As for me and my house we will serve the Lord....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Corn and sunflowers

Well, I was gone for five long weeks, at least three of which were hot and dry; so things are looking rather brown in the fields. Garry was hoping for some rain to keep the corn growing a month ago, instead he got weeks of over 40 C (over 100 F) weather. He says it was so hot there wasn't even any dew in the mornings.

Here is a photo of me in one of the corn fields yesterday, holding an ear of corn, luckily there are ears on the stalks as you can see, but there won't be any 100 bushel an acre corn as he had hoped earlier this year.
They were only able to purchase one of the bunkers at the barn site

Unfortunately, there wasn't a rainy day until last week, long after the corn stopped growing. Three weeks ago they chopped silage, now I have photos of the full silage bunker. Since we don't have giant piles of old tires to hold the plastic covering the pile down, it is covered with dirt. There was a mix-up while doing this, as one part of the plastic that still needed to be pulled out from under the folded plastic to cover the rest of the pile ended up under the dirt on the side Garry was not working on. They were dumping the dirt on with the tractor bucket, but had to spend hours moving the dirt off that area with shovels to free the plastic to cover the pile correctly. This year they were able to purchase good quality silage plastic (thick, white on one side, black on the other) to cover the pile, last year they had some very thin clear "film" as it is called here.

They are chopping fresh sudangrass for the cows everyday, so they have not opened the bunker to feed any of the corn silage, saving it for wintertime eating! The corn is drying nicely, they hope to find a combine to do some of the early planted fields so they can use it for grain for feeding the cows, since they ran out of last years and have had to feed some of the remaining wheat, which they plan to use to plant some of the fields in winter wheat next month. They have made arrangements to purchase some additional wheat seed for planting also.

Monday they had Vitaly's combine out to do some of the sunflowers. Some of the farmers in the village have already combined sunflowers and they have been getting about half a ton, so Garry and Maxim pleased to get more than two in the field where they had planted the expensive seed. Unfortunately, one of the bags of expensive Sygenta seed they bought this spring was counterfeit, so that one field did less than half of the real stuff, only 700 kilograms. The rest of the sunflowers are not ready to combine yet, and are not as good, because they were planted with the cheaper Ukrainian seed. At least they weren't planted with expensive counterfeit seed!  

Another guy to feed dinner to, you need to feed the guy driving the combine. Yesterday I made stuffed peppers, Garry showed up at noon with the guys working over at the barn, but dinner had just gone into the oven, so they got to relax for half and hour. So there was Garry, Maxim B, Andrey and the two orphan guys, Nikolei and his brother that are living here until they move into the boys house with the rest of the students. Max Rudei, who eats at home now that he is married, took a dinner for the combine dinner as we sat down.  As Garry was cutting the last two peppers in half to offer them to the boys for seconds, Andrey reminded him that Sasha, who is driving the tractor that has been discing fields to prepare them for planting wheat needed dinner too.We filled another plastic container with a stuffed pepper, extra filling, macaroni and coleslaw, add a fork and a couple slices of bread. They took it with them when they left to finish getting ready for pouring cement in the afternoon and I got back to peeling tomatoes to can.

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