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10 things about harvest most non-ag people don’t know

Nothing compares to smelling corn as it is harvested.

Courtesy of Minnesota Farm Living

Now that we have finished our harvest for 2014, I thought I would write a few, fun random thoughts about harvest. Some things about harvest most non-ag people don’t know.

1. Lunches are eaten in the field. Thank goodness for autoSteer in tractors and combines. Autosteer is a mechanism that automatically steers the combine/tractor. I can literally eat, with both hands, while the combine/tractor continues to operate. And I ate many meals this way! Multi-tasking at it’s finest. And if you have lunch delivered to you, it’s eaten right where you are at. It comes to you. Farmers really do love harvest meals – just a nice little pick-me-up and one less meal to prepare. Trust me, it’s the little things.

2. The smells, sights and sounds of harvest. Nothing compares to smelling corn as it is harvested, watching the corn augured into the grain cart or truck, and hearing the sounds of corn dropping into the corn bin. Yes, it’s the simple things you cherish. But it’s the simple things that really are the big things of life.

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3. Housework during harvest? It’s nearly nonexistent – you adapt to looking past the dust and clutter. Laundry during harvest? Just enough clean clothes to wear and sometimes we recycle clothes if they aren’t too dirty. And it may mean wearing mismatched socks because that’s all you have left. Grocery shopping? Minimal. Harvest season means early mornings and late nights. It’s just the reality of life in the fall.

4. Free combine/tractor rides. Grandkids especially like this! Many combines/tractors have buddy seats which can accommodate safe rides. And they love it!

5. Field dates with your spouse. I don’t think I spend as much time during the day with my husband as I do at harvest. Ummm some days that is good… other days not so…

Courtesy of Minnesota Farm Living

6. If you are the combine operator harvesting corn, it absolutely drives you crazy when the biggest ear of corn in the whole field hits the corn head or slides off the corn head and drops to the ground. I literally have dreams where I am holding onto the corn head tying to catch those wayward ears of corn. A little weird? Yep. Weird things happen when you spend hours and hours in a combine.

7. Toilet Paper, pillow, trail mix and insulated lunch bags are necessities in my combine cab. Why a pillow? No, not for me. But if I have a grandchild ride with me, it never fails the sound of the combine and the monotonous view of constant corn/soybeans flowing into the head of the combine lulls them to sleep. Never fails. No matter how hard they try. 

8. You become “snarkier” as the harvest season progresses. You can’t help it. Your sense of humor ends up being sarcastic remarks and you need of an attitude adjustment. And when you can admit it to yourself, you really know you need it.

9. The whole family is involved. Harvesting is truly a family affair in the fall. From brother-in-laws to son-in-laws, to daughters and sons, to mother-in-laws. We can’t do all the work without them. And we appreciate them. Immensely.

10. And when you are done with your own harvest and pending weather forecasts are unfavorable, you help neighbors and friends to finish. It’s just who farmers are and what we do. And you don’t wait to be asked. You volunteer. And I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.

This post was written by Wanda Patsche and originally published on Minnesota Farm Living. Follow Wanda on Twitter: @MinnFarmer.

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