Around the Farm – Gearing up for Meals on Wheels

Posted: September 18, 2019

This time of year is filled with bustling schedules. From back to school routines and filled up sporting schedules to the start of the fall harvest season, this is the time of year when it’s go, go, go time.

So it only makes sense that with all this activity, on the go meals become essential, too.

While a quick trip through the drive thru may work with back to school schedules, harvest meals on the go are a completely different circumstance.

Harvest means “go time” around here. Sure, time is of the essence but then again, eating is a necessity, too!

When working during this time of the year, farmers are working against a variety of ever changing conditions. Weather fluxuations, equipment breakdowns, early frosts…they are all reasons why farmers keep the tractors moving for maximum productivity whenever they can.

So when our farmers head out at 5 or 6 a.m. and work until 9 or 10 p.m., let’s just say feeding strategy becomes an essential part of our operation. The food I prep is an important contribution to our harvest routine.

There are two schools of thought that come to field meals, or tractor meals, as we sometimes call them.

Many farmers like to keep the equipment moving! For this reason, they want something they can hold in one hand while driving with the other.

A cold ham and cheese sandwich fits the bill here but let’s get creative! How about a quesadilla, hot pocket, calzone or some leftover pizza? They can eat with one hand and drive with the other.

Whatever they’re eating, it has to be filling but not so much that it’s naptime inducing.

Other farmers are game for a quick lunch stop.

For our farm operation, we take a 15-20 minute break when we can. It’s a chance for everyone to discuss, reconnect and recharge, if only for a few minutes. (Plus, my in-laws get to see their grandkids, an added farm family bonus.)

For our quick stop meals, I employ a no knife required strategy. I get to serve a little more creative food these days. Things like stir fry, chili, and baked potatoes can fit the bill instead of a typical sandwich.

And, I like to pack a snack for later. Something for later, to break up the monotony of a long day a bit.

There’s just one thing, though. There’s no noon whistle that blows out in the fields.

From sandwiches to chili, whatever we’re eating out in the field has to be just as flexible as we are. It may have to sit for an hour, or sometimes more. So many variables, all in the name of feeding people I love.

I always say there’s no “right way” to feed your family and the same goes for feeding farmers.

If a meal’s a flop, no biggie. There’s always tomorrow. In the meantime, you can be assured the tractors will keep on moving.

Field-Friendly Meal Recipes

 

DEANNE FRIEDERS – WATERMAN FARM WOMAN, MOM, AND COOK


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