Monday, August 25, 2014

The Iowa State Fair

We had a beautiful day at the Iowa State Fair this year!  82 degrees and sunshine!

We had a lot of fun: 

Pigs ARE good for Iowa!

Listening to Governor Branstad.

Coloring at the Iowa Food and Family Project sand sculpture (very cool!)

My name on the ISU Alumni wall!

The giant slide (AJ and Wyatt coming down).

My (and the kids) favorite part was the "Little Hands on the Farm" exhibit.  It is a wonderful way to involve kids in where their food comes from.  It takes you from the farm to all the way to the grocery store.  You turn in your soybeans for soy biodiesel, and your other "commodities (corn, eggs, pork, milk, etc.)" for money.  Then you get to go to the store to buy something!  Super cool!  Each stop seemed realistic.  The feed was like what we actually feed our pigs and cows.  The photos were of what you might actually see on the farm.  Just by seeing and feeling those things - they now have a great start of what a real working farm might look like.

My kids see most of what we saw at the fair on a regular basis.  They know that the hamburger on our plate came from a cow on a farm.  They know that the bacon they eat came from a pig like we have in our barns.  They know that the vegetables on the table have been grown by a farm.  They already have an idea of the practices used every day to get that food on their plate.  

I wonder how new the "Little Hands on the Farm" exhibit is for other kids (and their parents)?  If it is new, will it spark an interest to find a farm and visit it?  To ask more questions?  I really hope it has!  

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Another trip around the sun!

Happy birthday to my dear Wyatt!  As my uncle would say another trip around the sun :).

Five years seems really old, yet it seems like only yesterday we were at the hospital.  I know it gets faster from here but I'm happy to say i'm in the moment!

He was able to give us a few more ideas on what he wanted for his birthday this year: 

A big black dump truck.

Taco pizza from Casey's for his favorite meal.

And Caterpillar tractor with the wagon for his cake!
All the credit for the cake go to his grandma and his dad.  I'm not that creative!

Happy birthday Wyatt.  We love you!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mikey the Bull

Mikey is our new addition to the pasture last night.  Wyatt named him Mikey - from the Ninja Turtles.

Mikey was let out into the pasture with the girls and next spring we will have some new baby calves! From what I gather, I think the girls were interested in the new 'man' in town. :)
Charlotte has had the best quotes:
"Will the bull be a girl or a boy?" (She now knows that bulls are the daddies).  
When she found out AJ was home with Mikey she asked "will he come inside?" and I could sense some concern in her voice!

Welcome to the farm Mikey!  

Charlotte meets Mikey
Wyatt meets Mikey
Mikey had a long trip to the Blair farm.  He was ready to roam!

I'm glad we have such good help!
Checking to make sure it all looks okay :)

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!