old Friend, its time has come on our farm.  So maybe, someday, my kids will look back on the tractor and soil finisher in the background with memories of their own, just as I am doing now.  Maybe, they will have their own stories to tell their kids (and you), as I do.  But one thing is for sure, they too will eventually have to say:

Goodbye Old Friend, and thanks for the Memories

Friday Farm Flicks 4/27/12

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment
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Seed beans sitting in the shed. We are currently waiting for some warmer weather and a nice rain before we put these seeds in the ground.

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Our biggest surprise of the week. About 28 days ago this Hen took over our Malard Duck's nest of a few eggs and decided to hatch them on her own. She recently hatched these 4 Mallard Ducklings.

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Our first Iris bloom of the season

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A flower I can't kill!! This beautiful creation and others, made 100% from metal was created by Metals By Marla. Marla has made many creations, from Football team signs to life-size stalks of corn and everything in between. She even makes 100% custom designs. Check her out at http://www.metalsbymarla.com

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Our newly designed seed tender. We mounted a seed conveyor on the side of our wagon, which will store seed beans untill its time to plant them. A hitch on the back of the planter allows me to tow the wagon to and from the field where I can load the planter with seed.

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Loading our seed tender wagon with Soybean Seed for the first time in 2012. We arent planting yet, but are getting everything ready to go.

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Seed beans inside our seed tender wagon. Yes, Soybeans are actually Yellow, however most Soybean Seed comes with a Crop Protectant applied to it to help give it a great start when planted. The blue color comes from a dye mixed in with the seed treatment.

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Soybean seed emptying from the seed box and filling our Seed tender. Each box contains enough seed to be planted over 50 acres.

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This is our sprayer tender (nurse tanks). I am currently redesigning this tender to make it more efficient. In this pic it's currently under construction, by next weeks Friday Farm Flicks, it will hopefully be done.

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A great sunset is developing!

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Sitting idle, waiting for some warmer weather and rain to put moisture back in the ground before we begin planting soybeans.

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Our first field of field corn (planted over a week ago) is beginning to emerge.

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My little mans School Project. The goal was to make something, anything, out of 100% recycled materials. He wanted to make a Robot. A pizza box, 7 water bottles, a milk jug, a paper towel roll and a MC'ds drink holder later, we have a new life-size Robot complete with a bobble head and hat and he can stand on his own!

Farming Truly a way of Life. Thanks to Ranch House Designs for this pic.

Yesterday, the Department of Labor backed down from creating legislation which would regulate what a Child (under 18) both could and couldn't do on their own and other Family Farms. If the DOL would have proceeded and passed the new regulations, a person under 16-18 years old would not be legally allowed to do even basic chores around their own farm. The DOL found much opposition on many fronts to their proposal and backed down yesterday.

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This field was planted over a week ago. If you look closely you can see the Corn starting to emerge.

This week has proven to be an interesting one here at Boucher Farms.  New life has arrived in the form of Ducklings and Corn alike, proving Spring brings a new beginning.  Thank you for stopping by Off the Cobb and God Bless!

Matt

Giving it up, a 40 day Facebook and other Socail Media Detox

March 21, 2012 3 comments

Since I was a child, I was always taught that I should give up something for lent, which I do to this day, and I am not alone in this philosophy.  Most people Ive talked to about it say they have given up one of their favorite things such as certain type of Soda Pop, a type of candy or candy all together.  Some others have instead pledged to do something positive for the season.  For example, spending more time with family, a young sister being nicer to their brother, etc.

So I asked myself, what should I give up for this Lenten Season this year?  I tossed a few ideas around, but then I came back to what I gave up last year, which was my Facebook Mobile ap on my phone.  I understand some of you may be laughing right now, some of you may be rolling your eyes or maybe you get it.  Yes it sounds silly.   However, I found that I was spending an, well lets call it, unhealthy amount of time on FB Mobile.  The result was less quality time spent with my family and less day-to-day productivity on my farm.  So I decided to give up Facebook Mobile again this year for lent.

Now before you say, boy that’s easy, I will honestly say it’s not!  Picture yourself staying in touch with your friends throughout the day every day, then all at once, nothing.  Only phone calls, no FB texts, no profile updates, no viral video recommendations from that kid you went to grade school with who you don’t really know at all and so on.   We all know how Facebook can suck you in, and its hard to ignore.

