Friday, July 18, 2014

Organizing my Online World

I upgraded phones this week.  Seriously, it shouldn't be that hard, right?  Well, I've managed to make it very difficult!  It turns out, not everything was syncing from my iPad, iPhone, and computer like I thought it was.  So, instead of it taking a few minutes to activate my new phone, it took me a whole day.  Maybe I'm just not 'with' it anymore.  

I decided maybe I ought to organize my online life a little better.  You know - sync it.  Ha.  I started to look at everything I had and got overwhelmed in a hurry.  Baby steps.  

This social media world is overwhelming.  I want to keep up with everything, but some days I can't.  Along with social media, I also have this thing called a life.  This 'life' of mine is pretty special.  Their names are AJ, Wyatt and Charlotte.  

To those of you that are caught up in this online world:  how do you do it?  Do you create a schedule for 'online' time for both you and your family?  I'd like to know how you all work it in the (way too) fast world.  Here's a glimpse of mine:  :)


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Iowa Confluence Tour on the Blair Farm

We had another wonderful tour out to our place.  This was the Iowa Confluence Tour.  Again, we were talking about the Nutrient Reduction Strategy in Iowa, and its impacts on our farm.  We talked about some of the same things we talked about on the Environmental Discovery Tour.  We were able to talk about some of the stuff that we are currently doing with nutrient placement, timing, rates, and tillage.

Something else we focused on was adaptive management.  As farmers, we have a large impact on the land, water, and air.  We have to continually learn and grow in order to improve.  This includes conservation along with technology, crop varieties, equipment, and etc.  In order to improve we need to try new things.  One thing we do is tests, or trials, on our own farm.  When we learn something one year, we try it again, and in more places the next.  This way we can figure out if it is more profitable, more efficient, and better for our farm. 

If the Nutrient Reduction Strategy is regulated by the government, we will be limited on what we can do.  We need the ability to learn and the ability to continually improve on our farm. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

BlogHer Food 2014

I was SUPER lucky to get to go the BlogHer Food conference this year with some other moms (Julie and Janet)!  First off, I am not a 'food' blogger.  I don't tend to put recipes up, but I DO write about our farm, which is a source of food! 

First let me start with how I am associated with your (and my) food:

  1. We raise pigs.  Do you like pork?  Bacon?  Ham?  Yup, we help put those on your plate.
  2. We feed dairy heifers.  These babies eventually grow up to be milkin' mammas!  Do you like milk?  How about ice cream?  I do!
  3. We raise corn and soybeans.  A lot of those plants go to making feed for those animals I mentioned above.  They are also used in a lot of your food: soybean facts & corn facts.

Those are the three main aspects of how my farm is associated with the food that ends up on your plate. 

So, when I signed up for the conference I was pretty intimidated to think that most of the people going to this conference would be a lot more seasoned about food and blogging than this little farm girl.  Even though I was intimidated, I was excited to meet new people! 

Being a part of CommonGround we were able to meet up with some folks that have attended the #CornQuest tour through Iowa Corn in the past.  To get the conversation going, we had these awesome bracelets provided by Iowa Corn! 

Ironically, we sat down to breakfast the first morning, and we met some fellow farmers!!  I was truly amazed of how many farmers were at this conference, and how great EVERYONE at the conference was.  It was a great way to meet new bloggers, get ideas, and connect. 

I am a rookie blogger, and have a lot to learn.  Just like being a farmer, I'm so happy to have some great resources (and new friends) to refer to!  Of course, here are a few pics from the awesome event! 

We did make it to the beach.  It was beautiful.

Tofu and an expensive margarita :)

Miami night life

View from my hotel room.

You are right.  That is the Pioneer Woman.  We are tight.

Have you seen the movie Big?

I ordered a caipirinha, and got a GINORMOUS caipirinha. 
Some new friends.
Some more new friends!
And more new friends! :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 Corn Crop is In!

We finished up corn yesterday afternoon!  It's a really good feeling to know that A.J. got it in.  He had spent the last three days getting very little sleep, and now it's on to beans!  I'm somewhat happy that he got rained out yesterday evening with his first field of beans, because that meant that he was able to come in at a decent time, see the kids, and get to bed early.  This also meant that I got to go to bed early too! :-)
One crop is done and one to go.  There is still a lot to do this spring.  Day by day we will get it done!  

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Morning Chores

Saturday morning cartoons were postponed due to chores!  It is a windy morning, but the calves were happy to see us.  AJ is in the field and needed us to help out.  I'm lucky I have two happy helpers.  :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Big Toys

Planting 2014 has officially begun!  If you follow me on Twitter (see right), you saw that we got out into the field yesterday afternoon.  Of course, we all got a ride! 

Do you remember when you were little and you got a new toy? You couldn't stop smiling or thinking about it? Well, AJ got a new planter, and he can't stop smiling (believe me, it isn't for me, it's for the planter!).
We aren't a family that favors one 'color' of equipment over another. The brand of this planter is White, but it is custom made.  This means that it is the only one in the world like it!  We bought it from someone that put it together using different components from different planter companies (think of it like putting a car together using a Ford , Toyota, Chevy parts).  Some of its highlights are:
  • It is mounted on the tractor (3 point) rather than towed behind the tractor
    • There are no wheels at all on the planter which is desirable because it is hard to get to the row units to work on.
    • It folds forward rather than backward when moving from field to field (easier/safer to maneuver)
  • It has 24 rows (60 ft. wide)
  • We load the seed in the middle of the planter and the planter distributes the seed to each row from air pushing the seed out (blowing).
  • More adjustments can be made from the seat of the tractor to help with more precise placement of our seed.
  • Variable rate drives: this allows us to put different seeding rates/population on without stopping.

We are excited for spring! 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Soccer Mom: Coach Update

I was going to write about spring progress on the farm. Then it snowed (I hope you feel the disappointment that I’m trying to convey…). 

I decided to update you on my Coach Status for soccer. First off: my team is great! They are an excited bunch of 3 and 4 year olds, and their excitement is contagious!

Our first practice was great. We only got through 2 or 3 things on my list from Soccer Mom. Apparently, a half hour goes fast when you are having fun!  Instead of kicking a certain number of goals, we used it to warm up to each other (and to the soccer ball).

Last Saturday was our first two games…and pictures. It was a long day for preschoolers!  Also, out of our 6 on the team, only 4 were there.  So, not only was it a long day, but they had to play most of the time (especially when Charlotte didn’t really want to at all the second game!). 

I laughed pretty hard when they kicked the ball off in our first game, and then, NO ONE MOVED.  They looked around at everyone yelling like, “I kicked it, now what?”  Also, high-fives were something that they didn’t understand either.  So, last night at practice we worked on high-fives and scrimmaged! 

We don’t keep score for this age of soccer, which I think is a good idea.  The main thing is to (as my Grandpa George would say) get your nose hard, and HAVE FUN!  Like I said, my team is great :)   

Now, if we could keep this Iowa weather constant...