24-hour silage, endless dishes and 2 candles

Tonight is a new first for Ocheda Dairy — planning to make corn silage around the clock.    Usually, the crew works (only) 17 hours a day but we have a few more people willing to work this year and need to keep going because of the rain delays we’ve had.  I should have been suspicious when Joe decided to buy some portable light tower things last winter.

What is silage?  It is the main ingredient that we feed to cows year around in our “cow cassserole”.  It is made with the huge machine seen below.  Nearly the entire corn plant and the cob are chopped into small pieces, blown into a semi trailer, unloaded on a concrete pad, pushed onto a pile in thin layers, packed by 3 tractors, covered with a huge piece of plastic and then allowed to ferment. (Dairy farmers were the cool kids fermenting stuff before all the foodies caught onto it and starting making their own sauerkraut and pickles!)

Joe doing some fixing quickly during lunch. He always pulls up his hood and wears a dust mask for a job like this so he can breathe easier at night. Violet thought he was pretending to be a monster.

It usually takes 10 people (1 chopper, 6 semis, 3 tractors).  However, we need a lot more people than that because there is other stuff to do like fix, pick up bales, seed cover crop — not to mention milking and caring for the cows.

And that’s where the endless dishes come in…I help out by making meals.  I love to cook and serve others!  I would take a picture of my kitchen right now but I don’t want to make you cry.  Instead, here’s a picture of us enjoying lunch where we made silage last week.

Lastly, two candles.   Our precious little Violet celebrated her second birthday today.  God knew I was going to need her, as she brings me more joy and laughter than one can imagine.  I am so thankful to be her mom.

We love this time of year.  School has started out really well for the kids and Ava seems to be figuring out a kindergarten routine.  Violet is really loving the time with just me.  We miss Joe a bunch but the work has to be done and he is always ready for a challenge.

I hope these days are bringing you lots of enjoyable work, memorable evenings, and not too many dishes!


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