Our goal for the “city girls on the farm” day was definitely to enjoy cotton harvest but on the way we saw something shiny and got distracted! The something shiny? Maybe you have already seen the photo and have already guessed. 🙂
Spotting a Tractor
These girls heads were turned by a John Deere! We saw it from the highway and started working our way to see it going down side roads and wondering if we’d make it to the right field.
Along the way, we passed a soybean field that hadn’t been harvested yet. And decided we had to stop.
My niece knew exactly what we were looking at, afterall, the edamame we love having for dinner so often look so similar!
As we looked at the pods and the soybeans inside, she noticed quickly that these beans are a lot smaller than the edamame we eat and a lot harder. That’s when we got into a whole big conversation about how soybeans are grown differently when they are going to be harvested & sold as edamame versus the way they are treated if they are grown for grain.
Since people are going to eat edamame as a vegetable, you want to harvest them as the pods fill. But with soybeans for grain (they will be used for oil, livestock feed or any of thousands of other things), farmers wait for the plants to dry down before they harvest. It was a great chance to do a direct comparison when she found some green pods atop one of the plants.
Another thing we took a bit of time to learn about? Weeds.
Although it seemed clear the farm we stopped alongside was doing a good job of controlling weeds, it is easy to find weeds around the perimeter of the crop.
One that looked kind of cool to a 13 year old city girl because of the strange seeding pattern is the same plant that puts fear in the minds of farmers! We had stumbled on a palmer pigweed, a weed that is incredibly prolific in producing seed and that is a hard one to control. Interestingly a little bit later in the day, she was already relaying some of what she learned when visiting with others as she pointed out the plant & said it was a tough one.
And Finally, the Tractor!
After checking out the soybean field, we went on down the road a bit more and finally found the tractor that had diverted us from our original goal. The tractor was parked in a field waiting to plant wheat most likely.
We just looked at it as we walked up and just talked through the various parts. The plates that help open the soil to put the seed in and the way vacuums move seed in as well as the rolers that help close the soil. She makes me think we need to get out at planting time this spring!
There is already one post up in this series on my trip with my niece to the farm. Us city girls had a lot of fun with the change of scenery and I think my niece may have learned a bit. 🙂 We will have more coming about the cotton part of the day on the farm at harvest time! Hope you subscribe so you get the others (scroll up to the top right) or come back!