Harvest time on the farm is always full of expectations, preparations, excitement and a bit of stress thrown in for good measure. It is the biggest paycheck of the year so everything has to be organized and ready in order for it to be successful. Most years we grow wheat or barley and chickpeas. This year was just wheat.
In a good year, i.e. no drought, we usually have two or three extra people working for us as header drivers, chaser bin drivers and someone to run around doing whatever else needs to be done. So what this means for me is a lot of cooking! In order to prepare, approximately one month before harvest is expected to begin I’ll make several (and I mean SEVERAL) casseroles, put them in individual containers and freeze them. Once harvest has started I add little extras such as rolls, vegetables, desserts and soft drinks (for that hit of sugar to keep them going). Some farmers supply breakfast and lunch but we just provide dinner. The meals are most often eaten in the paddock so there’s a lot of driving back and forth from the house to the paddock for me.
Usually two to three months prior to harvest Philip, a.k.a. the hubby, will have the local John Deere guys come out and service the headers to make sure they’re in tip top condition and ready to start stripping when the crops are ready.
We tend to hire the same people each year so Philip has to get them lined up and organized to arrive once the crops are ready to be harvested. Fuel is another factor we have to consider so we make sure the fuel trailer is filled in plenty of time. Then it will usually have to be topped up while harvest is in progress. Once the grain is stripped it has to be carted to the silos for sale (unless it’s being stored on farm). Arrangements have to be made with a local trucking company for this cartage. Fortunately we have our own truck so that’s not an issue this year.
Ususally every other year we get a crop at our other farm. When this happens it’s a huge production to move all of the equipment. There are two headers, comb trailers, an air compressor, fuel trailer, chaser bin and tractor, mother bin, work vehicles and of course the escort vehicles! It will most likely take all day to get this entourage up to the farm which is only an hour and a half away!
Due to the drought we’ve been experiencing we were very blessed to have a wheat crop this year. We fed off close to eighty hectares to our cattle, but were able to harvest the rest. This year Philip and our son Jake were able to complete the harvesting by themselves and it only took a week (instead of the usual two to three). I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about life on our farm. Here are some more harvest photographs for you to enjoy!