Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Farm Question: What is Custom Farming?

In my last post about the end of Harvest 2015, I mentioned we still had 250 acres of "custom work" left to do.  As I reread the paragraph, I wondered if anyone out there knew what I was talking about, so I thought I would use this post to explain  custom farming and the other ways we farmers can farm ground.

For many years, we have headed down to Warren County to help a friend maintain his farm.  We plant it and harvest the crops for a set fee, and he and his family pay all "inputs," that means seed, fertilizer, and any other nutrients the ground might need, and they receive all the profits.  This is called custom farming.  Iowa State University defines it as "An alternative to leasing farmland is custom farming. The custom operator agrees to perform all the machine operations on the owner’s land in exchange for a set fee or rate. The landowner pays for all seed, chemicals, and other inputs, and keeps all of the crop and commodity payments."   We also refer to Iowa State's list of current custom rates when we set that price for the work we do. 

It's kind of fun to go down to Farmer Tim's and work because, unlike most of our ground, his ground is rolling with many what I would call hills to go up, down, and around.  Its's pretty crazy to see the grain cart several feet lower or higher that the auger on the combine!


Not so hilly.

Other methods of farming are:

1. Owning the land you farm.  Tall Guy and I do own ground. :-)

2. 50% - 50%.  We do this on my family farm.  50-50 means that we share 1/2 of the bills and 1/2 of the profit with my mom and dad.  We also farm on variable percentages with the ground Tall Guy's family owns. It gets a bit complicated because there is a family corporation, and the generation before TG owns ground together, but TG, Gpa, family members, and accountants have figured all the numbers out to a good working relationship.

3. Cash rent: "Cash rent lease agreements are popular because the lease is simple, the rent is fixed, and the owner is relieved of making operating and marketing decisions. Likewise, the tenant has maximum freedom to plan and develop the cropping and livestock programs. The risk and returns from changing prices, yields, and costs are all borne by the tenant." (from Iowa State).

I am a huge Purdue fan, but we usually head to Iowa State's website when we want farm information. I bet that makes Jennifer Eck Campbell, at The Farmwife Feeds and Casey Campbell happy :-)

Have an awesome weekend, a safe Halloween, and don't forget to turn your clocks back tomorrow night before you go to bed......."The goblins will get you if you don't watch out~!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Pictures from Harvest 2015

Happy to say that our harvest here at Wallpe Farms finished up late Saturday night.  Now we just have about 250 acres of custom work to do, one field to work ground on, and we will be 100% done with our fall work.  Today I thought I would share some pictures from Harvest 2015.

This last one was taken right after we came home Saturday night.  Just one toast to the end of our harvest, and then we rolled into bed for a peaceful sleep.  It's always easier to sleep after harvest is in the bins~! 

Happy Wednesday~! 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Healthy Egg Muffins

One Healthy Egg Muffin is the best go-to-grab breakfast for families scrambling  to get out the door in the morning. Full of nutrition-packed veggies and your favorite extras, Healthy Egg Muffins will fit anyone's morning rush.

I'm telling you, I can't imagine anyone's morning more scrambled than a farmer's kitchen during harvest.  With the girls hustling to get on the bus at 7:30, and Tall Guy and Gpa biting at the bit to get out and "gitter done,"  there isn't always time for a hot breakfast.  We are headed to our last corn field today, with the hope that we get everything finished before the rain hits sometime in the middle of next week.  It's been a quick harvest with all this dry weather, but that also means very little downtime for those in the tractors, combine, and trucks.  It has, however, made for some lovely picture moments.  Here are a few:

I've been doing a bit of everything this harvest since Nick started helping us.  Remember this post?
He has been a huge help to us, but I have to admit a wee bit of envy as I have not had as much seat time in the combine.  With Nick driving the auger cart, and Tall Guy and Gpa taking turns in the combine and semis, I have been fixing lunches, helping move from field to field, and running to the elevator with corn samples to be tested.  I'm really not complaining because the girls did not finish up volleyball and soccer until last week.  They had me running most every night somewhere.  I'm super excited to tell you Tall Guy took time out of the field to come watch Bear's final match of the County Tourney.  We came in second, but the girls played a good game, and I know one little lady who was so happy her dad was there to watch.  I will catch you all up on the goings on around here in later posts.. I PROMISE!~

So... back to the morning hustle.  I cannot eat a bowl of cereal and be happy until lunch.  I.Need.Protien!  Eggs are my go to, but sometimes there just isn't time for me to do all the prep for those omelettes I love.  This recipe for Healthy Egg Muffins came from somewhere, but I honestly can't remember where, and the recipe is VERY loose.  That's what I like about it.  You can make each muffin to suit each family member's tastes, or you can get rid of all those half-used veggies, cheese and meat in your know what I'm talking about!  Let's put this recipe together

Healthy Egg Muffins

*I have to tell this is "loose" recipe, but for those who love to meticulously measure, I have used specific amounts.  Use any vegetable you like or don't use any at all.  I would have used bacon, but someone ate my cooked stash!

8 Jumbo eggs

1/2 C.  Milk, half and half, or cream

Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

1/2  red pepper chopped

1/2  red onion chopped

1/2 yellow pepper chopped

8 baby bella mushrooms sliced and halved

1/4 pound of  shaved ham. *use any or all of your favorite breakfast meats

8 oz. shredded cheese

To Make:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease with your choice of oil/spray/butter a jumbo muffin pan

2.  Crack eggs into a mixing bowl, add milk and seasonings and whisk together.

3.  Chop up all the veggies and meat in to small cubes

4.  Ladle egg mixture into the muffin cups.

5.  Sprinkle your veggies and meats into each cup. Put all leftover veggies and meats in containers and store for the next round of muffins or omelettes!

6.  Top with cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes.  The tops of the muffins should raise to a mound shape.

I ate the last muffin as I finished this post.  Tall Guy found them and had two!  Now it's off to see if we can finish that last corn field and return to our normal state of crazy.  Be safe out there, and please keep an eye out for farmers on the road.