Archive | September 2017

Harvest 101 — What Happens During Harvest?

When the soybean crop is mature, as it is today, a combine is used to pick the soybeans from a field.

In this view from inside a combine, one can see the part of the field that has been picked and the part that has not been picked.

The combine fills with soybeans after going from one end of the field to another. When the combine is full, soybeans are unloaded into wagons, or a semi-trucks, waiting in the field.

Several wagons and trucks may wait in a field to be loaded. When all the soybeans are picked from one field, the combines, trucks, and wagons, move to another field.

When each wagon and truck is full, it is driven from a field to a bin site, and soybeans are unloaded into bins, where the soybeans are stored to be sold and delivered at a later date.

The window of opportunity for harvest is short. Harvest cannot begin until the crop is mature, but harvest should be completed before the snow falls. Lots of extra help is required to operate all the equipment and complete harvest quickly. We are very thankful to those who work with us during harvest.

This entry was posted on September 30, 2017.


Dear Reader, I wrote a poem for you. The name of the poem is:



Silver rays of early sunshine reflecting off fully ripe golden corn.

Slight, light fog lying over unkempt creek beds.

Pale blue sky, on the horizon almost white blue, and not a single cloud.

With the clearest, crispest air, one can see for miles over the rolling fields.


Orange maples and circular grain bins mark homesteads

With barbed wire fence lines as relics of roaming livestock:

A silent symphony played on God’s rich earth

Celebrating Iowa’s abundant harvest.



This entry was posted on September 29, 2017. 3 Comments

Social Justice and Racial Equality

All citizens of the United States should have equal access to opportunity and justice. This idea is enshrined in a founding document of our country. The Declaration of Independence says:

“… all men are created equal… they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”[i]

Our society, however, is marked by significant inequality between African Americans and White Americans.

To give just a few examples, U.S. census data reveal dramatic differences with regard to income:

In 2016, the median income of White households was $99,313, while that of Black households was $16,539 (Table 1).  In 2016, 22% of Blacks lived in poverty, while 11% percent of Whites lived in poverty (Table 3).[ii]

With regard to education, 34% of Whites had completed 4 years of college or more, while 23% of blacks had completed four years of college or more in 2016 (Table A-2).

These census figures demonstrate clearly that equality has not been achieved between White and Black Americans in their “right” to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.[iii]


According to the Bible, Proverbs 31: 9

“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”


We have a moral responsibility to recognize (not ignore), express our concern publicly (“open thy mouth”), and work to address the basic needs of the poor.

There is never a wrong place or a wrong time to call for social justice and racial equality.

And this idea is enshrined in the Bill of Rights:

“Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”[iv]

By the way, none of the founding documents of our country (The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, or the Bill of Rights) makes reference to a “flag” or what a citizen’s duty is toward a “flag.”

The flag is an important symbol to many Americans, but the status of the flag is separate from our responsibility to advocate for those less fortunate and for equality of opportunity, and the status of the flag is irrelevant to our right to freedom of speech.







This entry was posted on September 28, 2017. 8 Comments

Apple Butter

So here is the deal: Your husband wants to watch his favorite football team on TV and you want to keep him company, but you feel you must accomplish something. Making Apple Butter can be accomplished (mostly) in the front of the TV. It is easy, but certain parts are a bit time consuming, so why not watch TV while you are doing it?

Apple Butter Basic Recipe

Peal, quarter and core enough apples to fill a 6-8 quart (QT) heavy pot (saucepan) about 2/3’s full.

(Do not add water or anything.)

Cook, stirring regularly but not constantly, until apples are soft and mushy.

Add 2 cups sugar, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves.

Simmer (low boil) stirring regularly but not constantly for 20-30 minutes.

During this time use a potato masher to smash any apple chunks that may be in the mixture.

Meanwhile wash and boil jelly jars, rims and lids.

Fill jelly jars using a wide-mouth food funnel leaving ¾ inch headspace, wipe rims of jar clean, place lids on top, and tighten rims.

Place jars in a canner or large pot, fill canner with water so that water covers jars by at least ¾ inch, bring water to a boil and boil (process) 10 minutes for jelly jars and 15 minutes for pint jars.

Remove jars from canner, keeping upright, set on counter and listen to the lids pop as they seal.

Click to see: Apple Butter tools

If you have questions, let me know using the Contact Us page on this site.

This entry was posted on September 27, 2017. 1 Comment