In a typical year we would have started swathing the grass about the last week of June and start thrashing the seed around July 4th. This allows for sufficient drying time for the seed, approximately about 10 days. This year we didn’t start swathing/cutting the grass until July 7th. Not only was the grass seed ripening behind but the weather did not help the drying process. The rain didn’t want to let up.
The week of the 18th had started out very rainy that even the local news was out to interview my dad about dismal harvest conditions. The Willamette Valley grass seed farmers needed some sunshine, warmth & wind very badly.
As our dad started to slip into a depression, my sister and I reminisced about other times when things weren’t going right on the farm. My sister and I ran crews, machinery, drove truck and had the most important job of all…keeping the boss in a good mood. A job which we still retain today.
Here are a few tips, tricks and tactics we employ on our farm to keep the boss man or even a crew happy:
- “P.M.A.!!” (Positive Mental Attitude). This is a standard farm acronym and saying, while things may not be going the way they need to, it’s best to try and keep your chin up.
- Sing. You don’t need to know the lyrics or even the tune…but busting out a song always brings a smile to anyone’s face. Especially if you adjust the lyrics to match harvest. There are times I think we should quit farming and start a band.
- Air Guitar. Tell the entire crew to turn it to “Oldies” station and then proceed to play air guitar to Susie Q while on top of your truck as they go around.
- Imagination. When something is destroyed, broke or unrepairable and no one witnessed it. It’s best to make up a story of a freak tornado or possible gremlins. For example, port-a-potty is smashed to smithereens, the logical explanation for anyone would be a funnel cloud appeared and touched down right there, not that someone (dad) ran over it.
- Harvest CD. Every harvest should have a theme and CD to go get you pumped up on the way to the field. 2011 Harvest Theme: “Long Ways to Go and a Short Time to Get There”
What are things you do on your farm to keep the morale up? I would love hear them!
Oh and yes we finally started combining on July 22nd, only 3 weeks behind the norm, but hey what’s normal in farming?