As of today, its been about 3 weeks since I’ve last been on FB Mobile.  At first I was concerned I would be missing out on all the stuff going on on FB every day.  I thought Id miss out on the news and pictures my friends post.  What I found was that I was actually missing out on more when I was on the Ap as much as I was.  I missed out on family, on work, …..on everything.  Now I’m not saying FB or other social media is bad, in fact it has its place, but in moderation.

Going into the week before Easter, I plan on taking another huge step.  For that week, I have decided to delete my Twitter, Google+ and FB aps from my phone and will not be on their websites unless totally and absolutely necessary.  I call it:

The Facebook and Other Social Media DETOX Project.

For those 7 days.  I will fall off the social media grid in every capacity except for this blog.  Thats right, No FB, No YouTube, No Tweets, No Words with Friends, No StumbleUpon, No…well you get the idea.    For those 7 days my smart phone will basically be used as regular phone, with only Phone Calls, Text messages and a few (non online) games in use.  After being an active part of social media for years now, this wont be an easy thing to accomplish.

 I encourage you to join me in this Project and post your thoughts in the comments below.  

It all Starts this coming Monday and ends on Easter Sunday. 

Feel free to check back to this blog often as I will periodically post how things are going and post a summary after Easter is over.

Thank you for reading and God Bless!

As a disclaimer: I must say I dont believe Social Media is bad in any way, in fact it has become an awesome force in changing the world of communications, however, I believe sometimes, we need to step away from it to see what is physically around us.

Will the Real Santa Clause please stand up

December 9, 2011 1 comment

Christmas time is special in so many ways, first there are the very important religious reasons, then secondly its a special time of the year for our kids.  When I was a child, I knew there was the real Santa, and there were Santa’s Helpers too.  I knew that most of the time the Santa’s at the mall were just Santa’s Helpers who would ask your name and what you wanted for Christmas.  However, every so often, the REAL Santa would be at the mall.  When saw the real Santa it was exciting!  He never asked me for my name, he knew it.  He wouldn’t ever ask me how old I was, he knew that too.   He would already know I went to the doctor a few days ago, would already know how I was doing in school….he would already know…well… everything!   Honestly!  I knew, I was one of the few lucky kids to actually meet the REAL Santa.

Years went by, and I had no reason not to believe in the big man, after all he knew everything about me to the point it was kinda scary (but not really).  As I got older and began to put two and two together I began to ask more logical questions and figure things out.

How is it possible for Santa enter someones, well everyone’s, home in one night, and deliver all those presents throughout the world?

How is it possible for Santa to know what everyone wants and needs?

How is it possible for Santa to know how good or bad ALL little boys and girls have been all year?

The list can go on and on.  But, since the REAL Santa knew everything about me, how could it not be true?

Although to this day I still believe in Santa (Ill explain below), I eventually came to realize there was something  fishy.  Although I don’t remember how I figured it out, I found out that a cousin of mine on my Moms side was a Santa’s Helper at the mall (aka the REAL Santa).  I also found out that Mom was feeding this REAL Santa information he could tell me so I would believe he was the REAL Santa.  For that, I cannot thank my Mom and Dad enough for making the Santa aspect of the Christmas season an extra special one for me.  While most kids had the chance to go to see Santa, tell him their name and what they wanted, I had the chance to go to a Santa who already knew me, as well as what I was going to ask him for.  How cool was that!

As I said before, I do believe in Santa to this day.  Although I do realize that it is impossible for one individual to deliver all those presents all over the world in one night, to know all about every childs wants, and to keep track of the naughty and nice lists, I  do believe that Santa exists, well, figuratively anyhow.  To understand what I mean, lets define what Santa is:

Definition of Santa (in my opinion):

Someone who cares about someone else so much that they are willing to go to great lengths and do seemingly impossible things with the intentions of filling that person full of joy, while asking for nothing in return.  The Real Santa has little to do with gifts, rather he has everything to do with family, togetherness, and being there for one another.

While this definition may not fit everyone’s idea of Santa, to me, that’s what the idea of Santa is all about.  Bringing joy to others while asking for nothing in return is Santa job or life choice if you will.  Does this sound similar to another choice in life?  I believe it sounds like what a parent does for his or her children.  Parents constantly give of themselves to their children while asking for nothing in return.  So is a parent the REAL Santa?  I believe so (in more ways than one)

Through ups and downs of life, I know my parents have always been and continue to be my REAL Santa’s just as they were when I was a child.  When walking through the mall every year, I am reminded of my experiences with the big man in Red and I find myself being very thankful for the REAL Santa’s in my life.

Merry Christmas!

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