the farmer’s alarm clock goes off at 3:40 am… then 3:45… then again at 3:47…  he gets out of bed, gets dressed and brushes his teeth using the flashlight from his phone so he doesn’t wake me up…  I consider that I should tell him that I am totally awake due to his three alarm system…

but this is his routine so I let him continue on with the exact same thing every morning… he will go upstairs and make a coffee and pack his lunch with more often than not the leftovers of the meal to the field the night before…

he wanders back downstairs to kiss me goodbye and wish me a good day…

and then I generally get the best sleep of the whole night… for some reason, that 4 am-7am sleep feels like an extra nights sleep… generally filled with crazy dreams and waking up every half hour but getting to fall back asleep again…  nothing better…

I tried one time last spring to get up when he did and I accomplished so much by 8 am that I had no work left to do for the day…  not making that mistake again this seeding… I only have a certain amount of work to do in a day and I don’t need the 3 extra hours in the morning to complete it…

this morning I got the kids breakfast and lunches done and began meal prep…  potatoes boiled and crockpot chili made…

I call this ‘Teddy Bear chili’ because the beef I am using for it is from my friend’s daughter’s 4H cow named Teddy Bear… I feel like my kids need to know that they are eating Teddy Bear when they eat chili… circle of life etc…

teddy bear chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) pinto or kidney beans
  • optional toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, avocado, sourdough bread

Directions:

  • heat oil in a pan and saute the carrots and onion for around 5 minutes
  • add salt and green peppers
  • place this mixture into your crock pot
  • add meat to pan, drain off fat and then add seasoning to meat
  • add the meat to the crockpot
  • add the remaining ingredients to the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours (or keep on warm)

after the meal prep and then an hour of bookwork I paid my first visit out to the seeders…  this is a common sight this time of year… the seed trucks and fuel truck…

the farmer picked me up and I comment on things like ‘I think that seeder is very pretty’… I ask him every year the same questions I think…  I can’t remember…

these screens in his tractor are very interesting… it boggles my mind the technology that is involved in putting a crop in…

but more things than not boggle my mind so who knows… maybe it’s not that amazing…

today the wind here was gusting from 50-70 km an hour…  you couldn’t even tell in here but I barely made it back to my vehicle…

if I was the farmer I’d race Gerald – who is driving the other tractor – but he doesn’t seem to play that game…

power poles… this is why I’m the cook and not operating machinery! (well it’s on a short list of 8 reasons I’m the cook)

so I head home to run on my treadmill as opposed to the tornado outside and then finish up the meal… these blueberry polenta scones were about the easiest desserts I’ve ever made… simple and I enjoyed eating one with an afternoon coffee…

ok two… I ate two…

blueberry polenta scones

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • mix the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl
  • add the milk, oil and vanilla and combine
  • fold in the berries
  • pour out on well floured counter
  • pat into a rectangle – it will be a sticky mixture
  • cut into 8 wedges
  • with a spatula, scoop and place on the baking sheet
  • brush the tops with almond milk and sprinkle with brown sugar
  • bake until golden on bottom – 12 to 15 minutes

I made the arugula pesto in my Vitamix because I do not own a food processor (perhaps this Mother’s Day I’ll strike it rich and get one!!! fingers crossed…)

my kids loved this potato salad and I have my fingers crossed that a few of the farmers enjoyed it… we’ll see when I get the dishes tomorrow!

it does look green and scary so I’m not holding my breath… we have one farmer who has told my husband he loves salads so I get very excited to think of him eating it!

pesto potato salad

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1” pieces
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup Arugula Cashew Pesto
  • ground black pepper

Pesto:

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 2 cups tightly packed arugula
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Directions:

  • boil potatoes in water with salt until they are just tender – but not mushy
  • drain and cool
  • to make pesto, place ingredients in a food processor (I had to use my Vitamix) and pulse until slightly chunky
  • add pesto to potatoes until you have as much on the potatoes as you like
  • store the rest of the pesto in the fridge
  • sprinkle salad with black pepper and serve

the farmer’s shift on the seeder ends around 3 pm and he begins the running around making sure things are going smoothly…  he generally has time to stop in and pick suppers up to deliver them…

and I head to my son’s hockey practice for the evening…  it seems to be either baseball or hockey but evenings are generally filled…

 living in an area where you see others working so hard this time of year is exciting and inspiring… and you know days are filled with ups and downs… I’ve come to see that farming is one good thing mixed with about four difficult things…

but if it’s in your blood it’s in your blood…

and when I take his picture every year in the tractor I feel like it’s similar to a 16 year old boy with their new truck…  boys like to play in the dirt… and this farmer is no exception…