Harvest finally begins
Tuesday, June 9
Well, not a lot has been happening the past couple of days. We arrived in Seiling Okla., late Sunday morning and still haven't been able to cut because the wheat is too green.
Yesterday, Dad went to the farm to grease the combine and work on stuff. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what us girls did all day. It was a very cool and pleasant day, but not the best weather for the wheat to ripen. Therefore, we spent a lot of time outside which allowed us to meet our neighbors. To our right is a guy who works on a power-line construction crew and to our left is a guy who works in the oil fields. We've got quite a mixture of professions here in our little camp.
This morning, Dad took the semi to have some work done on it in Elk City, Okla., which is about 70 miles southwest. The rest of us went down a few hours later to pick him up, grab some lunch and get a few essentials from Wal-Mart. We will have to go back tomorrow to pick up the semi.
We were hoping to have time to stop by and visit our friends, the Krumbachs, who are harvesting in Sentinel, Okla., which is only another 30 miles from Elk City. However, we decided that we needed to come back and cut a sample. It was disappointing, as the wheat was still too green to cut.
Wednesday, June 10
Mom and Dad went to Elk City this morning to pick up the semi. When they got back, they were going to go out to the field and cut a sample, but it decided to rain instead! Seriously, it's June 10 and we have not cut an acre of wheat. I think we're about to set a record or something.
This evening, we got a call from some of our harvesting friends, the Ginthers, who are cutting near Enid, Okla. They wanted to meet for supper, so we met in Fairview, Okla., which is basically right between us. We cut with the Ginthers a few years ago in western Nebraska and have remained friends.
It is always fun to get together with old friends, but it's especially important to take the opportunity to see old harvest friends when you've got it, as you never know where the road will take you or when the next time we'll be able to see each other.
Friday, June 12
Just to get the important information taken care of--yesterday, after lunch, I went with Dad out to the farm to chat with our farmer. They agreed that the wheat wasn't going to be ready, so we had yet another "day off."
Today, Mom and Dad went back out after lunch and cut a sample. They tested the moisture at 13.7. So, we're getting close, but it is still too wet for the grain bins. Hopefully, we will be able to start tomorrow afternoon.
The main event of the past few days was our trip to Sentinel, Okla., yesterday to see our fellow custom harvesting friends, the Krumbachs.
I will go more in-depth about the Krumbach crew on another day. Their operation is also family-run and they have been in the business for generations. Bruce and Leigh have four children--Blake, 25, Laura, 21, Anna, 18, and Katie, 16. Bruce, Blake, Anna and Katie all work in the field, and Leigh delivers two meals a day to the field in addition to taking care of all of the other duties to keep the operation running smoothly. Laura, the oldest daughter, doesn't make the harvest run anymore but takes care of the house during the summer and works.
The Krumbach family and my family met during the summer of 1990 when we parked next to each other in Lodgepole, Neb. Leigh knocked on the door of our trailer house one day to ask Dad to move his pickup which was in the way of the clothesline. This began our life-long friendship.
Saturday, June 13
Good news! We were finally able to start cutting today. Mom and Dad went out after lunch and the wheat was dry enough to cut by mid-afternoon. They took the first load of wheat to the elevator here in town and the rest went to the bins. And, just a little fun fact, that load was the first one to the Seiling elevator this summer.
The wheat is averaging about 25 bushels per acre and everyone seems to be happy with that. So it was a good day. As I'm writing this, I can hear it beginning to rain. Hopefully, it won't amount to too much.
Jenna Zeorian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.