Posts Tagged ‘extension plot’

Plot Prep

Really, if you ever get tired of my alliterations, talk to my mom.    I think it is a genetic thing…. so it would be her fault.   🙂

In honor of “one of those days”, I’m having my second cup of hot cocoa.   🙂   But with YOU so that is a good thing, right?   😉

(No, I don’t swirl it… I’m the mom, NOT the daughter!  😉 )

It is time.

The 2 corn plots are slated to go in tomorrow.

Yes, 2.  It is a new thing this year.  Our usual County Extension  corn on beans as well as a new plot, corn on corn.  Planting corn… into either last year’s bean field or last year’s corn field.   Many like seeing results from both.

So with 2 plots going in, it isn’t just an afternoon event.   (which in the past netted them cinnamon rolls….)   Eight a.m. is the start time so…

I’ll have 2 batches of Applesauce-Oatmeal muffins for 9:30.

Lunch will come about 11:30 —

  • ham & cheese sandwiches
  • carrot sticks
  • chips
  • cookies
  • drinks from the cooler

So today I’ve made the dough for the homemade buns.  It is in the frig until late afternoon. Then I’ll shape them, let them rise, & bake them tonight.  I’ll assemble the sandwiches in the morning.

I have sugar cookie dough in the frig cooling as well.  I plan to bake them as soon as the oven is available.  I’m not doing frosting which wouldn’t travel as well, just colored sugar on top.  I’m sure they won’t mind too much.  I like to think that Phil thinks that’s how round sugar cookies are just made.  Without frosting!!    🙂

In the oven now are Outrageous Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter cookies.  YUM!!  All before 10:30 a.m.!!    🙂

I have Sunny D, diet Pepsi, Root Beer, & water bottles getting cool in the garage frig.  As the ice tray gets full in the kitchen frig, I bag it up for the freezer to have for the coolers tomorrow.

And honestly, I’m really hoping I see time with my dear Bernina and my 09 BOM that I have going.   I started the 3rd to last month the other day!! Yahoo!!  It wants me…

Here’s my helper…


But once again with her head smashed along something!   She tried to then lay along the counter in front of the mixer area, the oven, and the sink.  I said, “No way!!” and she is now sleeping in the office.  A great place to keep an eye on the back door.   😉

JP isn’t helping as he is in the final stretch of this semester.

A LOT of math problems needing a LOT of scrap paper!

K is in her 3rd week of no-day-off.  In fact, yesterday she RAN the place!! On a MONDAY no less, when everyone and his brother like to call in.  Her receptionist took the day off.  Her assistant quit a month ago and hasn’t been replaced.  The owner’s son was out signing papers for their new house.  The owner was at the son’s house babysitting the recovering from surgery dog that can’t be left alone.  The owner’s husband was AWOL.   Oh… and it was payday so all the natives kept coming in the office looking for money.  K had 4 brides with appointments, all showed, and another one was a walk-in.


I’m so thankful that my husband has a job that he loves,  my son is working hard with his college classes, and my daughter has a great job.

Because so many in our Sonlight forum family are hurting. I’m praying for Jannette and baby Rosi, Eliz & Megan, Denise, and Jonelle.  None of them are ever far from my mind….

An don’t EVER think you aren’t smart enough to home school your kids!!  JP’s math this semester is on the computer with a video teacher.  Then he goes 2x a week to a classroom and has a professor there as well.   The video prof was working a huge algebra problem in yesterday’s lesson …. “using this 1 here, 2 times 1 is 4…” and proceeded to then mess up the whole problem!  Ack!!  I pay good money for these classes…..

I know they introduced “new math” to us in the 70’s but this is NUTS!!

That’s my day….  but not nearly everything on my mind.   😉

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In an effort to provide further explanation about the county plots, I give you this post!  

Phil has been hosting the county extension plots for many years.   He provides the land & labor as well as any fertilizer & such as needed.

Various seed companies donate 1/2 a bag of seed in however many varieties as they choose.  They can enter up to 3 varieties per company.    They are asked to help with either planting and/or harvest of the crop.   They also pay a fee to be part of the plot.

I just counted from the results pages.   This year there were 14 companies in the soybean plot and 14 companies in the corn plot.  There were 38 varieties of corn & soybeans in each plot.   I don’t think they try to make them the same numbers!  

Because we rotate our crops, the corn & soybean plots rotate their locations each year.  Both are easily accessible.  One is on our highway with lots of exposure and the other just around the corner so anyone can stop to see the plots.  The sign is nearby.  

So we end up with a wide variety of corn or soybean companies.  Each variety is planted as we plant any other field and there are 6 rows for each variety.   Phil plants them all the same, treats them the same, and they get the same weather.  

When the crop is harvested, the extension workers keep accurate records of how each variety of seed produced.   The amount of bushels for each variety, the moisture, and test weight.  This information is compiled in one form and sent back to the seed company dealers as well as local farmers.  Everyone can see how each seed variety produced on our farm.

Many plots are hosted by seed companies.   They are able to show how their seed out-performs the other seed companies they have used in their plot.   However, one would wonder if the records are straight when the sponsoring seed company frequently comes out on top.

The difference in our plot is that it is sponsored by the county extension office, not a specific seed company.   There isn’t any favoritism to any particular company.   We are also no-till/minimum tillage farmers so you can get results for that kind of farming and the extension office is helping to promote the neighboring conservation office’s work.

The planting day and the harvest day each go slower for Phil because of only making one pass at a time.  Then the planter or combine has to be emptied and reloaded.   Someone keeps accurate records and each pass is marked with which variety is where.

My part in plot days is to help Phil get ready (early lunch, calls if necessary, clear JP’s school schedule) and to provide snacks and drinks for the 2 sets of workers.  (one on each end of the field)  Before driver’s licenses for the dc, I was also the chauffeur for when Phil was ready for their help.

Several years ago, it was difficult getting one of the plots scheduled for planting.  Phil had to do it on a Saturday which meant it would be hard to get the helpers there.  That year the team included Phil & his dad (always there anyway), one county extension worker, and our 2 kids.   It actually went really well.  Maybe not so much “chat” inbetween the work.

It is interesting to Phil to see the detailed records of yields for all the seed varieties.  The workers seem to enjoy the camaraderie and snacks!  

Does this help explain it?  Ask what other questions this has brought up!  I’ll answer short answers in the comments section.  

And for your viewing pleasure…. this is out my kitchen window this afternoon.   Yesterday these branches were coated quite heavily.  Today’s blowing snow forced me to return home and miss my aqua aerobics class.  That made me grumpy!   :p

1st-big-snow-nov-30-dec-11 8

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